Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Off to Sorrento

03/12, Monday
We're ready at 8:00 when Sergio meets us at the door. In Chiusi, we discover there is an earlier train to Roma and connections to Napoli, so we hop on at 8:45.

(Sergio has not only been our tourist guide, but also a historian and trivia expert, all with a quick witty repartee. Just a couple of days ago he explained a little about the Italian alphabet. It uses five fewer letters than ours. It lacks j, k, w, x, and z. This is quite different than in Croatia where they have 30 characters and j's are very common.)

Our arrival in Rome is a little late, and after a long walk to the main terminal, we just barely miss the 10:49 to Naples. The next rain departs two hours later, and takes over two hours to reach Naples, about 15:30. With all of our train travel, we still don't understand the schedules. Some trains going to places we want to go to, have a special designation that costs more.

Uh Oh!! I'm on the train, but Mom isn't. And, the door is closed. Luckily, the door opens long enough for Mom to get on. Wow! That was good luck!

The Circumvesuiana train is not the cute narrow gauge train we anticipated.
Rather, it's just like a Chicago elevated...and, crowded for the first 7 stops, after which we got seats. Sorrento is 33 stops from Naples, about 70 minutes. During this journey, we pass by Ercolano (aka, in 79 AD, Herculaneum) and Mt Vesuvius and Pompei.

Unless you're a tourist, no one pays attention to Mt Vesuvius, but it has a major, ominous, active, and magnificent presence. The towns along the way are good sized, so there doesn't seem to be any fear of another eruption soon. There is an evacuation plan in place attuned to seismic activity prior to an actual eruption.

Uh Oh #2!! We just discovered we took the wrong train, at least we went too far. We should have transferred back about 7 stops. Back we go. A nice young man helped us as did the train engineer to get on the right train. Rick Steves let us down...his detailed instructions didn't mention that we needed to transfer at Torre Annunziata station.

We made it to Sorrento and our B&B, Il Roseto, by 18:30. A long day of trains.

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