Archive for ‘Italy’  

Italy : Naples no more

Wednesday, 16th April 2008

Sorry we’ve been quiet for so long, net access is flippen expensive here. After some thought we decided that three days in the Naples area was enough. The weather also have not been playing along.

Yesterday we took a ferry over to Capri, but unfortunately we chose the worst day weather wise. The wind was near gale at times with scattered showers. We braved walking around on the island streets and also a bit our of town to some of the older buildings. After getting soaked once we decided that was it and had some pizza while waiting for the ferry back.

We took the 8:55 Train from Naples this morning to Bari and it’s here that our plans have started to change. We were suppose to get the ferry tonight from here (Bari) to Durres in Albania. Only there is no discount with our rail passes and they are chanrging 120 euros for the one way trip! We found out that a longer trip all the way to Greece is covered by our passes and we only pay a small supplement.

So we’ve decided to make the first big deviation from our plans and go straight to Greece tonight. In the process we are loosing out on seeing Albania and Macedonia, but we were only planning on spending 1.5 days in each of them, and 120 euros does not make sense in that case.

We’ll try to catch up in more details soon (in Greece), but in the mean time I have to run, Marizanne is waiting by the bags at the port about 3 km away and this place is charging 5 euro per hour for internet access! Unbelievable!

Cheers Italy, Hello Greece! Chat soon, jan

Italy : Naples

Sunday, 13th April 2008

We’ve arrived in Naples after a very quick train trip from Rome, only 2.5 hours. We went straight to a hostel, Ostello Mergellina, outside the centre of town and quite a walk from everything.

We were only planning on staying 3 nights to explore the entire region, but decided on 5 nights, after looking at everything there is to do. At the moment we are walking through the old town of Naples and will have an early night.

Tomorrow we are taking an early train to Herculaneum and Pompeii. After that we will have 3 more full days to explore Capri, Sorrento, Salerno, Positano and Amalfi.

The weather has not been too great, but at least it is not raining at the moment.

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Italy, Vatican : Roma day 2 and 3

Saturday, 12th April 2008

On day 1 in Rome we did all the main attractions in the city: Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Vittorio Emmanuel II, the Forum and the Colloseum (which was closed unfortunately). As we only arrived that morning, we were completely bushed after taking in all the sights and had an early evening.

Yesterday morning was a little rainy, so we decided to do a load of washing first at a local laundromat. Around noon the rain stopped and we headed back into town to see the St Peters Basilica. On the way there we went passed various other lessor known sights including Piazza Navona.

The Cathedral was quite spectacular and it was in noticably better shape than when I (Jan) was inside 12 years ago. The restoration really has paid off. We again took way too many photos but my 70 – 200 lense really came into it’s own. Unfortunately we were too late for the Sistine Chapel and will come back.

After a seriously long walk through what we thought would be a nice park (but which was not!), we ended up in the Trastevere area. This is supposed to be an area with funky cafes and restaurants, but the weather was closing in again. So we ended the day with a lovely pizza at a restaurant just around the corner from the Pantheon.

Today we went straight back to the Vatican City but had to queue for about an hour to get in. The entry maxed out our budget for the day, but it was well worth it.

It was absolutely packed inside and we had to wrestle our way through many of the narrow areas and corridors. We eventually got to the Sistine Chapel after being led through a maze of rooms we weren’t interested in. The Chapel really is something special but the hoardes of people make it difficult to fully appreciate. Nevertheless we had a fantastic time.

Tomorrow morning we are taking the 10:49 train to Naples where we will spend another 3 days exploring the dozens of sights.

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Italy : Arrival in Roma

Thursday, 10th April 2008

What was supposed to be 4 train trips, turned into 5 after the second train was delayed yester morning, and we missed our connection in Montpellier.  As a birthday present to Jan, we booked a sleeper coach from Nice to Rome and it was absolutely heaven!

 We arrived in Rome at 09:45 this morning and were approached by various hostel “agents”. In the end we took an offer from one of them and are staying in a Bed & Breakfast very close to the station for quite cheap.

Thanks so much for all the birthday messages on the blog and all the text messages yesterday, I really appreciate it. I was not able to reply to all the texts, but please know that they are all very special.

We are off to explore Rome and will report back tomorrow on our first of 3 days here.