Nights of November 20th through 22nd, 2002
We managed to get into the train station Wednesday morning around 9:30, but our train didnít leave for Naples until around 12:00. We figured we could take the train south back to Naples and then from their catch a train to Sorrento. Let me tell you there are two kinds of trains in Italy, the express train and the local train. The express train across county usually gets there an hour quicker, but costs at least $10 to $20 more. When you go to the window to order the ticket, the train guys donít even tell you about the express. They automatically book you onto the next local train because itís cheaper (and they assume thatís what everybody wants). You may ask ďwhyĒ, well in Italy they donít believe in hurrying about and deadlines. It takes as long as it takes and you do whatís the least cost option. Itís pretty funny, because if you even think of asking about the express train, they look at you like you are absolutely crazy and tell you it costs too much and go back to talking about the other train! They canít imagine someone wasting money just to get there quicker! So off we go to Naples on the local type train with our snacks and books (takes about 4 hours)!
Once we pulled into Naples, we headed for the information booth to ask about the trains to Sorrento. The information booth guy tells me that the train is leaving in about 20 minutes and that itís a separate company from the regular trains. Well we hurry like mad people to get across the station, buy tickets and run to boarding only to find out itís like a commuter light rail train that runs constantly going back and forth. We couldíve taken our time, grabbed a snack and taken the next one in a half hour! Oh well, it was a quick trip (about 60 mins) and by this time it was getting dark. We headed off in search of the hotel in the book only to find out it was closed! I asked the person in the shop next door and she said also that it was closed, but suggested a place down the street. Luckily this one was open and not too much more then the last one.
Sorrento, on the west coast of Italy (south of Naples), seems to be a big tourist town in the summer. There were still quite a few people there, but a lot of things were shut down for the winter. We chose to use this as a hub for spending the night and went on day excursions from there. That night we ate in a fish restaurant at the marina (only two other couples in the restaurant and it was the only restaurant in the marina open). I got the house specialty of mixed seafood on a bed of pasta and Dave ordered the grilled fish of the day. Both were really good, but mine was better! After dinner we had a nice quiet walk back to the hotel.
One more thing about Sorrento, the second night that we were there they had one of the streets closed off with a blue carpet and big candelabras lining the street. I overheard somebody say something about movie stars, but we missed it that night. We come back home the third night to find that the carpet is again out and that it leads to the movie theatre, so we decide to wait around to see whatís going on. Ends up that it is just a promotional for the Film Festival. People won tickets to see the movies and at the designated time, they were admitted through the gate, walked down the carpet, and entered the theatre! Mystery Solved!!!!
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