Lo, many years ago, I used to travel frequently with my job. I remember being confused (many times) as to where I was at any given moment. I'd think, 'oh, I'll go to the XYZ Mall' and then remember, 'oh, no..that's in ABC city'. Things get blurry when you cruise because you go to sleep in one place and wake up in another. Because it takes so much time to write these blogs, I'm behind several days. I'm already having a hard time remembering what happened just 2-3 days ago and where it was I was located on Thursday.
Naples, Italy. Also pronounced 'Nah-Poh-les' in Espanol, or 'Nah-Poh-lees' in Italiano.
Unlike when I traveled to Europe (twice), I seemed to always know where to go, especially with the handy-dandy Let's Go Europe book guiding me. Those two times were before the interwebs. Oddly, this time I didn't have that sense. I had no idea where the boat would be docked in relation to the city and, more importantly, to the sites everyone wants to see. So, I opted to buy excursion tours on the ship. Normally, I hate tours as I like to go at my own pace and I (generally) don't enjoy getting into all the nitty gritty detail of a particular site, such as: 'This spoon was made from silver dug up by the Roman warriors of 3,143 BC. It took them 27 years and 151 days to find the silver quarry. Then, the son of Juan Jose Stephanopolous IV designed a utensil he thought would enable babies to consume food easier. It took JJS 13 years to hammer the silver into the shape of a spoon like we know now. Unfortunately, JJS died at the young age of 23 (old at that time) when he sneezed while holding his breath, because at that time sneezing was considered an act of treason to the King and...and...and...and.'
You get my point?
Now, where was I?
So, I booked an excursion tour of Naples. Most excursions were between $30 and $50. It seemed worth it to me given it included transportation to/from the ship, I wouldn't have to fork out for taxi's, and it eliminated the guesswork.
Unfortunately, our guide was the kind that went on and on and on. Since our group was a mix of Spanish and English, everything she said had to be RE-said in the other language. So...she would go on and on and on and on and on...and you're dying listening to it....and then she would announce 'Ok, now I will say it in English'. ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! PLEASE KILL ME NOW!!!
Naples was an enchanting city with very narrow streets in the old center....no more than the width of a typical alley. Scooters outnumbered cars. What cars existed were SUB-compact....the kind you squeeze a maximum of 2 people into. These alley/streets extended out in all directions. Our mindset is normally set to send out a warning signal 'do not go down there!' when you see long narrow streets. But, these were the heartbeat of Naples commercial center. Tiny hole-in-the-wall tiendas lined the alleyways and arched tunnels enticed you to explore a short extension off the main 'arterials'.
Well, let's just let the photos do the talking.
|Good Morning Naples!!|
|The volanco Mt Vesuvius seen from the ship.|
|The Cathdral of Naples|
|The floor had a mesmerizing design. Though actually flat, it looked like raised blocks of stone. That's my tennis shoes.|
|Everyone has a ceiling like this, right? How boring!!|
|In the 'chapel' inside, but adjacent, to the preceding cathedral.|
|A typical 'alleyway' street in the commercial heart of Naples.|
|At this time of year, everyone seemed to be selling intricate scenes of Christmas.|
|This hearse (equivalant of a Volvo station wagon) was trying to make a turn but vendors had to remove their ware for it to succeed.|
|Several stores sold figurines of well known people. Don't know why. I thought it was funny the one of QEII. Looks like an older man in drag!! LOL|
|For some reason, the curled chili peppers are very popular here. Dunno why.|
|Scooter, Scooter, Scooters....buzzing around everywhere. No 4 x 4 Ford F250's jacked up so you have to pole-vault to get into the drivers seat. No arrogant Hummers. It's not about ego, it's about practicality.|
|If you ever wonder about the size of some of these places, always look at the size of the people in the photo.|
|I got back to my cabin and the crew assigned to clean my room left me this....uh....a towel bear or a doggie?|
I headed for the hot tubs.
Next port....Rome, Italy
...to be continued!!