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Sorrento, Capri, Anacapri, a set on Flickr.
I'm almost caught up with my photos from the honeymoon. Just the last bit of Rome to go (we returned there after an overnight stay in Sorrento and a day trip to Capri & Anacapri) and then I will be done with it, I promise!
Ah, Sorrento. I honestly only saw it as we traveled to the hotel. The hotel wasn't named in the paperwork so we had no idea where we were going for the night. The bus was driven persistently up winding hills and around dangerous curves, the sea to the right of us, steep cliffs, villages or towns we'd pass through wondering if this was where we'd stay? No, still higher up, further and further.
So many interesting places along the way! But we wouldn't get a chance to wander anywhere. Arrived in the evening at the hotel. It had a spectacular view (but I still preferred the balcony in Venice!) and we overlooked the water though all we could see were lights below. In the morning we'd get a great look at just how beautiful the location was - the only downside was our bathroom had a flickering light and the staff didn't care because this was the end of the tourist season for them.
We had dinner that night in the hotel restaurant with the same impressive view. I eavesdropped on the animated conversation of the people sitting beside us, having to stop myself from laughing when something particularly funny was said.
The volcano was clearly visible the next morning and the sunrise was lovely. Our tour began with a stop in Sorrento where they took us to Notturno, an inlaid wood works factory. Much of the pieces were gorgeous but expensive. I found a gift for one of the persons who took care of the cats while we were away and I bought a music box that was perfect to hold my wedding band and engagement ring. I keep it on the fireplace in the living room and if you hear music, it means I'm either setting out to go somewhere or I've just returned home.
After that stop to help with the local economy, we were off to catch a boat to Capri! This part excited me because I was looking forward to seeing the famous Blue Grotto! Imagine the photographs I could take in there! To my disappointment, it was closed. The charming tourist guide (thank goodness he was so personable) explained that perhaps only 30 percent of the time do people ever get to go there. It all depends on the water conditions and if the water isn't calm, it's a no go. The little boats might hit against the rock of the cave. This is as much upsetting to the ones who depend on the business of selling a ride through the Blue Grotto - they don't get paid that day if the man who has the say, says no way. I understood and in fact, felt a little better after being told that it wouldn't matter what time of the year I visited, that this could happen any time, but of course I was still disappointed. Who wouldn't be?
However, for ten euros, one could get on a different boat with a bunch of people and go see the entrance. I would rather not. I think that would make me feel even worse about not being able to go in. So we waited around and took some photos along the edge of the sea, there in Capri.
After that, our guide took us up to Anacapri. We were given time to wander on our own but my feet were tired and I didn't explore as much as I had in previous places. My husband and I sat at a table drinking cappuccinos in a place that is quite popular in the summer. Apparently, famous people like to gather there and watch one another - it's a square with restaurants that have seating out front of each. Above, I could see men hanging strings of lights and I imagine the place looks quite pretty at night. I was glad the place wasn't busy because I think it would be a bit awkward to sit around pretending that you're not there to be looked at by other people who want to be seen ---- then again, I've lived in Toronto and can understand the concept, having seen that behaviour a few times.
We were provided with another meal but had some time before it so the two of us headed for the chair lift that would take us up, up, up to a high point where we'd be able to take photos of the view. It was fun, like a very slow amusement ride, and we passed over people's gardens and a lot of greenery. It was worth it to separate from the group and breathe a bit. The water looked especially beautiful from so high above once we got to the top.
After returning to Sorrento, the two of us were picked up by private car to be driven back to a bus that was waiting in Pompeii (not in the ruins, but in the village) and from there we'd be uncomfortable on a bus all the way back to Rome that night.
At least we took comfort in knowing that we'd be in Rome for only two more nights and then we'd finally get to go home!
related: post for Naples and Pompeii -> here!
then off to see Florence, Tuscany here!
& look at dreamy Venice, Italy here!
& I loved Como, Brunate, Lake Como here!
Naples, Pompeii, a set on Flickr.
After the bad tour guide experience in Rome (I'll tell you about that when I finish the Rome set) I was sick of tours. But since we booked this trip through a travel company, tours were part of our "we've never traveled anywhere overseas before" package and so off we went, this time taking our luggage.
It was a long bus ride and I was burnt out on traveling by this time. I missed my cats and I wanted to go home. But we were going to see the ruins of Pompeii! (They spell it with only one 'i', did you know?) and it was there that my enthusiasm for the adventure of this trip returned.
First though, Naples. The Bay of Naples was beautiful and we could see the mountains, THE volcano in the distance. Our tour guide was great this time (whew) but I was sort of disheartened as we began to walk away from the water. The first thing I noticed was a lot of stray dogs. And lots of graffiti. The dogs were being fed near a statue (that had graffiti on it) and it was likely a daily ritual for them because they seemed well prepared for it. It's good that they have people who feed them (construction workers? I'm not sure?) but why are there so many strays?
We walked on. More old buildings. Another square. As I said, at this time I was feeling a bit meh about the surroundings. I took photos anyway. A figure all in white appeared, statuesque, a performer, and creeped me out.
We toured a building that looked like it was built long ago but turns out it was made in the 1980s. Later, a castle we didn't go into but walked around, construction cranes in the distance, a subway system being built nearby. Then we were back on a bus and off to Pompeii!
Along the way I could see through the bus windows just how poor that Naples was - it looked impoverished on the outskirts, honestly, devastatingly so. I thought of this later when hearing of the protests, when watching the news from a hotel room when we were back in Rome again.
Pompeii is also a poor place. A poor place that happens to have the largest most wonderfully fascinating ruins of an archaeological site ever. Our tour guide explained she would only be able to show us a few places during the two hours we'd be wandering there. A very tiny bit in comparison to how massive the site is - which apparently took another tour guide I spoke with at least four visits to see much of it! - and although I was disappointed that we wouldn't be able to wander more, I could understand when seeing the map how logistically it wouldn't work.
There was an earthquake at some point that ruined the ruins a little bit more. I thought that was interesting to hear. Also, they're working on preserving what they have uncovered so far, which means there is still so much more to unearth but they just don't have the ability to do it. Think of all that is still to be discovered - incredible!
She showed us a house where paintings were preserved quite beautifully on the walls. These people really knew how to decorate! The decorating was gorgeous and puts our blah white painted walls to shame.
I wonder if we'll ever be able to uncover all of Pompeii? The volcano is still active, though dormant. It's more likely it will go off again before they ever get it done. And yes, there are people living "illegally" close to the mountain (because it was cheaper) but there is a warning system in place. One thing is for sure, the people of Pompeii don't live so lavishly as they did back in the time Pompeii was covered in ash. Not at all.
I felt excited again about the trip once we were walking the strips of the Pompeii ruins. This was what both my parter and I had wanted to see when we originally decided Italy was a place we'd like to visit.
You'd see much more of the excavations if you watch a documentary but after being there for yourself, I think we'll get more out of the documentaries now that we've visited it for ourselves.
The reason why we had our luggage with us was because after this part, we'd be off to Sorrento for the night with a day trip the next day to Capri. I haven't sorted through those photos yet but I will soon! After that, it's back to Rome --- and then finally, home.
related: post for Florence, Tuscany here!
& look at dreamy Venice, Italy here!
& I loved Como, Brunate, Lake Como here!
I managed to pick up a few books but I don't think I will ever forget that feeling of being surrounded by books that would not open their world to me.
'Invisible Cities' by Italo Calvino
translated from the Italian by William Weaver
7:18pm I'm showing up - I'm here at the luminescent page.
This daily writing thing is going to be a drag if I can't think of some topics to specifically write about. I've written blog type posts before on one subject, surely I can give it a shot again? But I'm truly too distracted with non-writing matters to make this any easier for myself.
Truth? Today was bloody. Bloody painful, too. There's nothing I can do about it. Let's say I go to the hospital here, they're going to maybe do an ultrasound, see what the hospital people in Toronto saw, refer me to specialist, send me home. Or, that time when I had stopped bleeding but had blue lips and could hardly breathe, I received a blood transfusion for having a very low count. I'm not at that point to need that so what's the hospital going to do for me except remind me to follow-up with the gyno? They don't have the health records from my hospital visits in Toronto here (but hey, maybe the U.S. border does! <- relevant recent news reference for the win!) and so I have to start the process all over again. I'm suffering though. But it's been worse before. So I'm just going to stay near the washroom and thank my stars that I have a partner who can go to the store when I need more supplies.
Speaking of that, when I was living on O.D.S.P. (disability) and going through this, there was no way I could have afforded these womanly necessities with this health issue. It's things like that which aren't taken into consideration by folks. There is no extra allowance for things like that. Looking back, I'm still amazed that I survived that time period. I had a good friend through that and I made myself keep going so there's that.
Having more comforts and being able to afford the expense doesn't make this hurt any less though.
I wonder though, was I stronger going through it while living alone or does having someone who lives with me to complain about it to (repeatedly) make me kind of a wimp about it?
Leaning over in this chair to type this isn't helping much. I won't give up on this! I'm sure to stop bleeding eventually and there will be more days in this month where I will feel better and I'll thank myself for pushing through this and sticking with this daily 750 words goal.
7:47pm Last night I was able to write without any distractions, according to the stats on 750 words, which means I kept on writing for about a half hour and wrote over 1,000 words and wasn't that something for the first try? But tonight I know I've been distracted a few times already. I'm glancing up at TweetDeck on the iMac and I'm messing with iTunes a bit and my mind is sifting through a lot of flashbacks tonight, different memories connected to this or that thought --- this happens to me all the time but being aware of it when trying to write something coherent is hard. Add to that my body telling me it's in pain and wouldn't chocolate be a great thing to have about now? and oh, the song playing now reminds me of when I was 20-something in Glencoe --- see, it's difficult to stay in one place!
I'm a recluse and I haven't been out of the house in nearly two weeks and yet I'm going everywhere in here. I'm looking forward to taking dialectical behaviour therapy (D.B.T.) again because I really could use a reminder on mindfulness, of being present, of re-learning how not to time travel all the time. No, I don't mean fantasy time travel (though wouldn't that be AWESOME?) but the unfortunate back & forth transport into the past that comes with p.t.s.d. and the other misfirings in my brain. I get triggered by words because I leap into associations - I connect some things together too often that weren't related at all but it happens so quick. It's exhausting because I do it in my sleep too.
There is this one thing that happens in my nightmares every now and then that I believe has been going on for several years now. I don't remember specifically when it began but I have no recollection of it being in childhood dreams (and I've been aware and remembered dreams and nightmares since I was quite young) and the other day when I thought about it, I figured that it probably started in my '20s, when things were pretty terrible for me mentally.
It will happen in any dream, any context, never the same scenario but suddenly this thing will happen and I'll become aware - I'll remember that this has happened to me before and then I reason out that it doesn't happen to me in real life but only in dreams, which is when I will generally become lucid and wake up shortly after.
See, what happens is that I'll be talking in my dream - maybe making some sort of inspiring speech or trying to share some important information or maybe just telling someone something I really need them to hear - and then I will lose the ability to speak properly. It happens gradually - I'll start tripping over my tongue a bit - but it becomes so difficult to speak that I also lose my voice, where I get quieter and quieter until I can't be understood. Sometimes it will hurt to try and talk. I'll also feel the intensity of needing to finish what I was saying - of being heard - but my mouth will fail me and before I wake I'm trying to frantically gesture with my hands.
For a long time, I felt like I wasn't being heard. And I wasn't. It's kind of obvious what this symbolizes for me and the time periods in my life where my voice failed me, figuratively. I wonder what it's going to take to resolve this reoccurring element in my dream?
I am the one who needs to listen to myself.