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Published: September 14th 2015
We had a flight from Naples to London Gatwick Saturday evening. We caught an after train from Paestum to Naples and then took the local bus to the airport
. You can get tickets for the bus at the tobacco shops in the train station. They were like 3 euros a pop. The walk to the bus stop is super sketchy. I barely recommend it during daylight hours and wouldn't recommend it at all after dark. You exit out the front of the station and there's a plaza out front across the street, you will go to the side with the McDonald's and cross and walk straight until you reach the end where there's another plaza with a bunch of busses, it's also by a McDonald's. The airport bus is the furthest away from the curb. If you don't have a lot of stuff and you feel comfortable tourist-ing in Naples, I would suggest getting food and stuff before heading to the airport. There weren't a ton of options on site. It took us about an hour and change to get checked to the airport and get checked in and through security, but that was because there was a huge group in front of us and each of them had some sort of problem with their booking and/or luggage. So plan accordingly, but you really don't have to get there super duper early. It was a really modern airport and wifi worked, clean bathrooms and such, but there were also few comfortable places to sit and because our flight was international there was a final customs check to get through to our gate. Aside: this happened to me several times on this trip, but it was really the most glaring event. While I was in line waiting to check-in there were two British women behind me and they just kept encroaching on my personal space and having this rather odd conversation that made it clear that they literally did not see me. Like they didn't see a person in front of them in that line and they were definitely next and there was not a person there. It was such a surreal experience and worst it was one I had multiple times - this not being seen- and I know it was because of my race. Le sigh.
Flight was uneventful and we arrived in the North Terminal at Gatwick and made our way to the Bloc hotel in the South Terminal where we were bunking for the night. OMG! PEOPLE the transfer between terminals at Gatwick takes at minimum 30 minutes. this is just the walking and train to transfer between the terminals. this doesn't account for the additional 15-20 mins it can take you to get to your gate once you get through the terminal AND it doesn't account for security. I am NOT joking. PLAN accordingly.
We got to meet up with familia for an in airport breakfast before heading off on our to the lighthouse section of our UK trip and the official start of our honeymoon. It's such an odd and wonderful thing to see familiar faces in unfamiliar places. Picked up our car (used Europcar again) and headed to Lewes! We arrived at Monk's House before they opened and so we wound up just driving around the area after a failed attempt to check into our hostel. It was AMAZING to get to be in V.W.'s home and see her writing space and walk through her garden and touch the tree that her ashes were spread. It was just so awesome! I couldn't stop smiling at every turn :D And I couldn't stop thinking, she was here! and there! and here! I AM HERE! loved it. After Monk's House, we drove to Vita Sackville West's home, Sissinghurst Castle Garden, because I wanted to see the Hogarth Press, THE press that V.W.'s first works were printed on! and Susan wanted to see a proper British garden. She assures me the gardens were lovely, but when we arrived my ankle was already fatigued and I had to climb three flights in a tower to see the press so I wasn't much up for seeing the garden.
We went back to Lewes and stopped into an emergency clinic to see about my ankle, got some good tips and such about walking without compensating with my knee (you didn't hurt your knee!), but it was too long passed the initial incident to get any other help. Then we had dinner at a pub on the main street in the town. It was called the Pelham Arms, was a newer place and we enjoyed our meal, but all the locals had very particular complaints about the quality of the Sunday roast. So take that as you will.
We went back to our hostel, the YHA at South Downes, and got checked in. It's clean, comfortable, a lot bit of road noise if you want to have the windows open at night and a bit of a musty smell, but otherwise pretty pleasant. AND let's end with an amusing anecdote: i had this BRILLIANT idea for a conceptual piece that involved me collecting water from the river she drowned herself in. ignore the creepy factor of that. anyhoo, we make our way to the river and it's like pretty low and there are like huge walls up the sides (found out later it's a tidal river) and there are CLEARLY no safe ways down to the water. so of course we proceed over a bridge that says it is extremely weak and shall collapse at any moment. i spot this like boat launch, and we ignore some warning signs to not use it and i sort of surf/slide down the launch slope on an inch of muck/mud/earthshit in sneakers and then get to the bottom and decide hmm if i try and step down off of this i'll probably sink in like knee deep and then get stuck and then drown in this fucking river too and that's WAY to fucking conceptual for me. so i turn back, unbeknownst to me, however, susan is going to save the day and has removed her shoes, because her feet are strong and grippy!, but nope they are not and she's fucking free sliding down this damn boat launch towards me and i somehow manage to stop her, brace us and push her back up the slope all while laughing and sliding backwards and it was a clusterfuck of an adventure and i got nothing to show for it except this story and some muddy shoes :D
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