We were forced to go into Naples to get the electronic charts we need to travel all the way around Italy and on to Croatia. It is vital seeing that we will lose our internet connections with the Italian sim cards on the IPad on the way. By the way – it I amazing and very impressive how far off shore we could still get internet to download the weather. We could often not even see land and still had good 3G available!
I had two huge loads of washing to do but have often wondered what Naples is like, and this little monkey would not like to miss out on anything! 🙂 I left the boat with all the washing lying scattered all over the floor in sorted piles … all sorted to be washed and took the train in to Naples with Johann.
The train trip on its own was an experience and I had nervous flashbacks to my last Italian train station in Rome! To say the least – it is chaotic and nerve racking! You destination on the big overhead electronic display board is not always as indicated on the ticket and the time of departure get announced only 5-10 min prior to departure which means a mad run to the platform by hundreds of people as soon as it gets announced! Crazy, crazy!
The countryside on the way tells a story of very efficient usage of soil for the plant of fruit and veggies and we passed large olive groves. We were travelling all around the famous Mount Vesuvius just outside of Naples. It is best know for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The explosion at that time released a 100 000 times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing and killed 16 000 people! It is amazing to think that it forced a cloud of stone and ash and fumes 20.5 miles up in the air and was spewing lava and pumice at the rate of 1.5 million TONS per second up in the air!!! (alias Wikipedia) Amazing!! I could not help to wonder, as we drove all around it, what the damage will be today should it erupt again!
Vesuvius is the only volcano that has erupted on mainland Europe within the last 100 years. It is regarded as the most dangerous volcano in the world because of the population of 3,000,000 people living nearby and its tendency towards explosive eruptions. It is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world.
Arriving at Naples we were blown away by how filthy it is in the city! Rubbish was piling up everywhere and no wonder … Italians did not think much of literally throwing (not discreetly dropping) a cigarette bud, a paper or a banana peel on the pavement! It was shocking! I hate generalisation when it comes to large amount of people or nations, and I was very sceptical when reading Rod Heikel’s Italian Waters Pilot when he said the Italians are quick to tell you they have the most beautiful country in the world, but as they tell you that, will throw a piece of plastic wrapping on the ground! The contrast between how well they dress (particularly the men) and the lack of pride they take in conservation of their lovely country are vast! They will have long pants, a cardigan and sometimes a scarf on in blistering temperatures of 35 degrees (just for the sake of looking the part!) … neat and tidy on their person, but the opposite is true when it comes to their surroundings. You often hear that they say Italy has so many historically beautiful and significant sights, they cannot maintain them all perfectly! Well, even at some of the really big and famous sights in Rome, it was mind blowing that it looks like no one really cares other than for taking your money … and lots of it too!
I am getting side-tract…Back to Naples – the buildings were shabby with paint jobs well overdue, the streets dirty and everything appears neglect. I haven’t got much positive to say about Naples and if I could chose, I would never bother to go back, unless I am travelling through to Pompeii or the Island of Ischia … where we unfortunately did not go due to a lack of time … another “Next Time!”
Sorry Naples 🙁 but thank you at least for our maps!