A Southern Tour
Our very first excursion outside of Rome was to take advantage of the Labor Day 3 day weekend. Actually, Ryan’s softball game took up the first day of the three day weekend, but two days was still enough for us to take a quick jaunt down to Pompeii and Sorrento.
We used Naples as our home base, where we stayed at the Navy Lodge on the Naval Base. What we saw of Naples was highly unimpressive – but we weren’t quite in town, so I’ll have to reserve judgement on that. We met our new friends Andy & Kate at the Naval lodge, and then set out for Pompeii. Fortunately for us, Kate had done a bunch of research before we left, so she signed us up for free tours that access parts of Pompeii that everyone else just has to look at from afar.
The crazy thing about Pompeii was the sheer size of it. Pompeii isn’t a ruin of a building … it’s the ruins of an entire city. It’s absolutely massive. We toured the downtown area, and wandered through where peoples homes were. The special access tours that we signed up for even took us in some of the well preserved homes, where there were still paintings on the wall (some of which turned out to be quite XXX rated).
We also got to see the famous plaster casts of people – formed by pouring plaster into the void left behind after a person’s body decomposed under feet of volcanic ash.
After a long hot day of touring, we decided to head down to Sorrento for dinner.
aside: It’s a pretty amazing thing to be able to just ‘drop by’ an amazing Italian dinner because we felt like it, and we were hungry. Ryan reminds me of this every time I complain about our Washer/Dryer situation. … Have I mentioned that it takes 3.5 hours to do a load of laundry?
The drive to Sorrento took us along beautiful views of the Italian coastline and the Mediterranean Sea. We wandered around Sorrento, checking out the shops and restaurants. It was quite a cute town.
On the drive back to Rome on Monday night, we found ourselves looking down the coastline at bumper to bumper traffic … but, “Never Fear! GPS is here!” And those are the famous last words of an adventurous traveler . . . We knew that we would end up on smaller roads when we bailed off the main thoroughfare, but we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Anyone who has ever lived in Northern Virginia is no stranger to meandering through side streets to duck around some traffic – but it turns out that the experience is quite different on the side of a mountain in a small Italian Coastal town. We ended up on a one lane road with two way traffic, going up on 30 degree angles, pulling into outcroppings of rock to let traffic go by. It was insane! But we pulled over to the side of the road when the road finally widened, and we were giddy with adrenaline, and the view was breathtaking. Ultimately, I’m not sure we saved ourselves any time – but we did add an adventure!