Sunday, August 3, 2008
Naples, Italy Part 1
Aaaaaand, we arrive in Naples! Good ol' Napoli. We docked right here between cruise ships and ferries in the busy commercial port across the street from the center of town.
Went for a walk first thing in the morning as the markets in the back streets were opening. The stores weren't due to open for a few hours still. Note the vespa and the cars competing for space through the narrow streets. Naples is notorious for its horrible traffic. Crossing the street can be a nightmare! I found it's easiest if you just cross with a local since they seem to know that the cars will stop when you step out in front of them. I have to admit, despite the crazy traffic free-for-all, for all of the time I spent here I never saw a single accident.
Proud to show off his catch for the camera, we were welcomed in for a little tour of a fish shop, one of many along the way. The octopods in the foreground were live and swimming around. We were invited to touch them.
After seeing us pull out our camera, the shop owner warned us to leave the back streets and return to main public areas. The neighborhoods are big trouble, especially if you're a tourist. In her broken English she said we were in danger of being mugged and needed to hide our cameras because it wasn't safe. We knew not to have anything flashy and have our wits about us, but getting a warning like that at nine in the morning was a bit creepy.
So we headed back down to the public square and got coffee standing at the bar like the locals do. The coffee here is so good! Actually, it's been great everywhere we've been...
When the guests departed in Naples, it was the first time we had any time off in three weeks. The down time in between trips allowed us to have three whole days off! Considering that's as many total days as we've had since I boarded the airplane in May, I was stoked.
Day one, I hopped on the train. I found the transportation system in Naples to be rather confusing. Poorly marked, each different method of transportation is comprised of different companies that go to different places. It took me some time to get acquainted, but I got my seat on the train and watched Naples disappear into countryside. But not before I snarfed down some street vendor pizza. The pizza here is simply the best I've ever had. It's incredible!
I ended up in Sorrento, a cute little city perched on the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples.
Spent the day exploring and just enjoying the time off. The freedom was wonderful.