Running Into Rick Steves In Pompeii

Naples Travel Blog

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Positano to Naples Via Pompeii: 5/18/08


            Another fun ride on the bus along the Amlafi cost awaited me this morning.

This time it was only an hour long ride to Sorrento where we would be jumping on a train to Pompeii .

The bus was late, go figure. Again it was standing room only, but this time it had air conditioning and it was working. Funny part is when the bus pulled up there was hardly any room under the bus for packs. Dave pulled open the back area that looked like extra storage area but it was of the batteries and such for the engine. Soon the bus driver came out waving his hands in the air and doing the infamous fingers under the chin gesture. I was too busy laughing at all this to take any offense. We crammed our way on to the bus pushing the other American and European tourists out of the way that just seemed to not understand that to fir more people on the bus they were going to have to get to know one another a little more intimately than the 5 foot personal space they were trying to keep around themselves. Not that I want to stand any closet to a profusely sweating overweight Texan, bit one must do what they have to do. Not far outside of Sorrento a girl started to get sick, I gave her one of my plastic bags and a few wet wipes to try to calm her down and clean herself up with, the twisty road got to her. Good thing the smell did not get that bad or it would have been a scene reminiscent of the classic pie eating scene in the movie ‘Stand by Me’. “Hey Lardass! Chow down Wideload!”

When the bus pulled into Sorrento there were many people asking if this was the stop for the train station. He pointed up the street and then indicated that you must get off the bus here at this stop. So many of us got out and began the walk up the street to the station. As soon as we walked around the corner and saw the station there was the bus and our driver. We both gave him a very nice Italian gesture as we walked by. I think he did that to get back at Dave for opening up the wrong doors on the outside of the bus. We jumped aboard a train that would take us to Pompeii then to Naples .

            Stepping off the train in Pompeii I had a bad feeling about maybe not being able to find a good place to store our bags. After some searching we found a nice hotel that let us store our bags by the front desk. Now it was time to walk through the ancient city of Pompeii . We skipped the guided tours and audio tours; I had my guide book and have seen plenty specials on television about Pompeii to know enough about it. Looming high above and not in the so far distance Mt. Vesuvius has a very commanding presence about it; especially knowing that it had wiped out this city that I am now walking through. After a few minutes of walking around I was busy snapping pictures when all of the sudden I noticed out of the corner of my eye a familiar person. It was RICK STEVES’!!! I have always wondered if I would run into this guy while out on my European Adventures, but the odds are so astronomical. He was on a tour gathering notes to for an update on his book; I was very impressed that he still does a lot of that on his own. I got a picture with Rick; we ended up running into him several other times while walking through Pompeii .

This is one place I never thought I would see in my life time; just goes to show me not to think I will never see a place.

            It was time to move on so we picked up our bags and headed off to Naples . As the train moved through the outskirts of Naples the alleyways were full of garbage. This would only be a taste of what was to come. Now Naples is known for having some very shady people that like to prey on tourist so in every guide book I have read they tell you to be extra careful with your belongings and money in this town. I had my baton in one pocket ready to use if need be. Waiting for the bus there was a big pile of garbage on fire, the fire just became bigger and bigger as time passed. There were signs of many other fires all over the place; trees and signs were all burnt where at one time there sat a big pile of garbage. The hostel we stayed at was very nice for a big city hostel. It is right down near the harbor and had free wifi! For dinner I had a great margherita pizza; after all Naples is the birthplace of Pizza.  I snapped a few pictures down near the harbor but then decided to call it an evening.

            Today was a great day! I got to see Pompeii , ran into Rick Steves’ and got to see the wonderful garbage fires of Naples ..LOL!!

Tomorrow we are off to Rome .


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photo by: spocklogic