Sunday, March 09, 2014

Italy -- Day Two

When last we left off on our Italian adventure, my travel companions and I had just headed off to our hotel outside of Naples for some well-needed sleep.  I was extremely jet-lagged, having traveled there overnight from the U.S.  The other girls had arrived from Great Britain, so they weren't nearly as tired as I was.  I therefore asked if I could get the twin bed to myself instead of sharing the double bed with someone else.  The other girls agreed.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

But then, in the middle of the night, I was startled out of a deep sleep by the sounds of someone running across the room screaming, while someone else yelled out, "Hey, it's me!"  It turns out that one of the girls accidentally put her hand on the other girl's stomach in her sleep.  At first she kept dreaming that it was a jellyfish [the other girl was a little offended by the comparison], but then she woke up enough to realize it was another person.  This freaked her out, so she jumped out of the bed and ran across the room screaming.  The other girl tried to reassure her by saying, "Hey, it's me!"  But, as she realized soon thereafter, this wasn't particularly reassuring, given that they didn't really know each other.  She finally managed to find the light switch, which woke everyone up enough to figure out the situation.  Unfortunately, both girls then decided that the situation was deeply amusing.  In retrospect, it probably was, but I was far too tired to appreciate it at the time, and I was quite grumpy at their continued giggling and repeated whispering of the word "jellyfish."

I finally fell back asleep, but I didn't get nearly as much rest as I needed, so I was quite grumpy the next day.  This was unfortunate, since it turned out to be a day when I needed a greater reserve of patience than I could muster up in my sleep-deprived condition.

We didn't leave the hotel for about two or three hours after I got ready in the morning.  For some reason, the guys took forever to get ready.  This annoying to me, since I didn't really want to squander my limited time in Italy just hanging out in a hotel.  Fortunately, we did have a nice balcony where we could sit and look at the beach.  The beach turned out to be more interesting than usual, too.

I'm not quite sure what was going on, but there were horse carts like this constantly going up and down the beach.  I think it had something to do with fishing.  Whatever it was, it was interesting to watch.

Finally, the guys finished get ready, and we left for Pompeii. After we found parking, we set off for the ruins, which took a while to find.  And we walked slowly enough that I had time to take pictures of random buildings on the way.

I think it was sometime in the afternoon -- almost 24 hours after I arrived in Italy -- before we finally made it to something I had actually come to Italy to see.

About ten minutes after we entered the gates, I decided that I'd had enough of slow people, so I set off to explore Pompeii on my own.  The solitude was exactly what I needed.

I was also delighted to discover something that could probably use its own blog post -- the differences between traveling in India and traveling in Italy as a blond American woman.  In Pompeii, nobody even gave me a second glance.  It was incredibly relaxing and freeing to be able to wander around by myself without worrying about my safety and without ending up in a thousand photographs.

Although I was thoroughly enjoying my solitary adventure, I started to become concerned when I realized that Pompeii is kind of huge, and I hadn't seen anyone from my group for at least an hour.  I also had no way to contact anyone from my group.  I didn't have a phone, and even if I did, I didn't have anyone's phone number.  I don't even know Heidi's number, since it's just programmed into my phone, and she wasn't using her phone in Italy in any event.  I was also turned around enough that I didn't know how to make it back to the last place I'd seen them or the main gate or basically anywhere.  As it turns out, I wasn't in the main ruin part of Pompeii -- I was back in the part where they're setting up a reconstruction of what it might have looked like in the past, with vineyards and all.
But, I decided not to worry too much about it, and I continued wandering around and hoping that I'd come across them somewhere.  Finally, after about two hours, I did.  They hadn't been too concerned about me either, showing more confidence in my navigation skills than was probably warranted. At any rate, I was now in a much better mood, and I didn't mind sticking to the group for the rest of the day.  I also realized this that this permitted me to have some better photo ops.

We left the ruins as the sun was setting, then ate dinner at a nice-looking but rather misleading restaurant (one of the regular sneaky tourist restaurants in Italy where they show you one menu at the front but then give you a different, more expensive menu after you sit down).


And, with that, day two of my adventure in Italy was complete.


HanakoGal said...

It was fun to see you photos and hear more about the trip.


Cindy said...

Thanks, Heather! It's nice to know someone actually reads and appreciates what I write.