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Note: The photos in the posts below are mine. Every day when I get back from touring, I'm choosing the best ones to share. Having my laptop on this trip is a wonderful thing!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Napoli: Home of Pizza, Mount Vesuvius & Vespas

So the verdict for today ended up being wandering the streets of Naples. Honestly, while I’m sure there is some truth to the warnings (i.e. Beware of pickpockets!), it’s never happened to me and still hasn’t after today. Like any city, you just have to be alert. I’ve never had a problem here or anywhere I’ve traveled.

As I wandered around the small streets of Naples, I found a great whole-in-the-wall pizzeria (with no tourists anywhere in sight) and had a piece of authentic Naples pizza. YUM! After that, I walked until I could walk no more! I didn’t really have a plan for the day. Before I headed off the ship, I slept in (for the first time since the cruise started), had breakfast on deck (for the first time since the cruise started) and sat in the sun (for the first time the cruise started). Unlike Caribbean cruises, when you choose to see Europe by ship, it’s a lot of work – so much to see and do, you are literally running from dawn until dusk. (I guess you don't HAVE to do that, but you know me - I want to see and do everything!) Anyhow, by the time I got off the ship it was almost 12:30pm and I was back on board by 5pm. Any longer than that and my feet would have given out and I seriously would have passed out from the heat. I know I keep mentioning that… sorry, but it is just so unbelievably hot. Moral of the story: Do not go to Europe in the Summer! Unless you have a free cruise ;-)

My one goal for the day was to make it to the top of Naples. Naples is built into the side of a mountain and has several funiculars (elevators built into the mountain) that take people to the top. I had no map of the city (don't ask) so I just wandered around until I found the funicular and made my way up. Definitely not for the claustrophobic. Some funiculars I’ve been in places are built on the external side of the mountain so you have a view all the way up (like Santorini, Greece), but the ones in Naples are build ‘inside’ the mountain and go up more than 1,200 ft in a tunnel! After some more wandering around once at the top, I finally found a vantage point to get an amazing view of the Bay of Naples. The last time I did this was the first time I was ever in Naples, which I believe was back in 1997 with Shaun (the ex). I remember when we got to Naples on that trip, all the vespas whizzing by really freaked him out – he,he! He wasn’t really the avid traveler that I was, but he tried to be a good sport about it as I dragged him across Europe. We actually stayed in a hotel up at the top with an even more amazing view. I’ve always remembered that and wanted to come back and see it again. Mission accomplished.

Once back on board, we set sail right around sunset and it was spectacular. As we sailed past Mount Vesuvius (think Pompeii), looking back at Naples and seeing the sun set behind it was just breathtaking. Sunsets are one of the very best things about cruises – there’s nothing like being on deck, feeling the sea breeze, watching the tug and pilot boats help navigate the cruise ship out of port and watching a brilliant sunset.

Tomorrow is a day at sea – which my feet are so thankful for! And I have a massage appointment at the spa of course ;-) The next leg of the cruise is the Eastern Med – Greece & Turkey. Can’t wait!



Brianna said...

Hi Gina. I love reading your blogs. They are so cool. I can't imagine walking all day in that blazing hot sun. Hope your having a good time.