Leaving Naples, thank goodness :)

Trip Start Jul 03, 2006
Trip End Aug 20, 2006

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Flag of Italy  ,
Friday, July 21, 2006

Okay well it will be hard to recap the past few days since so much has happened. I will start with what just happened since it is fresh in my head. So I booked three nights at the Mergellina hostel in Naples, the 17, 18 and 19th of July. I spent the 17th and 18th there and asked if I could move my reservation for the 19th to the 20th so I could be in Naples to catch the bus back to Brno. They said it was no problem. But today they wanted to charge me for four nights when I spent only three there. I paid for all three nights right up front. So after a somewhat loud discussion with manager, I didn't pay any more and he kept my hostel card. He was saying I didn't check out on the 19th but I did, and turned in my sheets and everything. Whatever.

Okay, now that that nonsense is over with I can go back to a few days ago and try to summarize. So this hostel is really hard to get to and Naples is just plain hard to navigate, the buses are never on time. I wished I had a map of the city but the hostel didn't have any. I woke up the morning of the 18th in Naples and asked a guy in my room if he knew how far it was from Pompeii to Vesuveus, so we got to talking and he asked me if I wanted to go there with him and his friend, they had rented a car and were going right then, so I said sure, that would be great. So I rode to Pompeii on the streets of death here (Ive seen three traffic accidents so far) and we spent the day in Pompeii, then went to Mount Vesuvus. These guys were interesting, they were from Madrid (Spain) and had both lived or taught in the US, even visited Lincoln. They were both school teachers and one taught in Chicago for a year. Pompeii was very cool, it looked like they had pretty high standards of living for their time. I wish I knew more about it, but it was definitely incredible.

Anyways, so when we got to Mt Vesuvus, there was a path you could take from about a half mile or so from the top all the way to the top. We didn't want to pay the 6.50 so we blazed our own trail to the top. It was a difficult climb because the surface was all rocks, like gravel kind of. The rocks that looked secure would slide down the mountain when you tried to step on them so we were climbing with our hands more or less. We wanted to cross over to the path and walk up the easy way but we couldn't see it once we started climbing. But wow, what a view when we reached the top! We just laid on our stomachs and looked over the top down into the opening. It was amazing. Plus, we saved 6.50, got some great exercise and a more memorable experience. We didn't have any trouble when we jumped back onto the path, we just kind of said we climbed off the path. Haha.

So they dropped me off at a train station and I went back here. I was walking into this Internet shop here and the guy Jaromir from Olomouc who I was talking to on the bus ride from Prague to Florence walks right around the corner. I about fell over. He gave me his e mail when I got off in Florence and I was maybe going to meet him in Rome, where he was going. But I never e mailed him or anything, and yet somehow out of the whole country of Italy, he decides to go to Naples for one day, and out of the whole city, he walks down the one street right at the exact moment Im standing there. Crazy. So we went and had a Coke and talked for awhile, Ill see him in Olomouc.

So I went back to my room because the Internet place was closed, and there was a guy from Korea who only spoke a little English. He wanted to use my soap and shampoo, so I let him and he bought me a delicious Coke. Mmmm. So He was going to Capri the next morning and I wanted to go there as well so I asked if I could go with him. He didn't mind so we woke up at like 6 and went to Capri. It was gorgeous. The water was beautiful. The island itself wasn't as cool to me as the boat tour around the island, including the blue grotto. Oh man, that was great. It cost me an arm and a leg but it was so awesome, the water was bright blue and it was dark inside the cove so it looked florescent. I got some pictures and a video of it.

I had to wait on Capri for about three hours for the ferry to Amalfi so I went swimming for a little bit. It was at least 100 degrees so I didn't swim long. The water was so cool. Ive never swam where I can see all the way down to the bottom before. It was gorgeous but the water was very salty.

After that, I took the 16 € ferry to Amalfi, found the girl from Belgium, Eve, and stayed there. After I agreed to stay they cooly informed me it was all the way up the cliff and there were 230 steps to reach the hostel. AHHH! It was painful. Whatever, it was still really nice once you got to the top. It was surrounded by lemon trees, had a great view and was nice and quiet. Eve gave me some of her leftover pasta with ham and gorgonzola cheese, it was fabulous. So while I was waiting for everybody to get ready to go to the pub, I played cards with two guys and a girl from Krakow, Poland. They didn't speak English, but they understood a little Czech. Good thing it was a simple game cuz I didn't really understand much of what they said. It was really neat how they just made room and asked me to sit down and join the game. What cool people.

Anyway, so we went to the pub and it was alright, had some weird shot that tasted like licorice. It was fun hitchhiking down and back up again. I met some really cool people there: a tour guide from Aspen, CO, some English people, some Austrailians, a guy and his son from Norway, a girl from Washington, D.C. who had been on the road for 9 and a half months. Living out of a backpack for that long is hard to imagine. So the pub was alright, the next day (yesterday) I spent just sitting around all day with Eve on the dock at Amalfi. She works for the hostel because her purse was stolen and she just waits for the buses to come in and goes up to people with backpacks and recruits them to stay at the hostel. It was alright, none too exciting, though. It was nice to talk to someone with a different perspective.

Last night I was walking around Naples after dark, I couldn't find the bus and the taxis were on strike so I had a long walk ahead of me. The cop I got directions from said the hostel was in an especially bad area of town, and the people robbed using knives and guns. Why did the cop have to say that to me? Not helpful. I was warned plenty about Naples from every person I told I was going here. Ugh. So I went to McDonalds and got a Big Mac. Mmmm. Then I went to a bus station and found some Spanish people who were going to the hostel and went with them. Im glad it worked out the way it did. Very glad.

Well I could write more but Im sure the length is already intimidating enough and I have to get going, my bus leaves in less than an hour.
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