Day 19: On the way to Rome to see my relatives

Naples Travel Blog

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6:01 am:

I'm sitting on the train right now getting ready to go to Rome (these early morning wake-up calls are getting the better of me). Walking alone in the dark for 45 min to the train station probably wasn't the best idea but I'm here safe and sound!

Morten and I had a great time in Pompeii yesterday. It was eerie being in a deserted city and seeing the bodies was pretty creepy. It was so hot yesterday and after 3 hours in the ruins, we were ready to go. It takes a lot of effort to go through there because the roads and sidewalks are full of upturned rocks and boulders scattered about). When we got back into Naples, we got some awesome pizza for a late lunch. I've eaten so much pizza here but it's the best i've ever had and it doesn't make you feel sick if you eat a whole one (unlike the greasy stuff we have at home). Last night a bunch of us (including Morten and Sophie) spent the night in the common room watching a Simpsons marathon. No one felt like going out and that was fine with me since I was up at 4 this morning. I tried a new fruit yesterday called a nespola. I'm pretty sure its a type of apricot because that's what it tasted like. I'll have to ask my parents about it.

I'm excited to get to Rome (it's the only place in Europe where i've been before - i went when i was six). Zia Betty and Zio Vincenzo will be waiting for me at the train station to bring me to Betty's house. It'll be a different experience living with them instead of being in a hostel. Obviously it'll be nice to have my own room and bathroom and to eat some home-cooked meals. Plus, I'm saving a lot of money this way. But I'm definitely going to miss the company and social atmosphere and the excitement of meeting new people. I won't always have internet access and they live pretty far from the tourist sites. I also can't really go out late at night because I don't want to intrude and have people waiting up for me. It's going to be nice seeing everyone again though and I know they're excited to see me. While I have time to kill, i'll give my top ten for Naples:

1) It's a very fast-paced city: Everything moves quickly here. There are very few pedestrian signals because they would just slow the cars down. I realized that the only way to cross the road without waiting for an eternity is to just step out in the middle of the road and start walking. They will either stop for you or will go around you. The mopeds are just as bad as the cars. It's insane. It can be pretty intimidating.

2) There's a really nice beach: there's no sand but the rocks are a prime tanning spot. The beach gets packed with locals and tourists and you can't beat the view of the mountains and volcanoes. Just be warned that Italians tend to wear as little clothing as possible on the beach haha. It was speedo central.

3) Pizza!!!: Naples is world-renowned for its pizza and it definitely lived up to its reputation. It's incredible (thin crust and hardly any grease). You need a fork and knife to eat it. The other great thing is how cheap it is. You can get a whole pizza for only 3 euros.

4) There are a ton of stray dogs: They are everywhere. The lie on the sidewalks and even in the train station. They're harmless and half the time they barely even move but its a bit disconcerning to see them all over the place. I wonder who takes care of them all.

5) Take a day trip if you have extra days: There are a few cool things just outside of Naples that would make a perfect day-trip. Pompeii is a great option but you could also go to Vesuvius and climb it  or go to the island of Capri for some beach activities and see the famous blue lagoon. I would have done Capri if i had one more day but I cut a day out of Naples so I could spend an extra day in Rome

6) There are a lot of street vendors: Like the stray dogs, these guys are all over Naples. They spread out their merchendise all over the sidewalk and try and convince you to buy their purses and sunglasses. I noticed that most people ignored them but it looked like they had some nice stuff to sell

7) If you're unsure about which hostel to choose...i recommend Hostel of the Sun: Clean, fun, safe and in a great location (although the actual hostel can be hard to find the first time because its on the 7th floor of a building). It has lockers, free breakfast, free internet, laundry, free dvds and the staff are a lot of fun. The rooms aren't as crowded either (usualyl 6 people to a room).

8) No need to use public transportation: Naples isn't that big and almost all the touristy stuff is easily walkable. If you're not lazy or in a rush, there's no need to take the bus around. Also, you get a better experience walking through the city anyway than on a crowded bus in the Italian heat.

9 and 10) Couldn't think of anything else :) sorry!

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photo by: spocklogic