Pompeii e Sorrento

I had to say goodbye to my Aussie friends yesterday which was sad – I’m jealous, they still have another month of traveling ahead of them and that month will include the Greek islands, Istanbul and Bali. They told me that if I end up in their neck of the woods to call them and ill have a place to stay. I’m excited, I’m slowly but surely creating a list of people to visit when I go abroad.

The other girl in our room and I decided to go visit Pompeii pretty early in the morning so we took the local train over there at about 10. I felt like such a little nerd I was so excited by all the history I was about to see. The ruins were very cool – I couldn’t believe how well preserved the colors and designs in some part were. It makes you think about how scary our world will look thousands of years from now if something happens. Walking through the ruins remembering their last moments was eerie enough but seeing the casts of bodies from their final moments during the eruption gave me chills and sort of affected everyone more than I think we expected (pic attached). We had attempted to do an audio tour for pompei since its so huge but gave up after the 6th stop because the numbers were so hard to find.

After three or so hours of exploring, Megan and I decided to head back for some lunch and so that she could catch her train to Naples. On the way to the hostel from the little pizzeria we had lunch in, we stopped at a lemon grove that produces its own limoncello. I’m guessing the amalfi coast is known for its lemons – there is lemon stuff everywhere. They have everything from lemon drinks to lemon chocolate to lemon soaps to lemon themed decorations. I guess this makes sense since they grown lemons the size of cantaloupe here, they’re unbelievable. Anyway, we got the chance to taste the different flavors (I liked the walnut better than the lemon) and traded stories with the adorable and chatty woman selling the products. She was raised in southern Italy, educated in London and Berlin and had a huge passion for traveling. She said she had to stop when she got married and had kids but she wants to take a trip all on her own soon to San Francisco; she’s never been over to the states. She was a typical Italian middle aged woman but you could just see all the dreams she still has in her expressions as she talked about faraway places before she got back to saying how she felt sick and didn’t like her job. We ended up talking with her for about an hour before heading back home. Once back, i figured out how to get myself to Pamplona tomorrow, said goodbye to Megan, took a quick swim in the pool as well as a well deserved nap.

I had originally planned to go to Positano for dinner and gelato on the beach but it was raining. My hostel was a little outside of central Sorrento so I didn’t give my host town any real credit – I had thought it was just kind of a busy city without much to offer. It started drizzling so I decided not to pay the 7 euro to get to Positano since the forecast was lightning and thunder so instead, I went to find a place to eat closer to home. I’m so glad I did because I discovered all the beauty of Sorrento. The central area that i didnt realize existed is so wonderful. I felt like it was a town of contradictions – the main streets were glitzy and full of shopping but the areas off to the side were old and quaint, filled with little shops and restaurants that have seemingly been there for ages. The city center is so busy and bright but a few blocks over, there are rows of palm trees and a beautiful waterfront. People in sorrento are so sweet, everyone stops their cars for pedestrians and says hello as you pass by. I stopped at this adorable little restaurant and treated myself to a nice dinner on my last night in Italy. I had yummy bread with oil and balsamic vinegar, pulpo e patate (octopus and potatoes) as an appetizer and pasta with mussels and clams for dinner. It was all so fresh and delicious. Then I managed to squeeze in some gelato as I roamed around the rest of sorrento and made my way back.

The amalfi coast has been my favorite places so far and I’m sad that I head out today. I’d love a few more days to explore Positano, amalfi, and Ravenna and id love to make my way down to Sicily. A trip for another day I suppose. I don’t think I’m ready to say goodbye to Italy with its rolling Tuscan hills, dramatic coastlines, beautiful language and delicious smells of pizza baking on every block that make you want to stop what you’re doing and find the source. Italy has been so good to me and the people so kind and I’ve loved it here. But for now, I’ve gotta get my backpack together for my week long adventure in Spain!

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