Friday, September 23, 2011

Sweet Sorrento

Well, I had resigned myself to the fact that Italy was not the country I had believed it to be.  I had fallen out of love with it and totally inlove with Greece.  Until now.  Sorrento was a sweet town with friendly Italians and a lot of them actually spoke English and were kind to us when we tried our terrible Italian on them. 

We visited Pompeii - way too large - but the kids loved the dead bodies.  Kept them entertained the whole time we walked through it, them hoping to find another body!  Which was good for us because it gave us a chance to appreciate the size and beauty of the place, even if they were being so morbid!

Then the next day we climbed Mt Vesuvius, we got a bus from the train station most of the way up.  Dylan sat next to an American lady who he proceeded to educate in all things Pompeii (most of which was pretty acurate), I tried not to cringe too much about the facts his fantastical mind had somehow created.  However, the lady was most impressed with his understanding and seemed to think he would make a great teacher.  (Oh boy, Jaz did you read that?)  Mt Vesuvius was very impressive, but the temperature dropped so dramatically that we did not stay long.

After surviving the unexpected antartic wind atop the volcanoe, we made our way down to the Herculeum.  Wow and double wow.  I loved the Herculeum more than Pompeii.  The mosaic artworks and the frescos were everywhere and in such amazingly good condition that I almost felt like I was stepping back in time.  We ended up with a self appointed guide towards the end who told us he worked there.  Then he told us some amazing facts and the owners of the most grandest of houses in the Herculeum.  His English as pretty good, but I still struggled to understand him because he spoke so quickly!  He was quite hilarious too the way he described things like the toilet etc.  As it turned out he was just another one of those "helpful" guys that like to get money after they "help" you.  Unfortunately for him Vaughan only had a few pathetic coins to give him, I think he would have gotten more if Vaughan had had a five euro note because he was so funny.

We rented a car the last day and drove to Positano and along the Amalfi coast.  It was beautiful and we soaked our toes in the water (having thought togs were not going to be needed because of the weather) and ate lunch outside under an umbrella overlooking the waves crashing up on the black stoney beach.  The food we ate there was the best we had had in Italy.  The kids had a Calzone and I had the Spagetti Carbonara.  Vaughan had Spagetti with garlic mussles - totally yummy!

Ok gotta go and have some lunch, the family are a bit bored waiting for me to do this.

Home tomorrow!


P.S.  Please nobody see my spelling and grammar mistakes (remember I am a zombie right now).

Greece has captured our hearts!

We want to come back!  We love Paros!

Paros the island where you swim and snorkel and swim and snorkel and eat and drink and build sandcastles and swim and snorkel.  The people on Paros are lovely and friendly and best of all most of them speak English!  Oh how I have missed those easy conversations in English.

Before we arrived in Paros I was thinking I could quite easily go home, but now, I want to make Greece (Paros inparticular) my home.  We have been thoroughly spoilt with the best apartment at our accommodation, and food that tastes fantastic and beautiful sunny hot days.  I got really sunburnt the day I decided not to apply lotion for a few hours, eekkk.  But rest assured the kids have been so smothered in lotion that I can confirm that Dylan is coming home just as white (and boy is the kid WHITE) as he was when we left.  Kathryn has been blessed with her father's olive skin and has only to look at the sun to tan up.

Tanisha was with us for most of our week in Paros before sneaking off to Santorini for a couple of nights (without her togs that were left on our clothes stand), and then we all met up in Athens again for one last night before all going our separate ways home. 

The accommodation we had booked over the internet was a disaster as Tanisha arrived the night before us and her taxi driver refused to stop at our hotel.  The reason being was all the prostitues and drug addicts.  Needless to say she found another hotel and contacted us to met her there instead.  Unfortunately, we still managed to get off at the wrong metro station and with all our luggage cruised through the Cocaine district, which was very uncomfortable, made even more so by a shop owner stepping out to tell us to get the hell out of there.  Of course the children were completely oblivious, but I still felt sick to my stomach.  Never Athens again!  Vaughan and I have decided that we will fly direct to paradise Paros in future!

Our first night in Paros, having travelled four hours on a ferry, half an hour in a taxi and then lugged all our luggage to the top apartment (with the best view) at 11.30pm ended with Kathryn tripping on her way up the stairs to show Uncle Nik and Aunty Bess our apartment, and in the process chipping her front top adult tooth and spreading blood all over the place.  Bloody Hell!  So we will be booking a Dentist appointment when we get home.

Anyway despite the dramatic beginning to our time in Paros, we had an absolutely wonderful and relaxing time and really hope to go back some day.

Well darlings next blog (if I get to it before I get home) is about Sorrento in southern Italy.


P.S.  No photos sorry cos this computer in Singapore has no hole to stick a USB or otherwise!