Monday, May 5, 2008


We crossed the Bay of Naples on a half hour ferry ride to the town of Sorrento. A picturesque harbor town, it is frequented by many British and German tourists. We stayed here for four nights at a campground built on terraces with views overlooking the town. This was our base for viewing more great sites -- Pompeii, Vesuvius, Ercolano, Capri. Public buses and trains took us everywhere we needed to go, and without our bikes we once again we blended into the tourist crowds.

The bus ride up Vesuvius was itself worth the price of admission. Steep and winding, and often not wide enough for two tour buses to pass each other. Our bus driver had a showdown on our descent, making the uphill bus back up to a wider spot in the road so we could pass. The whole time cars and scooters flowed through the gap between the noses of the bus. At the end of the road it is a short walk to the rim of the crater, where steam still seeps from the rocks. It was howling wind, with 50 mph gusts, so the view below as hazy from dust and smog. Thanks to the gentleman at the curio shop at the end of the trail, we were able to locate Pompeii in the distance. He was able to point out the site in four languages, rattled off in succession when asked.

We spent an afternoon in Ercolano, a town also destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. This is a smaller site than Pompeii, but what makes it different is it was covered by mud flows, instead of hot ash. As a result, charred wood and iron grates were preserved.

Our last day we took the ferry to the island of Capri. We walked the narrow streets, like mice in a maze. Wide enough for just two people with walls towering on either side preventing a view to orient oneself, we walked for a mile, emerging just a few hundred feet from where we started. Most touists who wish to reach the high point of the island, Monte Solaro, take a single-person ski lift to the top. We opted to walk, hiking through a forest path lined with spring flowers. We had a beautiful day, and the waters of the Mediterranean were azure blue. A nice ending to our stay in Sorrento.
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Anonymous said...

Hi Doris and John,
Gwen and I were just saying on our walk today "I wonder where Doris and John are right now!" I love the internet! Great pictures, keep em coming. Looks like another dream has come true for you guys........That bread and cheese looks so good LOL Have a grea trip! Lynn

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