Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nasty Naples

Tuesday morning at breakfast there was a strange feeling in the air.  The sky was cloudy, but a very light colour cloud.  Still, it felt like there was a big storm on the way.  And there was.  It hit while we were in the taxi on the way to the station to catch our train to Naples.  It went dark, and everyone had to turn on their headlights.  Then it started hailing.  It was still raining extremely heavily by the time we reached the station.  The train trip was good.  High speed and comfortable, after an hour we were preparing to get off at Naples. 
We got a taxi to our hotel.  It was terrifying.  The drivers were mad.  Red lights meant nothing.  Pedestrians just stepped off the road.  Cars drove down the tramways.  Cars headed blindly into an intersection, oblivious of anyone already there.  And the streets we drove through were piled with bags of garbage.  I’d been warned of that, but hadn’t warned Andy and Tommy.  Everything was covered in graffiti, and all the buildings were well overdue for cleaning and repainting.  Long before we reached our hotel Andy and Tommy hated Naples.
After checking into our hotel – which was nice, but none of the surrounds were – we asked for directions to the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.  It was still raining.  We were told to take the bus R4 and it would take us where we wanted to go.  We went to the bus stop and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  After more than half an hour with no busses the rain had stopped so we decided to walk.  All the way there no busses passed us.  When we finally made it to the Museum it was closed.  It seems it is closed every Tuesday.  They didn’t tell us that at the hotel when we asked for directions.  By this time we had walked though filthy streets, stinking of rotting food and weren’t keen to sight see.  But we looked at our guide book and started off to walk through the historic town centre.  Every sight, every church, was closed for the afternoon.  They had all shut at 1:30 or 2:00 and would not open until 4:30 or 5:30.  We found a bar in a square, had a drink and contemplated our options.  The one we chose was to go back to the hotel early and take it easy.
Next day we went back to the Archaeological museum, which was open this time.  There were lots of very interesting exhibits, though some of the Pompeian rooms were closed.  Still, we saw many painted frescos from the walls, and mosaics from the floors of houses in Herculaneum and Pompeii.  Well worth while.  Then we decided to get a funicular up the Vomero, which is one of the hills in Naples there.  We had lunch at a nice, though rather expensive restaurant, with fantastic views over Naples, with a backdrop of Mt Vesuvius (see below).

No comments:

Post a Comment