Published: August 5th 2012August 5th 2012
I arrived in Naples yesterday, after a very long train ride from Pisa. The train left at 6:49am and arrived in Naples just before 1pm. The train ride was fine, although long, and I napped for the first half. Once we hit Rome, the train compartment was full, as a Canadian couple took their seats and tried to deal with their large suitcases. The husband was not in good spirits, trying to lift his bag up on top of an already full luggage rack, and his wife tried to calm him down. When I heard them speaking English, I suggested that he try to sit my big backpack upright. I would have done so, but couldn't reach that high. He did, rearranged his bag so it wouldn't land on anyone's head, and we started chatting. Turns out they were on their way to the Amalfi Coast, and his wife had been working in Europe as principal for a summer school program. I think I might want to check out that school!
Anyway, once in Naples, I looked for food, tried to figure out the weird subway system (apparently they really only have one line; the other "line" they have is really a regional train that moves underground and is really slow and crappy). I made my way to the funicular stop, intending to reach my destination within minutes. Turned out that the funicular was under repair. It was suggested that I make my way to another subway stop and take another funicular since it would end up on the same major road I needed. I wasn't too happy about that, but since my phone wasn't connecting to a network, and I hadn't gotten any alternate routes from my B&B host, I did what was suggested. The funny part is that the guy working at the subway station who gave all this information, didn't speak any English. He called over some young guy to interpret, and the guy tried really hard to explain. Finally he said he'd show me the station I needed, and proceeded to go with me to the next station. I thought that was quite nice!
I made my way to the appropriate alternate stop, and started to walk. And walk, and walk and walk. About 5km later, a guy on a bike rides up and asks if I'm Sue. It's the B&B host! He takes one of my awfully heavy bags and rides up ahead. I realized afterward that it could have been a big mistake to do that, but he knew my name, so..... I found him just up ahead and he led the way into the B&B. He nearly reprimanded me for not confirming my booking with him, and had asked why I'd taken that route. He said he'd emailed me a few days earlier about that and about confirming my reservation. Turns out that he'd sent the email the day before, the one day I was without internet. Hmmmphh.
I relaxed for about an hour or so, cooled down, changed clothes, and set out to wander the city. I was still SOOOOOO tired, so I didn't make all that much progress. I got lost quite a few times, since, like Genoa, they don't label their maps with all the streets' names. Arrgh! The whole city felt like one big Yonge Street, with lots of stores, lots of street vendors, and lots of cars. I found less than half the sights I'd wanted to see before I gave up and went for dinner. My host had recommended this one restaurant to me, and I went there to eat. The pizza was pretty inexpensive, but I don't think I chose well. I had a pizza with zucchini (which, if you've eaten at Tov Li, you know it can be delicious!) but it was salty and not that great. Oh well. I started a walk back to the B&B, consulting my map every few minutes since the streets twist and turn a lot. At one point, these four older men called me over and asked where I wanted to go, and steered me in the right direction. In fact, a few minutes later, as I was walking up the street, one of them rode up on his moped and pointed me again in the right direction. How funny!
I think I still have some more exploring to do in this city, and hopefully I'll see some more of the sights on Thursday when I come back for one afternoon/night before heading back up to Rome.