Monday, 11 March 2019

Hilton Sorrento Palace (Sorrento, Italy)

After breakfast I consulted with the receptionist staff in the main lobby regarding my tour options today. I could take the bus to Amalfi or visit the ruins in Pompeii. The guy I was talking with gave me a tour map of Pompeii so I decided to go there today.

Pompeii is a 30 minute train ride from Sorrento. I had a 20 minute wait at the station and then was on my way. Before I knew it I was walking into the grounds of the Pompeii ruins. What struck me first was how big it was. I thought it was just a few city blocks but it turned out to be the size of a very large town. I decided not to join a tour group and just explore by myself. As I started to wander around, it started to second-guess my decision about joining a tour group.

What I found was that if I wanted to know more about a particular location, Google provided me with the information. The rest was fairly intuitive. I just needed to walk around with the map and get my bearings. The rest was easy. I happened to listen to what a few of the tour guides were saying which helped too. Most of the small homes were one, and sometimes two rooms. After about an hour or so of walking around I got the idea and was ready to sit down and confirm that I saw everything that I wanted to see.

The guy I spoke to in the hotel suggested I go up to a villa (Villa dei Misteri) that most visitors do not see. It is probably not on many of the tours because it is a bit of a walk just outside the main city. Glad I followed this suggestion. This villa was a little more (but not much) intact than the rest of the Pompeii. There were a number of rooms that had some of the original color of the walls visible. There were also two plaster bodies on display. (The original bodies were long gone but the space they occupied within the ash that covered them was still there. Plaster was poured into these spaces and the result of a plaster mold of the body. More like a shadow.) Some of these plaster casts were on display throughout the ruins. Many others are part of museums outside of Pompeii.

I exited the grounds and felt like I covered the Pompeii site and walked towards the train station. The train pulled up just as I stepped onto the platform. The train was crowded when I walked on and there wasn’t a place to sit until we had made a few stops and people got off.

By the time I made it back to the hotel I was ready for a nap. After my nap I decided to sample some snacks in the Executive Lounge and enjoy a glass of wine. I had a sandwich that I purchased the day before in the mini bar refrigerator. Just needed a bit extra to make it a full meal. I ended up have two glasses of wine which was a lot for me to drink in one sitting. I wasn’t too steady as I walked back to my room.

I’m leaving for Bari on Thursday but haven’t decided when to leave and how to get there. My options are by bus or by train. I prefer the train, but I would either leave early or later in the day. There isn’t a direct route from Sorrento to Bari and I’ll have to make at least two transfers. The more transfers, the more chances of a missed connection.

I decided to re-watch the first season of Star Trek Discovery. My friend Scott in the U.S. is starting to watch is series so I thought I’d better refresh my memory of what happened in season one. The series is now on season two. This new Star Trek series is very popular with most of the people who follow all of the series that have been made over the years. Hard to believe that this is 50 years later.

Just as I was getting ready for bed a thunderstorm was just starting. And it was a big one. I opened up the curtains and watched the lightning flash over the Gulf of Naples. The storm lasted for around 30 minutes then it quieted down. I walked out on the balcony during the storm and saw that it was pouring rain.

Tomorrow I’m probably not going anywhere. Perhaps walk around Sorrento and rest. The last place I’d like to visit while here is Amalfi and I’ll do that on Wednesday – rain or shine.

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