The trip report continues…
Friday afternoon after checking out Hef’s pool:
Walked around Sorrento and had dinner at a restaurant in town – pasta. I had homemade taglioni with basil and tomato. Back at the hotel had a “short coffee” from the Nespresso machine I want to buy and take home to California. Then walked more, had gelato at a 150 year old bar/gelateria, then got LOST coming home. Inadvertently walked a TON.
One of the great things about the Hilton is its location. It’s perched on a hillside with amazing views and is a short, easy ten minute walk into town and to the train station. It’s just one main road to walk down, past houses, shops, parks, etc. We walked it multiple times a day so we were both really surprised to find ourselves lost! At night!
The main hazard in Sorrento is fast motor scooters. I don’t think it crossed either of our minds that we would be mugged or anything like that. It was half fun, half frustrating. We’d say, “Let’s walk up to that next rise in the road to see if it comes out into a street that looks familiar.” We’d get to whatever it was we were aiming for to find that we had to walk even higher to see anything. Or we’d come to a fork in the road and need to randomly choose.
At one point we did the George Costanza opposite method and purposely picked whichever direction felt WRONG and went that way.
We ended up walking completely back to town and starting over. I have to say, though, my Tieks shoes were GREAT and tired as we were, my feet weren’t sore.
There are no street signs in Sorrento. It’s just really not an Italian thing I guess.
Lots of lizards here, similar to the ones in Southern California but with green backs. The climate and vegetation is totally like Southern California too. I guess we really do have a Mediterranean climate. There are also TONS of pigeons and seagulls here. (Beach town.) Lots of cats, many orange. Lots of dogs, but mostly smaller ones though we did see some boxers and labs.
One afternoon we also saw a man with a HUGE Great Dane at Gelateria David.
Saturday…quiet day in town with a siesta. That’s the plan. Watching some Italian TV at night. TV is in English (from BBC), French, German, Russian, and of course Italian. I found a newscaster I like on RAI 24 which is like their version of CNN. Her name is Silvia Balducci and I now follow her on Twitter.
Italian TV has some cool and weird game shows. Nothing quite as good as Japanese game shows, but they’ve got some entertaining ones. We also discovered Alice (pronounced ah-LEE-chay) which is their food channel.
GREAT meal – a big lunch at a cafe in town. Feet so tired. (I guess my feet DID get tired after all.) Spent a quiet day locally. That lunch was good. The waiter was good. Love Italian waiters. Waitering is a serious and respected profession but they aren’t assholes like in France.
Sunday: Pompeii. Breakfast at hotel of course, train to Pompeii Scavi (“excavation”) on Circumvesuviana train. Accidentally got off at the station right before Pompeii, which when we looked closer was deserted and full of grafitti. Luckily we saw right away we were wrong and were able to jump back on.
Lunch at Pompeii snack bar (mediocre pizza slices and cokes) and dinner on the patio of the hotel. Cacio e pepe pasta — total comfort food! Our room came with vouchers for a free three course dinner which had stuff on it like octopus and rabbit so we told the waiter we were vegetarian. Challenging and this meal was like a comedy of errors. At one point they even brought us the dessert (macedonia of fruit) for the table next to us, set it down, were kind of firm in saying it was ours (even though Scott ordered cake from the dessert tray and was in the middle of eating it) then they realized the fruit belonged at the table next to us so they took ours from in front of us and walked over and handed them to those people instead.
Good bottle of Pinot nero.
We kept seeing “macedonia of fruit” on menus. I googled it and apparently it is just another word for fruit salad. Anyway, it’s a popular restaurant dessert I guess though I don’t think Italians really eat a lot of dessert after dinner. Gelato seems to be an afternoon snack kind of thing and the meal is the meal: not really a time to have sweets. At least from what I could observe in ten days.
Coming up next time: Even more trip report!