Naples & Pompeii

Naples is a combination of gridlocked streets and dingy dark alleyways. Found my “boutique Hotel” in a courtyard in the historic part of town – very quaint and very pleased to see me as once again I seemed to be the only guest.

A day trip with guide and driver to Pompeii and Herculaneum – both virtually deserted so no queues and a great time to see both sites. Quite extraordinary but got totally drenched at Herculaneum as the heavens opened. Reading Robert Harris’s Pompeii puts the whole thing in perspective, especially the petrified remains of the fleeing/cowering inhabitants – an amazing “time capsule” from what was a very luxurious and decadent civilisation. The Archaeological Museum in Naples is crammed with amazing stuff that has been excavated.

Back to Naples and two days of Cathedrals, churches and museums until I couldn’t take any more and resorted to reading (Pompeii by Robert Harris) and trying to keep abreast of the Covid nightmare as strict curfews are enforced across Europe. Most especially Italy and Spain. It looks as though I will hopefully make it home by the skin of my teeth!!!!!

A trip underground to see the old aqueduct. Impressive and very narrow. Good job I’m a skinny bugger these days! Lots of steps though.. A lot of Roman & Greek stuff underneath the urbam mess that is Naples today. Not a city that I would rush back to. Good Pizza is one of its few good attributes! Otherwise a bit of a shithole…..

All bars and restaurants closed in Naples at 1800 from yesterday much to the annoyance of the Mafia and local tradesmen who took to the streets in protest. Nationwide curfew in Spain from 2300 to 0600 for the foreseeable future. Providing my flights home via Paris go ahead as scheduled I arrive in Malaga at 2330 so curfew breaking will be required for the drive home.

Trip home so far on schedule, so should be home around 0100 then off for canine reunion in the morning. A few medical issues to be investigated and resolved. 6 months of Covid restrictions ahead so what else am I going to do??? Next scheduled trip up the Danube in May. Surely they will have got a handle on this mess and a vaccine by then!!

This has been an extraordinary trip. Not easy but worth it to see the world – well Italy anyway – without tourists. IPad blogging seems to have worked. Next step is to master the new iPhone 12Pro camera and dump the clunky Canon around my neck. Looking forward to getting home and taking my f***ing mask off!! And hopefully seeing Trump get the arsekicking that he deserves!!!

Stay Safe!! Happy Xmas and let’s hope that next year is dramatically better than this one! Robbie xx

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