Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Day 4 – Naples, Italy

It was a rough night at sea. The cabin was rocking and creaking all night. When we arrived near the Port of Naples at around 5:50 am things calmed down. The ship docked in Port at 7:00 am. Today we went off on our second excursion, “Amalfi Coast Drive and the Ruins of Pompeii”. We had to meet for the tour at 8:00 am so we had an extra 30 minutes from yesterday. Lumiére’s
opened at 7:00 am and we were there shortly after that. Today we finished breakfast before we left.

This tour met in the Walt Disney Theater most likely because of its size; there were three buses for this one. We were on the second bus, No. 17. By the time we left the port parking area it was around 9:00 am. The first stop was a furniture builder that specialized in inlaid patterns on tables and chairs. This stop also serves as a restroom break, and coffee. There must be some deal cut with the tour groups to bring tourist to the business. It makes a lot of sense. Anyway we were given a demonstration of how the inlaid patterns were made and it was very interesting. The finished tables and chairs were exquisite and had prices to match, however; for the skill that it takes and the man-hours that must be spent I think get what you pay for. After a 30 to 45 minuet stop we were on our way.

The tour involves traveling in a loop from Naples to the south around a point in the land the projects into the sea called Sorrento. As you meander around this point you go thru small towns on steep cliffs around the point as you travel to Amalfi. The ride from Naples thru Sorrento is enjoyable, it is not until you get around the south end of the point that every turn is a breath taking picture. I do not think I have seen anything better when you compare towns with scenery. These views compare with Hawaii and California’s Monetary Peninsula but with history to match. As the large motor coach traveled the narrow winding road, I realized the bus driver we had yesterday in Sicily was a third stringer. This guy passed everything if we were on a two lane road and just about pushed anything off the cliffs that was headed in our direction where we could not fit. As you looked out the window of the bus down some 500 to 1,000 feet over a little guard rail as you raced around hairpin curves you had to have faith in the driver Peppy. Now I know why they were handing out motion sickness pills when we checked in.

Our lunch stop was in a Hotel in the town of Amalfi. It is a four star hotel, if you believe the sign in front. All the waiters had white tuxes on for a lunch serving so that means something. Again bottles of white wine were left on the table and the waiter served us glasses of sparkling wine. Everyone surrounded the buffet style lunch of mozzarella cheese, French fries, pizza, meat tray, and salad. We all thought that was lunch. Then after we thought that was it, out came the main course of pasta and manicotti. Most had filled up on the appetizers thinking that was lunch. After the deserts where served to us we returned to the bus for a one hour trip over the mountains and on to Pompeii. As our tour guide stated it is now time for a siesta.

We were an hour late on our schedule so when we arrived a Pompeii were told we would have to be on a fast pace. We had to stop at a cameo factory where there was a bathroom stop, another prearranged shopping stop between the tour group and a local merchant. We got to see a 30 second demonstration how a cameo figure was carved out of a conch shell. I think that is what they said. There were some expensive items there you get 20 percent discount if you bring cash.

Our tour guide gave us all two way radios with ear pieces so we could hear him during the tour of Pompeii. I felt like security while we waited in the cameo factory. By the time we rallied the group it was raining fairly hard and the temperature dropped. Not to fear we had many vendors selling umbrellas and rain ponchos. Definitely not Disney quality but they way them surrounded use would have made Disney proud. I brought a jacket so I saved 3€. We made our way down the street to the entrance of the ruins and hiked our way up the entrance. It is a good incline to walk up. I did not realize how big the excavated ancient city of Pompeii was. You could have spent all day at this spot. Our tour guide did a nice job in an hour and a halve. We saw enough to say we were their.

We made it back to the ship about 6:00 pm and so did a lot of other groups. Needless to say we did not make the 6:30 pm “On the Nose” show before dinner. We departed Naples at around 7:30 pm. Captin Tom came on earlier and said the winds were strong and we were in for another rocky ride but the weather will get better tomorrow. It was Parrot Cay for dinner. On the off nights there are new menus at each of the three dinning rooms. Parrot Cay – Island Dinner, Animator’s – Show Dinner, and Lumiere’s – French Dinner. I had the grouper and Carol had the shrimp something. Both of us thought the meals were great. I should take a picture of the menu and posts it. We were tired from our trip and went to our rooms. Just going to stay on the ship tomorrow and take it easy by the pool at Olbia, Sardinia.


PURTYPAT1 said...

Thank you so much for sharing this trip of a life time with us.

Tonight you are eating French food & gourmet food, & my family is eating McDonalds. LOL

Great photos!!!! Would love to see a copy of the menus. Any problems with the jetlag(time difference?)

Looking foward to tomorrow's report.



ThreeCircles said...

Keep the pictures and the report coming! Enjoying it immensely!


Tina said...

Thanks for the trip reports. I love the pictures. I even went out and bought some dramamine for the roads. I can't wait to hear more about your trip.

MJGirl said...

Thanks for the photos as well... Enjoying your blog... I can't wait for this excursion in July!