Friday, May 20, 2011

Sweet Sorrento Moon

Yet again I've died and gone to heaven! Did I mention that this is the most beautiful place in the world? Did I say that I absolutely love the people?

Today has been a day of exploring and discovering. My driver and I drove from Castelli Romani all the way to Sorrento along the coastal road. The views have been breath-taking.

Some corrections on what I wrote yesterday in relation to no social issues... Did I say anything about prostitutes? I guess not! That's because we only discovered them today. All along the highway to the coast!

I kid you not. They stand on their own or in groups of three. One can spot them a mile off - they are the girls who are heavily made up by 10:00 am. They are the girls that stand on the side of the highway, dressed in next to nothing looking innocent and forlorn. They are the ones wearing leopard skin sweat pants with tight shirts - nothing underneath. They are the ones standing on the side of the road making eye contact with every male driver. Those are the prostitutes of the highway!

Then there's another kind of prostitute. He is a Nigerian that stands on the highway selling drugs. Just like the prostitute, he looks innocent enough but he's a bad runt. He's there for one reason only. Drug trafficking. You won't find him easily in the cities but if you drive just outside of the built up areas he'll be there waiting to take your money! Watch out for these creatures, they are equally bad.

Now onto happier thoughts... We drove to a place called Terracina. It's as old as the hills, has a Cuban feel. The buildings are all run down and in serious need of a few layers of paint, but it's quaint and beautiful. We spent a few hours here meandering around the streets. The people continue to be friendly.

Then we drove to Napoli. Napoli is a huge city. It is overcrowded and hectic. The traffic is incredible. The cars and motorbikes drive like they are the only ones on the road at any one time. Traffic rules are only guidelines, speeding regulations are a mere hinderance and solid white lines in the road mean nothing to these drivers. They have right of way, all the time. We were ducking and diving all the way. At times I had to shut my eyes and hold my breath in expectation of the crash - it didn't happen. The roads are extremely dangerous.

Motorbikes overtake anywhere and at any time. They cut one off and slow one down. They hoot for no logical reason and speed off just as you think you have hit them. We drover through Napoli at rush hour, which is not a pretty time at all. Cars pull in front of one, stop for no reason and hoot because they can. The drivers don't pull rude signs when they are angry, they simply throw their hand in the air.

We stopped at Sorrento for the night. I told my driver to pull into the first hotel he saw on the side of the road and we were so fortunate that this place is absolutely magnificent. Our hotel, called Mega Mare is on a cliff overlooking the mediterranean and the town of Sorrento. The views are spectacular. Tina Arena once sang a song called "Sweet Sorrento Moon", a love song about this place.... I'm singing that in my mind and can totally "feel" the vibe.

Our hotel room has large doors opening onto a balcony, which looks onto the sea. When we arrived we asked the hotel owner to refer us to a good restaurant. He did more than that, he called a restaurant and arranged that they come and collect us from the hotel and take us into town - about a 5 km drive. The young fellow collected us at 7:30 pm and rushed us through the traffic. Thank goodness I had my imaginary breaks at my feet because the more he sped up the more I slowed down. The more recklessly he drove the more I swerved out of the way.

He took us to a lovely little restaurant in town and we were treated like kings.

After we arrived our driver went into the bathroom and emerged about 10 minutes later as our waiter! I had mussels for starters and grilled Calamari for mains. Dessert was a chocolate something. When dinner was over our waiter gave us a complimentary drink. I have no idea what it was but it was black and tasted awful. When dinner was over the chef collected the car and drove us back to our hotel!

The drive back was a lot quieter than the drive to the restaurant because the streets were a lot quieter.

Tomorrow we will look for another hotel close to where we are and attempt to stay in this region for at least another three days, after which we will head towards Tuscany.

I love Italy!

~ Vanessa

1 comment:

  1. I just 'died and went to heaven' just looking at the photos. Awesome stuff. Thanks for sharing. Love you lots, take care and enjoy the rest of your holiday.