Tom and Linda's 2011 Europe Trip

Jump to Index

Getting There

Cars, planes, trains, buses, boats, and feet.

We hosted a concert for Karyn Oliver just before we left home. My sister Barbara who was staying with us on a 3-month break from her job teaching ESL at Seattle South Community College.

Karyn drove us to the airport and stayed for a few days after we left. Barbara stayed on to house sit and keep Sam company.

Linda, Tom, Karyn, Barbara

Tuesday, 27 September: AA Flight 110, Chicago -> Rome

We had a crowded flight from Dallas to Chicago on a small plane with very small luggage bins. It was a challenge to get our packs in, and Tom's ended up about 10 rows behind our seats. This made for some difficulty getting off for our tight connection at O'Hare.

I'd checked us in from home and we had boarding passes in hand. But the gate agent moved us from two awkward seats at the back of the plane to two aisle seats with an empty seat between, about 10 rows up. Score!

Chicago skyline

So we're much more comfy for this long leg of the journey. We've had dinner, I've finished knitting a hatshell and had enthusiastic interest from a flight attendant and a fellow passenger. Gave them Grande Tête business cards and started a new one.

Now they've turned off the overhead lights, I'm drinking a Bailey's (courtesy of the hat-lover) and I'm about to trade this out for music headphones and Sudoku to help me sleep. I'm pretty tired - it just might work! It's a long flight across the Atlantic.

Love those seat-back maps!

Wednesday, 28 September, 9pm: Rome -> Sorrento, Italy

Whew! What a day!

We arrived at Leonardo da Vinci Airport at about 9AM local time. Our hotel was reserved in Sorrento and we had quite a journey to get there. It began with a train from the airport to Roma Termini train station.

Finally on the train

But we got on the wrong train. There were only two, and we picked the local instead of the Leonardo Express. Maybe we should have known by the graffiti. We certainly had interesting fellow travelers, and they tried to help us.

Problem was, the train went to the wrong station and the only way to get to the right one from there was by metro (subway).

And we didn't have any Euros yet. And the station we were at was under construction and had no working bancomat.

We finally found a teller in the under-construction station who would sell us a 1-euro metro ticket on a credit card. He also rescheduled our Roma-Napoli reservation to one we could make.

On the wrong train!

So we joined the crowds at the metro station in Rome. Finally got to Roma Termini, and made it to our train with a little time to spare.


Finding our way back

Our reserved seats were in the last car away from the station, so we had a bit of a hike to get there, but had time to pick up a snack and a drink in the station before departure.

Time to sit back and watch the countryside roll by.

Finally on our way to Napoli

The next leg of our trip was a boat across the Bay of Naples to Sorrento. Trying to find a bus to take us from Napoli Centrale to Porto Beverello, the passenger port, was something of a challenge.

And again, buying a bus ticket with no cash was a problem. Clearly, we should have tried harder to find a bancomat in the airport!

Confusion at Napoli Centrale

Turns out Porto Beverello is behind this castle. We were nervous about the bus - it's hard to tell where you are in a strange city and there were no clues on the bus.

We got off too early and had to walk several pack-laden blocks.


Trying to find Porto Beverello

Around the ancient stone corner and across a steel bridge is a modern cruise port, with the smaller passenger boats over to the right.


Passenger port sited!

Finally found the right place. Many of the ticket windows were closed, but we found a company that would take us to Sorrento and bought tickets on the last ferry out for the day.

Had a while to wait, but there are interesting things to see.

and the right place to wait

Lots of boats of various sizes come and go. Will that one be ours?

We almost got on the wrong ferry (it was confusing and we were jet-lagged) but an astute ticket-taker redirected us. Whew!

Finally on the right boat, and we could relax a bit! The ferry was fairly crowded in the downstairs cabin, but we made our way up to the rear deck, partly for the sake of the pictures. A fellow passenger took our photo. I think we were almost all tourists.

It was a very nice 35-minute ride across the bay from Napoli to Sorrento. The weather was perfect and the scenery quite grand.


We're on the right boat at last. Whew!

Naples (Napoli) is a large, busy, industrial city with a large and busy port. We didn't spend long enough there to find the attractive parts.

There are certainly some museums I would have enjoyed, but this certainly wasn't the time.


Leaving busy, noisy, industrial Napoli behind.


We had chosen to travel from Napoli to Sorrento by boat for the views of the shore. These two cities sit at the ends of neighboring peninsulas into the Tyrhennian Sea that define the Bay of Naples.

Around the shore we pass by are the ancient cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, and their modern counterparts.


Mount Vesuvius as seen from the Bay of Naples.

It was a bit foggy, but we could just see the white houses climbing the hillsides.

Sorrento, sitting atop its cliff in the distance.


Approaching Sorrento from the sea is quite a view. I think the road zig-zagging its way up the cliff face is very old.

The story continues in Sorrento.


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

Email Tom:
Email Linda: