Postcard 4 – Thursday – Dublin and Naples

We’re up at five and ready for our taxi at five thirty. I’ve received a text informing me that Christopher Grogan is the driver and will be outside the hotel at 5:29, now that’s service.

As we set off he receives a text warning of a multi vehicle accident on the airport road – we could really do without this! However, Christopher’s made of sterner stuff and whisks us off in another direction. We’d left plenty of time but not being stationary on a motorway certainly feels better than clock watching and we pull up at T1 with plenty of time to spare.

We’re on Ryanair so there’s always some minor anxiety regarding this week’s baggage size but we have no issues and board with ease.

Naples is very efficient and we’re through customs with only a minor hold-up getting our passport stamped. It makes me angry that we’re now ‘third country aliens’ but it is what it is and we count the days to ensure we’re within the 90 in 180 that, ironically, we voted for when we were in!

The airport bus is easily found and we’re packed in like sardines as the driver takes us across the city ‘wacky races’ style. The Italians really do like the sound of their horn and the cacophony is a mixture of “get out of my way – I’m coming through regardless” and “here I am, just so you know”

The Pilgrim has found an AirBnB at a little place called Castellamare di Stabia just before Sorento and at less than £100 for two nights for the apartment, it’s a steal.

We take advice regarding the train to take and have to pay as the Circumvesuviana line is not included in its entirety with the Interrail Pass.

I’m beginning to discover that ‘giving a shit’ is not part of the Italian psyche but it is consistent so we’ll need to get used to it.

The state of the train is poor in the extreme, it’s covered in graffiti (which I believe is an Italian word) and rammed with people although, on this occasion, we manage to bag a couple of seats.

It’s a fifty minute journey through some poor districts but the coastline looks nice and on the odd stretch that’s near the sea, I can see why people flock here in the summer.

The apartment is on the first floor accessed by stone/marble steps and we’re greeted like long lost friends by the host’s mum. She explains in broken English the rudiments of using the keys and the heating/air con (we won’t need the latter and will need the former). The apartment has it’s own kitchen, good shower and toilet with a bidet; I do like a bidet, and all complemented with a separate bedroom.

We drop our rucksacks and wander along the coast line, it’s not pretty yet the harbour is littered with boats that would command eye-watering price tickets. We later learn that we’ve walked the wrong way and when we do go North for an evening meal on the front tomorrow we’ll be rewarded with a wonderful dinner in very pleasant surroundings.

Today, however, we decide on a trip down the coast to Sorrento and it’s well worth the extra train mileage although we’re starting to learn that the Circumvesuviana is permanently rammed and uncomfortable although there is an alternative which generally runs empty. It costs 15 euros whilst the others are a mystery but vary between 1 euro and 3 euros depending on the whim of the ticket clerk. (We were once given a 1.20 euro ticket and a 3.20 euro for the same journey – it’s all such fun!)

We enjoy a very pleasant meal in the square but the Pilgrim is rewarded with finger nail in her salad which results in a free main meal that commutes to a 20% discount by the time we leave.

Sorrento is a lovely place though and would be worth a visit in the sunshine.

Enjoy the snaps. G x

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