Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Long and Winding Road of Sorrento

Five years ago in 2008 was when we first started planning this trip.  Circumstances caused us to move it from our 30th anniversary to our 35th.  Now that we are older and wiser the enjoyment level has jumped 200 fold.  Andrew drove us to the airport at 5:30 for a 9 pm flight.  We were in row 49 the last row on the A330 Air Transat flight.  Great seats and a great flight.  We landed  in Rome at 11:30 am.  Hopped on the train to Rome termini where we needed to catch a connecting train  to Napoli.  This train was very busy and very hot, modern but slow.  I'm not sure what I was expecting. But definitely surprised at the degree of neglect.  Rome is a big city and railways are not necessarily the best way to get your first impression of them.  The railway line was dirty, neglected, had homeless people living under bridges, definitely not the pathway of the gods I was expecting.  

While waiting for our connecting train we did some people watching.  What a busy terminal. Locals, business people and lots of tourists.     (Aside. the younger Italian guys sure know how to wear a suit, Hubba Hubba).  The train to Napoli was a high speed train travelling at 250 Khm at some points.  Again the line was showing the industrial side of Italy.  Finally we (excuse me Jim was sound asleep, yeah he needed it) started seeing mountains and the coast was approaching.  

Grab our bags and start scrambling off the train.  At the bottom of the steps is this older Italian guy asking if we need a taxi.  Sure I say, next thing I know he grabs our 2 bags and we are running to keep up with him.  Does he go to the front of the terminal. Oh no, we go though some shops, out the side door, down an alley and voila he drops us off at a van.  Jim shakes his hand with the tip,  I am thinking "oh no” Jim has given him some change, but thankfully no it is 5 euros.  I think cool, all he had to do was pull our bags out to his friends car.  Well the guy goes mental as only an Italian can.  Arms in the air, "what's a this,  givea mea 20", youa crazy". Jim hands over the 20. Doesn't look at me just gets in the car no discussion. Lol.  Now the taxi driver passes him a card and says "this is the price". Again Jim doesn't look at me and says "go get a me to my hotel". Lol 165 euros later with a great ride down the coast, through 3 crazy long tunnels under the mountains, switchbacks, a stop for lemonade and some pictures of the beautiful town of Meta and we were deposited in front of our hotel.

Left Aurora at 530, arrive at our hotel at 530 the next day.  Bags are up in the room and we head down to a marvellous balcony overlooking Mt Vesuvius and the Tyrreian Sea. Bellissimo.

Back up to the room and a 2 hour nap and we get ready for dinner. We asked the concierge for a recommendation and he asked us "What kind of food?"  Hello Italian would be good.   A shuttle bus took us down to Vela Bianco for a wonderful Italian dinner with the locals. Thanks to our concierge for this choice.  Homemade lasagne, caprese salad for me while Jim had a fresh shrimp salad, penne in a Gorgonzola and veal for Jim. A great bottle of chianti all for 95 euros. A final drink on the patio and off to bed.  

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