Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In Search of Italian Gelato

Every single day we have spent in Italy has been jam packed from early in the morning till late at night. Today, our last day in Italy, was spent doing the complete opposite. We did nothing, actually that's not particularly accurate. We lay by the pool, with a view of Mt Vesuvius in the background, we spent the day reading, eating, sun baking and just relaxing. We have had our fill.
Our view from the pool. Not bad.

Last night we went for dinner with the nice Italian soon to be husband of Sue but she unfortunatly (and selfishly) didn't take to him. I refuse (thank you Ingrid) to believe it was a ploy.

Scarily enough, really actually, quite scary, I haven't had a gelato today, I was SO sick after yesterday's pig out that the thought of gelato today makes me feel, well sick! What a perfect ending.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Master Plan in Sorrento

Before I tell you my master plan allow me to tell you about our day. Today was Pompeii day. The weather was looking particularly ominous so we packed the umbrella's we bought at Lucca for 4 euros each (I bargained Sues down from 5 - go me). As we arrive at Pompeii we congratulated ourselves on choosing a day that was overcast and not 40 degrees.

We had been walking for a short time when the rain started, not too bad we found shelter and hid for a while, then decided that it was only rain, continue.
I love this photo taken from the forum. It is Mount Vesuvius in the background. If you draw a triangle upwards from both tips you get what Vesuvius was like before it erupted.

Then it started to rain again, then it started to REALLY rain and I mean REALLY rain. (note the beautiful 4 euro umbrella I got for Sue. Magnificent I can find her anywhere.

We ended up jumping a barrier to seek shelter, bit naughty but I wouldn't let anybody stand on the mosaics. Truly.

The tour groups in Pompeii are a complete nightmare and you need to run when you see the, We were trying to squeeze through a tiny doorway and waited till about 50 of one group went through then another one turned up. I put my hand up and said stop and they wouldn't be able to go through until they let us through. Sometimes it's good to be bossy.

The streets had turned into a waterfall. Thankfully somebody had the sense 2000 years ago to build stepping stones across the street, they came in very handy today.

This picture is my foot in a rut that was made by the wheels on a horse and carriage 2000 years ago.

I love this next picture, it is a welcome mat that actually stands for beware of the Dog.

The most important part of the day was discovering that Sorrento has the best Gelato in the whole of Italy. Seriously. I had two scoops from one Gelateria and it was so good I ended up breaking my record and had a second cone at another shop, it was chocolate mousse and Bacci, I'm sure there will be a few of you that will be pleased to know I felt dreadfully sick after the second cone. It was worth it though. *sigh*

This is the view from our balcony, it is so beautiful (well as long as that Volcano keeps quiet).

We were meant to go to Rome tomorrow for our last night, but we loving Sorrento so much (and the Gelato and the breakfast her, OMG cake again and if you want there is French champagne, just sitting there ready to be drunk) so we are staying put. Our last full day tomorrow :(

Now onto the Master plan. Late this afternoon I was out wandering the streets of Sorrento when I happened upon an interesting shop (in Sorrento you don't find a shop you happen upon it) that sold local wine, it was also a bar/restaurant. I went in to look at the wine and a very nice 'older gentlemen' asked me if I needed some help. I asked his opinion on a bottle and we got to talking. He told me that he spent 14 years of his life in Melbourne and made his fortune there in a nightclub, I asked why he came back and the conversation went on from there, he left a great love in Australia, I told him how in love with Italy I was yadda, yadda, yadda. THEN he said to me, (imagine Italian accent here) tonight you come back and we drink wine and talk. I told him quite delightedly that would be lovely and I would bring my sister. He said (accent again) no just you. So I am sending Susan. He will fall in love with Sue, being the very rich man he is (and he is) he will set her up here in great style and I GET TO VISIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

On To Sorrento

Very, very sad to leave Venezia.

We have arrived in Sorrento tired, weary and wet. A quick dinner and beds are now looking very tempting. There was torrential rain just after we arrived and somehting happened just around the corner from where we were having dinner as many police cars and a fire engine all came screaming along. It was very entertaining, also the Italian waiter told me he wanted to marry me next.

The train trip from Naples to Sorrento was one I will not forget in a hurry. I will be going back to Naples by boat and not by train I dont care how many steps I have to climb! The train was S.C.A.R.Y with people you only ever see in the movies, scary people, VERY scary people.

If it has stopped raining tomorrow we are going to go to Pompeii and Herculaneum (I can't even say that properly so I am reasonable confident it isn't spelt correctly.

Leaving you with a picture of a beautiful flower arrangment, except it isn't a flower arrangement it is a candle.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Exporing Venice...and beyond

We've just done the .......and beyond part. We decided late this afternoon to do a tour of the Grand Canal, it took a LOT longer than we expected and when the vaporetto started heading out to sea we became extremely concerned. I told Susan as the older sister she needed to go and ask them where it was exactly that we were going but she was too chicken. Thankfully we ended up at San Marco 1 1/2 hours later where we got off as quickly as we could.

Our day started at the Doge's Palace. Ever since I first saw that word in my mind it read as Doggy and doggy it has stayed, even sue calls it doggy. The hardest thing has been to make sure I don't say doggy out loud. Anyway the Dogge palace was brilliant. We would have loved to go to the Basillica but the line was miles long (all standing on planks as the water had flooded the square).

I went to the Frari Church instead and Sue went shopping. We still tried the Gelato in the ever hopeful off chance it would be as good as Rome. No luck.

Venice by sunset.

An Orchestra made of Murano Glass.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Where all good Nun's and Pope's Go To Shop


I have to say Venice has very disappointing Gelato but the chocolate is good and it comes in very handy sizes big and big and it is good.

Everything is amazingly expensive and yes I KNOW you warned me. Everything is bought in by boat and I mean everything. DHL Couriers

And Miele washing machines.

The city itself is just amazing, both Sue and I have agreed that despite the not so good gelato this is our favourite place yet. Such a beautiful city.

Our hotel is at the end of this canal, if you click on the photo you will see the name.

This is what Sue had for lunch, it was the 'special bruschetta' and cost 6.50 euro.

This is peak hour (traffic jam) Venice style.

I should also point out that despite the gelato not being so good we are indeed still eating it. I mean please as if we wouldn't.

We started the day walking across the Rialto bridge to the markets, you can see why they call it Tourist Lane, nothing but junk. Thankfully we kept walking and came across the daily fresh produce markets that are used by the locals. We did try a peach but it was just ok. (If we had been 'local' I doubt he would have sold it to us).

Even the fruit and veg are brought in by boat.

We spent hours walking around just getting to know Venice. We ended up at the Accademia, which we walked through. We also walked through at least three Churches. I lit a candle for my Dad at the first Church as he isn't feeling to well and I felt sorry for him, then I lit a candle for Virginia in the second Church because I felt sorry for her! I would have taken a photo but no camera's allowed, very rude.

Sue has gone off to a Church tonight to listen to Vivaldi, I am minding the forte and going to bed early.

Friday, September 18, 2009