Alive in Campania region

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
Trip End Sep 01, 2007

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hello from Sant Agnello, near Sorrento, about 40 minutes by train from Naples. Actually I am in Sorrento now as there are no internet cafes in Sant Agnello but I am staying in a hostel there. I have a dorm room plus bathroom and sitting area to myself as I am their only guest!  So it is quite a bargain and I have extended my stay by 2 nights. as I usually do it seems. Highlight has been to spend a day in Pompeii, (this website is a good review of all Pompeii, Ercolona and Naples Museum has to offer re the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 62 AD) a 20 minute train ride away.  Awesome, so much has been preserved from 64 BC believe it or not!  The ash and mud that came down as a result of the Vesuvius eruption preserved a lot and frescoes still have colour, houses still have rooms etc.  The Roman civilization was so advanced, then came the 'dark ages' and a reversal in technology and fortune.  I met a great couple, Diane and George from New Jersey, who shared a tour guide with me and 2 other couples. We met up with a Canadian, Meghan from Victoria as well, and journeyed back to Sorrento and had dinner there.  I am staying literally a 2 minute train ride from Sorrento, but the streets are so narrow and the traffic so heavy, it is too much of a trial to walk. My nerves are frayed from walking the 3 minutes to the little street Via San Veto my hostel is on, from which i stride 45 degree angle for 15 minutes to reach it.  Scooters and cars donąt believe in stopping too readily for pedestrians and i usually wait for others to cross with... but I am getting better but still think i could evaporate under a scooter at any moment. Today there is a Festival on in Sant Agnello and rows upon rows of market stuff, food, junk, etc.  I guess it is for Christmas presents. a lot of African sellers as well.
Yesterday Meghan and I unexpectedly were on the same bus to Positano and Amalfi so it was good to have some companionship for the day. The trip was winding through the mountainous cliffs and was a breathtaking journey over an hour each way.  To think people live there and do that trip frequently. In fact, on the return bus were a bunch of high school students who were being dropped off at little towns along the way.  Spectacular views some of these houses built on the side of cliffs much have;parking is at such a premium some home owners have built parking lots on top of their houses whose roofs are flush with the road....
Anyway I just booked by train out of here on Friday the 16th. when I head for palermo, Sicily.  I have decided that is where I am spending Christmas, somewhere on the island and may venture to Greece for New Years.  I have been warned by a Florentine woman who was in a travel agnecy with me to not go to Turkey so I thanked her for that info. I havenąt been keeping up with any news. Naples is out too, as apparently I hear there is Mafia fighting and people could get caught in the cross fire, literally. It is bad enough I have to changefrom the Rail line Circumvesuvius so the Rail line Trenitalia there.  I have been hearing scary things happening just outside the train station. It is unfortunate as the Archeological Museum in Naples has a lot of artifacts from Pompeii and  sounds fascinating. by the way, I sure am motivated to learn more about the Roman civilization.  So i leave at 2 pm. and arrive in Palermo at 10:30 p.m.  The train goes on a ship, which I did years ago my first trip to Sweden. Quite interesting to all of a sudden feel like your train is rocking on water....
To update my last couple of days in Florence, I went to Siena for a day trip, about 40 minutes each way except the bus back got stuck in traffic and we were delayed by an hour, just in time for me to run to the place which was hosting the River to River Indian-Italian film festival. Got a ticket for 'Dubai Return' the stupidest film I have ever paid money to see, fortunately it was cheap. I walked out after half an hour but so did others.. and i wasn,t the first. I hadn.t had dinner yet so that was a motivator, or lunch for that matter as everything in Siena was so busy.
gotta run now,
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