Tom and Linda's 2011 Europe Trip

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Wednesday, 28 September: Sorrento, Italy

Sorrento sits on a point of land that defines the south end of the Bay of Naples on the Tyrhennian Sea, and presents a cliff face to the Bay.


The city then climbs a steep hillside away from the port. The yellow building to the left is the Foreigners' Club with some of the best views in the city.


We arrived at the floating dock, packed with people waiting to get on our boat to go back to Napoli.

There was a bit of confusion until we all figured out our lanes, but it was all good-natured. We were very glad to be here!


A short walk up steps and ramps goes to a little portside piazza where you can catch a bus or a more expensive taxi up to Piazza Taso, the main square.

You have to be a little careful - there are two bus companies and they don't accept each others' tickets so you have to watch which one you're buying your ticket for.


We ended up on a very crowded bus - not only SRO, but packed in at that. The people already on the bus smiled and waved us on - sure there's enough room, come on!

We took our packs off and stacked them between us to make a little room.


On the way to find our hotel - our first Gelato stand in Italy! They often label them "ice cream" for the tourists, but this is certainly not the same as any ice cream we get at home!

It's generally made in the back of the shop, piled into these containers for the display freezer, and drizzled with something. Fresh, flavorful, delicious!


It's easy to get lost in Sorrento, even just staying in the old town.

Even with a decent map and a sense of direction, we sometimes couldn't figure out where we were.






A look back down at the portside piazza where there are red buses standing by. We had bought our tickets for the blue line.

In the middle of the photo you can see our ferry boat speeding it's way back across, taking all those day-trippers back to Napoli.


Finally, down the road from Piazza Tasso, up a little side street with barriers to car traffic, in the middle of an American tour group from some cruise ship, we found our Hotel Mignon Mueble.



It's a cute little room on the second floor above the street with a nice private bath (Tom! No photos now - I'm not dressed!) We pushed the twin beds together, got settled in, put our feet up and had a bit of a rest.

Our window overlooks lemon trees, grape vines and a fairly busy restaurant. Interesting sort of bamboo covering on the steel roof below.


Changed clothes and walked down to find dinner. We were drawn into a sidewalk restaurant with a very friendly waiter hawking his place, the Old Taverna. It was just a long row of tables along a narrow cobbled pedestrian street, and a few tables on the "terrace," a step-up alleyway across from the door to the inside dining room.

The food was good, I got a lesson in how to eat pizza (where better to learn?), and we chatted with Carroll & Sandy from British Columbia at the next table.

Finished the evening with a stroll around the crowded streets, and found our way back to the hotel, getting the route more established in my head.

The hotel has a building-top terrace, with a nice view of the town and the port.


Thursday, 29 September: Sorrento, Italy

First day touristing, and we were heading for Pompeii, but planning to catch a late morning train. According to Rick Steves's guide, which I'm carrying on my Kindle, it tends to be more crowded in the morning.

Started the day a little late, catching up on the jet lag. Finally left the hotel around 9:30 after a continental breakfast on the first floor of the hotel. The ground floor has only the front desk and the stairs.

We walked toward the Piazza Tasso through the little streets off the main drag. We'd discovered them last night, full of people and shops spilling out of their doors.

It's a comforatble town to walk around in, although the streets are not closed to traffic. This one might see a car now and then, but scooters are all over the place. Lots of tourists here in the Old Town.


I was looking for a belt because my pants were falling down. Found a black & purple stretchy one that works well in this shop for 10 euro.

Can you say Italian leather? Great prices. We didn't buy any.


We took a while to explore the town and get lost.

This is the long switch-back road down to the port - the one we saw from the boat on our way in.


We made it to the Foreigners' Club and did appreciate the view over the bay. Also picked up a copy of Surrentum, the what's-going-on local magazine, but didn't really get much out of it.

The recommended map was the same as the one we got from the hotel, but without the key. We're only here for 3 nights and none of the performances worked for us.


The view from the Foreigners' Club snack bar was stunning.


The streets immediately off the Piazza Tasso have higher-end shops than the crowded narrow street closer to our hotel.

Lace, Ceramics, Embroidery.


Domed and spectacularly frescoed entrance to the opera house just off the Piazza.


There's a ravine through the middle of town that has ancient buildings in it. Like much of this part of the world, the modern town is built on top of layers of older towns.

We found this on one of our wrong turns looking for the train station. There's a big hole in the ground beside the road, and this is in it. I don't think it's open to tourists.


Pleasant little grocery and newsstand.


We finally spotted the train station from above. We'd walked too far uphill and had to find our way back down.

Bought a day pass and had 20 minutes before the next train, so we went to the David Gelateria a block away for a snack. Yum!

Story continues in Pompeii & Herculaneum.


1 Getting There
6 Olympia
11 Ephesus
16 The Cinque Terre
2 Sorrento
7 Santorini (Thira)
12 Athens
17 Pisa & Sienna
3 Pompeii & Herculanium
8 Istanbul
13 Venezia
18 Tuscany
4 The Amalfi Coast
9 Varna & Odessa
14 Padua & Verona
19 Montepulciano
5 Sci-Am Cruise
10 Yalta
15 Firenze
20 Rome & Home

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