Before leaving on my TOAL, I heard horror stories about pickpockets. Naples was the first place I felt a little uneasy. We had about a mile walk from where the ship ported to the train station. I was adamant about visiting Pompei so we took the train there. My mother is from NY. She has always worn about as much jewelry as Mr. T. I made her take off about a pound of it before the trip but she was still iced out. And of course my bro-in-law decided to use the ATM on our walk which caused even more attention to the group of American tourists. There was a dude in a yellow shirt following us. When we'd look back, he would turn to look at a poster or up at the sky. I saw him signal some other guy but after my incident with the granny in Florence I was ready if anything were to happen. I was NOT going down without a fight. It's important to be aware of your surroundings, travel with an entourage and be smart. Check, check and check. I did not care for Naples as it was very dirty, dark and just not my style. I didn't see the whole city so I may have missed some of its beauty.
We took the train to Pompei which is so cool because you're able to walk around this city as it once was. In th year 79 A.D. Mt. Vesuvius erupted. The people of Pompei didn't know it was an active volcano, they thought they were building their city next to a mountain. The eruption happened so fast that they couldn't get away in time. Many people went into their homes to escape but the weight of the eruption crushed them. More people died from suffocation as they couldn't breathe. The empathy I felt walking these ruins was overwhelming; I can't imagine what that fateful day was like for them. They found bodies and their outlines were preserved by the ash. I was silent for a long time after this. It has taken hundreds and hundreds of years to excavate this city. I didn't realize how big it was....we were there for hours and probably covered only half of it.
We boarded the train again and headed for Sorrento. This is where they make Limoncello which is a fabulous lemon liquor many Italians drink after dinner as its a diuretic and flavorful. Sorrento is a beautiful city set high up on rocks with the water and ships below. We shopped around a bit and headed down to an outdoor cafe by the water. I had the best pasta, just penne and marinara and my family dined on thin crust pizza. The wind was picking up and I was freezing so I went to a store and bought an Italia sweatshirt. I felt SO lame as I looked like the ultimate tourist. I came back to the cafe and my Mom thought it was too cute so she went and got one of her own. Ok, now there's two of us wearing this ridiculous sweatshirt. My baby sis came back from wherever she was and just had to have one too. Now there were 3 idiots wearing the sweatshirt. Ah well, at least we were warm.
We decided to take a ferry back to the ship....nobody had any interest in taking the train back to Naples and walking back. Ferry was cool and it started pouring en route back. We had seriously lucked out with the weather on this whole trip.
The next day was a "Day at Sea" and we were all looking forward to relaxing. Soaking up all the sites and go go going from morning to night is exhausting. I've been in the mind-set that there really is a once in a lifetime kind of trip and needed to soak up every bit. After 4 days of nonstop going, we were all ready for a little R&R.
Next up: Kotor, Montenegro