Italy Day 2: Napoli

January 3, 2012

Welcome to day two! Yes I know it took long enough. This will be a long post, but day two will be contained to one post. Thank you decent internet connection! We begin day 2 waking up in Rome headed for Napoli, if only we knew the adventure that would await up ha:)
 The view from our hotel balcony. It was lovely in Rome at night, very cool. It felt safe enough that I kept our balcony door open...I did not do the same in Napoli. 
 Cute little chair to the right.
 Apartments to the left. Afterwards I headed downstairs for breakfast which consisted of Cafe Americano, bread, pineapple yogurt (ananas) and juice. Loved it day one, after 3 days I was done for!
 This is our little group waiting for the train to come up on the screen. For some reason trains don't show up until the last minute on the screen. 
 I just love how this picture of platform 28 turned out. 
 More of the train station. Shortly after this someone from our group said we needed to take off because our train would be at platform 9 shortly. We followed along thinking our group leader had given the direction, wrong. We got to the platform, and waited, and waited. Elle was no where to be found. A few of us wanted to walk down but for some reason whoever went didn't see her. I talked to one of the workers on the train about the fact that we had tickets, but the tickets were with our group leader. He didn't have a dern clue what I was asking. It is illegal to board a train without a ticket in Italy, it would have been a huge risk. Next thing we knew the train was taking off and we were left making a quick decision, which happend to turn out wrong. You see, since we couldn't find Elle we stayed off the train hoping she was looking for us as well. Instead she had boarded hoping to find us there, knowing about the risk of us boarding and hoping to find us before the ticket clerks did. The train pulled off, no Elle. Elle pulled off in the train, no group. 

We then went to the customer care center and tried to get these people to understand that we had tickets but missed our train and could they contact Elle. Nothing. Come to find out later Elle was panicking way worse than we were. I think being in a group of 10 people who were quite the jokesters made it a bit more lighthearted, even though we were probably freaking out inside. Finally something went through, the train conductor was calling customer care about us, they would fix it but it would cost 11 euro a piece. Way better than the 98 euro I was told by the man working the train earlier. We eventually got it exchanged for no fee at all PTL!

Then somehow Elle got a French woman to let her use her phone to text us, we had been having a problem with her international line and no one could contact her at all.

By this time we were all sitting on our luggage in the middle of the train station. One of the ladies from our group thought it was funny so she decided to take a picture of us. That didn't go over well with the clerks in Customer Care, they threatened to call the cops. Immediately after that a store clerk starting fussing us because we were sitting in front of her store. Again, no bueno. 

But the all in all cake topper came while we were still sitting on our bags hoping to God we could get to Napoli and a cop came up and told we had to move. We tried to explain our situation, but he didn't care. He was friendly, but could care less. Shortly after that we got our tickets exchanged and after about 2-3 hours we finally got on a train headed for Napoli. 
 Bar in the train station. Everything that sold food and had a bar was called a bar in Italy. 
 Finally we had made it to the train station in Naples and found Elle. It took long enough! The above picture is from inside the hotel building. The whole building was not the hotel, it contained a food store, bakery, apartments, and the apartments that were part of Napoli Centrale Bed and Breakfast. I wish I had gotten a picture of the huge doors out front, when they opened there was only a small space to step through and over to get through, but when completely opened cars were driven though it. 
 Napoli Centrale
 Dead as a doornail Christmas tree out front. 

 The courtyard at the hotel, full of tiny cars. The apartment Jeremy and I stayed in, along with another couple and the guys, was up the stairway through that open doorway. 
 Detail from the windows out front. 
 Our hotel room. 

 Out the window/tiniest balcony ever. 
 Down the hall of the apartment. 
 Our bedroom with the balcony door open. 
 The street outside our hotel in Naples. 

 Part of the Castle in Napoli. 

 This is what most of the streets looked like, very little walking room. And don't let this pic fool you, there were a lot of motorcycles. 
 By the time we got out and wandered the rain was too bad to take many pictures. We went to Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro and viewed a lot of ornate robes and objects relating to the saint. No pictures though, as was the theme of everything, they weren't allowed. We also went into the Cathedral dedicated to him and saw his crypt. I wrote in my journal that there was a jar full of bones there, but I can't remember. This is why I journal when I travel, I have no memory. The Cathedral was very beautiful and ornate. As were all of the churches in Italy. 
 Statue in the foyer exiting the Museo, yes I got fussed at for this. 
 After wandering in the ran around the museum district we went in search of a pizzeria that was rated in the top 10 of Napoli, El Presidente. When we got there they were closed, all of us jet lagged Americans were eating really early. We started to walk away, but they noticed how many people were with us and let us come in. It was the most amazing pizza I have ever had, I got the Margherita with ham and olives.  When you order olives on something in southern Italy they do not come sliced as they do in the States, they were whole. The best whole olives of my life!

 Jeremy's calzone looking thing. I can't remember what it was called, but it had sauce and cheese on top and it was filled with a ricotta mixture that had an egg taste. 
 We also thought that for 5 euros we would be getting a slice, the waiter said slice. We got whole pizzas, and 95% of us ate the whole thing. I ate all but one slice. 
 Naples at night. 
After dinner we came back to the hotel and relaxed a minute before going out that night, Oh the above pic is just the old wall in the hallway, I thought it was neat. 

After we went back out we decided to walk towards the Mediterranean sea. On the way we stopped at a bar/cafe that was serving drink and coffee...and had seating. Oh glorious seating! We grabbed a few drinks, I had Persecco, and sat outside watching the crazy traffic. 

Naples traffic is something else. If there is one lane there are two cars in it with motorcycles weaving in and out, cutting lanes. It was a sight to see, especially when the Vespa's decided traffic wasn't moving fast enough and hopped the curb and drove down the sidewalk, passing right past me. 

After we finished up we walked closer to the sea and had pastry at a shop in the marina. I thought I'd follow the crowd and have another drink, but didn't want anything strong, so I attempted to order sweet wine. Big fat fail. She gave me dulce vino, sweet wine alright, tasted and burned just like brandy. Yuck. I drank that 5 euro mess anyway, I wasn't wasting money. I only managed to down it by taking bites of my pastry in between. This is perhaps why my journal is so heavily misspelled this night. Never again. This my dear is why I don't drink. 

Again, we attempted to get closer to the sea. We saw a ship, but not water. Then we realized we were trespassing, and Italians don't play, so we went home. A really long walk home through what looked like something from "Slumdog Millionaire". I got back to the hotel, closed my eyes, and could have sworn this hot muggy city by the sea was some ghetto American metropolitan slum. 

Several day later I described my experience in Napoli to our guide Christina and compared it to the Bronx, she seriously agreed. Italians don't even like ghetto Naples. 

But this was not all Naples had to offer us. 

Next post, Pompeii, Mt. Vesuvius, and why you should never wear a camera out at night in Naples.