Sunday, April 10, 2011

Catching up...Slowly

After being off line for several days totally screwed up my plan to have you along with me every step of the journey, I'm trying to figure out a way to take the lumps out of the gravy, as it were. So, having just posted the last of my photos from Florence to Facebook, here's my running but unpublished-til-now notes of my trip from Florence to Naples, where I caught a local train to Sorrento. I appreciate your bearing with me.

9:10 a.m. Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Train to Naples left on the minute. Sunny day, going to be warm. One problem with traveling to other countries in early spring is that you're never sure how to pack for the weather. I've been wearing just hoodies most of the time, with no shirt underneath, and usually carry my heavy coat's liner, which serves as a light jacket. Getting on the train (I walked the mile or so from the hotel) I shed both my hoodie and the liner. Still warm. I do hope I won't get off the train in Naples without them, but I certainly wouln't put it past me.

No breakfast, though I did grab a cup of "cafe Americano" at a marvelous little cafe inside the terminal, called "McDonald's". As always, scalding hot and I had four sips before pitching it.

Sitting across from an Italian gay couple. We've not spoken.

Last night when getting ready for bed, I took off my neck pouch, which I would recommend for anyone traveling anywhere, to find the cord had broken. Had I not been wearing a tuck-in shirt, it may well have fallen out without my noticing, and I'd be without my train tickets and passport. So be advised...nothing is perfect; a "stop the presses!" bit of news to you, I'm sure.

Praying for no hassles from the conductor or anyone else. We shall see.

9:41 a.m. I'm seated facing backward, which brings my "life-as-a-train-ride" analogy back in focus. Beautiful countryside...lots and lots of tunnels, of course. Riding backward, something I'd like to photograph comes into view and by the time I get my camera out, it's gone. On reflection, this entire trip has been an example of the theory. Riding forward through time, I saw it coming long before it arrived and had lots of time for anticipation. Once I got here, I changed seats, as it were and now everything is going by so fast I barely have time to reflect on it. Thus, I suppose, why I've been taking so many photos.

Seem to have either left the mountainous region or are in a very big valley. Rich green grass, fields being either planted or prepared for planting. Trees beginning to bud. Long, low grey-bottomed cumulus clouds slowly trying to cover the entire sky.

10:41 Rome. Train pulled in five or six minutes ago. 3/4 of the passengers got off, and while I'd assumed more would be getting on, none have, so far. Rome is a big city and coming into it is like coming into any big city anywhere...except for a section of an ancient aqueduct and the ruins of what appeared to have been a temple, surrounded now by the clutter of a major rail yard, haunted not so much by the ghosts of ancient Romans but the battered hulks of old trains.

10:50 New seatmates...a nice couple from Bermuda, traveling to Naples to catch the boat for Capri.
She's a writer of children's books.

Most pleasant conversation, and so nice to hear/speak English after a couple of weeks of traveling alone. Now to catch the local train for Sorrento. The adventure continues.

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