Trip Start Jul 30, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, October 2, 2006

Aversa/Caserta to Naples
Monday October 2nd 2006 -2.00 miles on foot.
Up early we arrived at the cemetery at 8:02 am. To my surprise, they had opened on time. We walked into the office and found a record of my aunt. But since she died so long ago... her bones had been moved to a group grave so they could use her grave for someone else. (I am not exactly sure how this works but in Italy, if you do not pay extra, after 50 years they remove you from your grave, which are above ground and bury your bones in a group grave in the ground.) So we were off to the commune. We waitied a few minutes and they opened the doors at 9am. We found the correct window and told them what we were looking for. They said, since the records were so old, the documents have been archived and we would have to wait three days. (This is the first time we have had this response. In other instances we were even allowed to look through the books ourselves back to the 1700's. These records were only from the 1940's!). So I left my address hoped for the best. Had breakfast (Cornetto and juice) at the hotel, then we hopped the first train to Caserta (about 30 minutes away). We caught a glimpse of the Royal Palace pulling into the station. With full packs on our backs we headed out to find the Royal Palace of Caserta. Built by Charles III of Bourbon in 1752. I led Lyn on a wild goose chase as every road that made sense, did not go to the palace. We had to walk all the way around the grounds which were being restored. We finally reached the palace which was pretty impressive. This place is huge! With 1,200 rooms and 1,742 windows and covers 47,310 metres. Through the arched doorways (I say doorways, but a tractor trailer could drive through these things) you can see the gardens behind the palace. The gardens are 4.8 miles long and cover We went inside and bought two tickets for the gardens. We continued walking through the palace and by the time we reached the back I knew we were in trouble. The packs weighed about 1000 pounds by then. I saw a horse and carriage and figured this was the way to go. They quoted us 15 Euros. Just then a bus pulled up and unloaded. An American guy yelled over, "1 Euro round trip to the top!", perfect. We hopped on the bus, took a few pictures along the way and got off the bus near the top at a huge fountain that had fish swimming around in it. (You could go higher. There was a huge waterfall that fed into this fountain. But that was too much of a hike w/our packs.) We walked around a bit and headed into the English Garden following a trail between a few boulders where we found a sort of oasis. There was a good sized pond fed by another waterfall. The pond was surrounded by rocks and willow trees, complete with lily pads and a school of fish that looked like carp. We enjoyed a relaxing lunch and shared our crackers w/the fish. Soon after we were back on the bus and walking to the train station catching the bus to Naples Centrale.
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