Monday, September 12, 2016

Catching UP!


September 11, 2016 8:20:  Pompeii

Didn’t get much sleep last night. Southern Italy seems to be wedding central. We ran into a wedding at the Yacht Club yesterday and between the music and the fireworks (Italians love their fireworks at all hours, apparently) it made for a restless night.

We were all up, breakfasted and at our bikes at around 9ish. It started to rain, but it certainly felt good and didn’t last too long. The e-bike is fine and not at all like the ones at home. Thank you Lucy. You don’t have to turn on the assist unless you want to, so today was very easy and I only tried the assist to figure out how to do it. The Garmin GPS worked great – even in the Pompeii ruins! Yes, we were back in the ruins again.  Walked around for about 3 hours before meeting the gang to ride back.
Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples, in the Campania region of Italy, in the territory of the comune ofPompei. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.
Researchers believe that the town was founded in the seventh or sixth century BC by the Osci or Oscans. It came under the domination of Rome in the 4th century BC, and was conquered and became a Roman colony in 80 BC after it joined an unsuccessful rebellion against the Roman Republic. By the time of its destruction, 160 years later, its population was estimated at 11,000 people, and the city had a complex water system, an amphitheatregymnasium, and a port.
The eruption destroyed the city, killing its inhabitants and burying it under tons of ash. Evidence for the destruction originally came from a surviving letter by Pliny the Younger, who saw the eruption from a distance and described the death of his unclePliny the Elder, an admiral of the Roman fleet, who tried to rescue citizens. The site was lost for about 1,500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599 and broader rediscovery almost 150 years later by Spanish engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre in 1748.[1] The objects that lay beneath the city have been preserved for centuries because of the lack of air and moisture. These artifacts provide an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana. During the excavation, plaster was used to fill in the voids in the ash layers that once held human bodies. This allowed one to see the exact position the person was in when he or she died.
We are back on board, after having showered using the marina facilities. Sailing (actually motoring) to Sorrento. We gathered at the back of the boat and took in the views. Jim was still icing his foot and J took a shot of my wounded toe (suitcase ran over it) and Jim’s heel.

Anchored outside of Sorrento. Took the zodiac into port and climbed to the top. Sorrento is very scenic but unfortunately it is spoiled with lots of tourists and shopping. Clement, our guide, gave us a short walking tour. Of course, we ran into yet another wedding at yet another beautiful venue – the St.Francesco Church. Clement left us to sample the
limoncello in the shops and browse. Geoff and I were getting tired of the crowds so we took our time and ducked down the quiet streets and had a nice walk back to the square for some cappuccino. Headed back to the dock along the beach route this time. There really are no real beaches because of the volcanic ash. The swimming areas are carved out with cabanas and restaurants with a small free public area.

We have been traveling with a sister ship. A group from Geneva who are doing the same itinerary we are. We met up with them at the dock waiting for our ride. Their guide just so happened to be a foreign exchange student and lived a year with a family in Franklin, MA. What are the odds??

A sunset ride back to the boat. J and Geoff jumped into the sea while the rest of us gazed at the magnificent sunset. Waiting for dinner now. We are all wondering how the Pats are doing today. We can’t get on the internet right now.

Next time… Riding from Sorrento to Amalfie

September 12, 2016 7:03 pm  Riding to Amalfi

First things first --YEAH!! The Pats WON!!

Spent a beautiful night anchored outside of Sorrento.  At around 11pm we got a beautiful fireworks display (sorry no pix) right in front of the boat! Woke up to bright sunshine. Sailed over to our launching point during breakfast. Got our bikes at to the dock and looked up! OMG I have to say that the e-bike is the best thing since sliced bread!! Made it up the zigzag plus the climb in comfort. Got into Posatano by lunch time. 

After lunch in the square, Geoff and I avoided the shops by walking up the stairs and paths for the views and the peace away from the tourists. We met an Italian couple on the walk and talked to them for a bit. We found out that there is a wine made in Pompeii that comes from the dna of the original grapes.
Some 1,500 bottles of Villa dei Misteri are made each year and can be found on the tables of exclusive restaurants in Tokyo, London and New York.
“It's more of a research project than a commercial enterprise, but it has come a long way. We have now replanted 15 of the city's ancient vineyards and are experimenting with diverse ancient farming techniques and grape blends.”
It might not be a profitable enterprise, but it doesn't come cheap either - a bottle will set you back around €77.
The scenery both riding along the the coast and at the town is unbelievable.  The riding is very zigzaggy with lots of traffic. I have to say that after biking Vietnam this did not distract us at all. It was great fun!!

After touring the town, it was a couple of more kms up and down, racing to beat the rain,  to our next stop where we got some great frozen coffee thing. Then it was the last leg down to Amalfi with lots and lots of traffic. Made it to the boat by around 4pm and about 1/2 hour later the rain came.

When the rain finally let up, we walked into Amalfi town for dinner.  It was nice walking at night without the hot sun. It is another town with small streets and lots of shops but very scenic. The gang settled on the restaurant that our guide recommended.  After a few minutes inside, it was very hot, Geoff and I decided to leave and find a place outside with the cool air. We settled on a nice spot with a table for two outside up from the big church. As it happened, there was a big celebration for St. Maria. Marching bang, floats, etc. We missed the floats but caught the band on the church steps.

A nice walk back to the ship.  I will have internet tonight and hopefully get every posted. I really hope everybody clicks on the links to get to the photo albums because they are wonderful.  I just can't put that much on the post pages. I also must add in here that everyone is doing GREAT!! Donna wound up getting an e-bike so that left Geoff and J and of course our guide, Clement, being the only ones with regular bikes. Geoff has flown by all of us and J is not too shabby either. It is a great group and so far so good.

For now, Ciao

Next time... Ravello to Cetara

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