BOB CORBETT'S TRAVEL JOURNAL -- 2007

Italy 5: Naples, April 20, 2007 -- Last day in Naples

By Sally Sharamitaro

Bob Corbett notes: I was delighted when Sally sent me this first note to her family. After that she sent notes every day as I did and I will post her notes along with mine. There will be some repetition, but it will give some different perspectives as well.
Bob

Hi Everybody!

We are at actually the first internet cafe we found in NAPLES.

We left Bob's house around 11 AM ish on Tuesday morning though we were 'ready' to go earlier. We walked up to the Ryan bench and waited for the bus there, took it to the Metrolink station at Barnes Hospital. There we caught the Metro to the airport.

All went well there too. We got our backpacks all ready to check and were free to do the "security" thing. And then find our gate, no problem.

I know you are all wondering too how Mom did with her backpack. The answer is surprisingly well. I had packed amazingly lightly and though it was different for me, walking wasn't a problem. I only had a problem when I, for some reason both Bob and I stooped down ... might have been to stabilize the straps on his backpack as we waited for the Metro. I could have been left there forever... but I said to Bob... Ok.. I found the only problem with my carrying a backpack... I cannot get up ... He came to my rescue and extended his hand and I stood up.

Anyway, our flights were as I may have said uneventful. No weather problems, no delays, in fact, we had just enough time in Dallas Ft Worth to get to the gate for our plane to London Gatwick. Sleeping on the plane is just not easy. So we were very tired when we got to Gatwick, and even more tired when we got to Naples. But as Bob told me, we could NOT sleep yet.

As a matter of fact when we got to Naples, Bob got our two tickets on the bus that would get us to the area near the train station where he had stayed before, and where he knew he could find a decent low priced hotel... he was correct! We walked less than 5 blocks and he stopped in the middle of the block and said... lets try this one.

As luck would have it, they not only had a delightful room for us WITH a bath, but it was only 65 euros a night. Partly because Bob asked for a Senior Discount.. which tickles me so...

But as we were following the man upstairs to see the room before we took it... Bob said... my friend Jeanne and I stayed here!! It has been upgraded, but its the same hotel! Isn't that a small world !!

We decided on the plane from Gatwick that we would change planes. We just weren't able to take the train that night to Palermo. So when we settled into our room, we decided to spend the next two days in Naples, train to Palermo on Friday night, and then train straight to Rome.

So thatís a change from the itinerary on the website. But it was a great change of plans. We did go out sightseeing last night, after making dinner reservations at a nearby restaurant for 6... alle se.. in Italian.

We were starving by then, and may have over-ordered.. but we loved the food there, and because it was a neighborhood place, not a tourist place.. most of you wouldn't be surprised at that.... there was an Italian soccer game on the TV and about 6-7 Italian men watching it and having the best time.

Bob saw a young man, all alone, and he started to talk to him, telling him it was a good place. Bob had been to this little place before.

Eventually the young man joined us, and we sat and talked for hours... no idea what time it was when we got back to the hotel which was right around the corner...but we were so exhausted we slept like rocks. Woke early, but after our nature calls, we went right back to sleep. Woke several more times, but couldn't even open our eyes yet, and went back to sleep... until 11 ish. Didn't mind a bit that we missed breakfast as we were more tired than hungry.

This morning, after showering, dressing, packing up our vests for the day, we are out and about. We started at a little cheese and sausage store where we got only one thing... a quart of orange juice !

After hoping a bus ... we had gotten two bus tickets.. no passes.. for today and tomorrow. We did more sightseeing. Stopped for some gelato at a stand inside a huge ancient building with a dome of glass, that is a shopping mall... where for some reason we saw a wedding party having their photos taken... so cute that the flower girls family came over and got some gelato too at the same little stand.

Now we are right across the from there on a tiny street from the pizzeria where we ate MY first Italian pizza... Pepperoni ... nope... not what you think ... there was no meat on it. It was grilled red, yellow and green peppers ! And a bottle of wine !!

Oh... Bob will likely tell the story of our first Italian cocktail in his first travel note. You will love that !! We did!!

So, we have this afternoon, tonight and tomorrow to see Naples, and then off to Sicily. Palermo on the train and then a bus to Terrasini.

We have had beautiful weather so far... our one day in Naples.. in Italy !! Sunshine and either high 60's or low 70's.. not quite sure as we haven't seen a TV weather station yet.

I have to say that Bob was absolutely right when he described Naples to me. I didn't know what to expect here, but he described it as ... ah, Naples, its loud, its dirty, the traffic is awful, and there are lots of "motorcycles"... whew, I'm still not used to crossing the streets. I just grab Bob's hand or arm and follow him, having pretty much gotten to where I'm able to cross a street without panicking in the middle. Its not for the lighthearted or the timid !!

I do love it here, and love overhearing the talking and yelling, honking. And I imagine that it will be somewhat the same in Sicily.

Sally

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