Friday, April 27, 2007


Bye Bye Sorrento

We got up early. Had breakfast from the hotel and waited for the van to take us to the bus stop. We were going to take a bus to Amalfi. Heard its one of the most beautiful places in the world. The bus ride was not pleasant for me. As I mentioned before have motion sickness. I thought let me go without the motion sickness tablet that was a wrong decision. So I had to close my eyes till we reached there. I almost jumped out of the bus when we reached there. It took about ten minutes to feel okay and look around.

First impression was the best. It was a sleepy, lazy place. Wet from the rain. On one side it was the sea and the other side hilly area. There was like a big entrance, like an opening in the wall to enter this small town. The first thing we noticed was the stunning huge church and the steps leading to it. We reached early morning and there were not much people around. The day was just starting. It was a cloudy day, but sun was peeking through the clouds on and off. A beautiful day. We climbed those steps and got inside the church. Nobody was there. It was so calm and peaceful. We walked through the church for a while and came out. The shops were just opening. We went inside store and bought a few post cards. The restaurants were putting their menus for display outside and setting chairs. We saw a fish market. We kept on walking through the small alleys. Clothes were hanging on the railings on houses to dry. I thought, if some one wants to get lost in the world of relaxation, this is the place. Walking on those streets, watching the people and the small shops, I think for the first time I learned how to relax.

When it was time to have lunch we started looking at the menus on the road sides. It was also beginning to sprinkle again. We found a restaurant that we liked and went inside. Nobody was there. We took the seats nearby the window so we could also watch what’s going on in the streets. Boss ordered a plate of sea food. That was an interesting plate of foodI am posting the picture here My son and I had pizza. It was very tasty. After that we had ice cream too. It tasted like the ice cream-gelato- we get in Trivanrum.yummyyyy.

It was time for us to come back. We waited for the bus near by the sea. Then we saw a bunch of high school kids coming. They were there to catch buses to go home. Suddenly the calm peaceful place became like a festival ground. But we also found that with all these kids around it is going to be hard to get inside a bus and get a seat. Every time a bus came the kids would all run and within minutes it will be full. Along with us there was an old lady .I asked her if she was also going to Sorrento. Well I didn’t ask the whole thing in ItalianI asked Sorrento? She said-SI.(yes).Then that lady went to a bus that was parked a bit away and we saw her asking something to the driver and saw the driver waving his hand, as if to say NO. She stood there and negotiated a little more. After that she came towards us and asked us to go with her. We went. We saw the bus was going to Sorrento. She got inside the bus and asked us to come inside. The driver did not look that happy but the lady was smiling. Boss and son sat in a seat and I sat with her in a seat. She was just happy and squeezed my hand when I said thank you. I felt really good. She did not have to do this for us, but she did help us anywaysAnd then the bus started and went to where the kids were waiting. Within minutes the bus was full. I thanked god. I did not feel like waiting there for another hour to get another bus. I enjoyed the sceneries outside’s. I did take my motion sickness tablet this timeThat lady got down after a while and she smiled and waved at me.

We reached Sorrento when it started getting dark. We decided to look for the Chinese restaurant that we saw the other day and have dinner before going back to hotel. I thought I saw the hotel in one side he thought it was in the opposite way. Anyway we walked about 1 and half hour before we found the restaurant. But it was closed, will be opening only at 6pm, it was only past 5.We thought we would sit and wait. We saw a couple of benches on the road side under a tree. We sat there. Watched life moving around us. Then after 6 we went to that restaurant. It’s OPEN. What a relief. We saw another Indian couple coming and said Hello. The guy acted as if he wasn’t so happy to see another Indian family there. Showed such an attitude that it looked funny. We had the rest of the time talking about that and having fun.May be he thought only he had the right to be there. I have no idea why they have to show a face like a rock with all the facial muscles tight. They can never afford to smile! She was a nice girl who seemed happy to see us. The food was excellent. After that we walked back to the town. Called the hotel and they said the van will come soon and asked us to wait at the place where they dropped us off. It was very dark. But standing there at night on the road, I did not feel uncomfortable at all. Felt totally safe. Then we saw the van and went back to our hotel. That was a long day.
The next day we were going to see Pompey and Mount vesuvius. So had to get up early. I felt sad leaving Sorrento.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Guardian Angel:)

This is the pic of the dog:)And also the pics we took on our way back to hotel.


We decided to go for a walk down in the small town.we got a ride in the hotel’s van, it’s like an antique piece
We kept on walking through the streets and alleys. There was nothing much to see. Of course there were lots of orange trees and lemon trees. It was just awsmeeee. We decided to go back to our hotel as we were tired.(more like, I was tired). We found that we forgot to take the hotel’s phone number with us!! The hotel was no where nearby!. We planned to call the hotel and they were supposed to come and pick us up.

Anyway we started to walk back to our hotel. It was a looong way. The climate was very pleasant though. We reached a place where there was a small water fall and beneath that there was a statue of mother Mary. We took a small break there to drink water.. At that time a dog came out from behind the water fall. It came towards us. Then it circled around us a couple of times!. I was a bit scared; it seemed like s street dog. Anyway we continued our walking and this dog came with us!. It will go ahead of us, wait for us to come near to him and then he will start running again. It was very interesting. The road was becoming kind of dangerous. There were no walkways and there were sharp turnings on the road too. So we had to run at some points to reach the other side safely before a vehicle came. But this dog did not stop following us! It was like this dog was making sure the road is safe for usSometimes it will stop and make circles again around us and then run. After almost an hour we saw the van from hotel coming down the way. They saw us. I think they were going to town to pick someone. After a while the van came back and stopped for us. At that time this dog went and stood on a small step away from the road and was looking at us! it stood there till we left. I turned back and looked, it was still there! I was thinking the poor thing had to walk all the way back to where he came from! It was a touching experience for me. I can never forget that dog; it was as if he went ahead to make sure the road was safe for us! I call him our Guardian Angel

Friday, April 13, 2007


We took a train to Naples first. From there we had to take a different train to Sorrento. The scenery outside was very beautiful. Most of the time I slept though. When we reached Sorrento it was past 2 pm. Everything in that place seemed so peaceful and calm and lazy. It was raining before we reached I guess. We called the hotel and they said they were on their way to pick us up. We read a lot of good reviews about this hotel-Johanna’s park. We read they go out of their way to make sure their guests are comfortable. We found out about their hospitality soon. It was a long ride to the hotel, it was almost on top of a hill. There were olive trees and trees full of lemon on both sides of the drive way.

The hotel was really nice. The owner was a very warm, friendly person. We checked in to our room. The scene from the hotel room was breathtaking. Far away we could see sea, and then a mountain. I believe it was the Mt Vesuvius. It was a beautiful cloudy day. I wish if there is another word for saying beautiful. But then reality checked in. we are all very hungry. How many times I used that word already?. Boss went to see what he can do. We asked the owner if we could get something to eat. She said she will see what she can do and asked us to wait in the restaurant. Her son is a cook there, it’s a family business. He came and made for us everything we wanted from the menu! When you are that hungry and when you get that tasty a meal, the feeling you have is SIGH.

ROME 4 contd....

We also visited sty Paul cathedral. The importance of this Cathedral is, it is also the Cathedral of Pope. Pope is also the bishop of Rome. According to our guide, before taking charge as the Pope, whoever is going to be the Pope, he first goes to this Cathedral.
There is a huge brass door in front of that. It belonged to Caesar. The door is really huge. And has a lot of beautiful art works on it. Inside the church almost every where you look, all you can see is made of gold. Real 24 ct gold. It was amazing, so much wealth in one place. But then almost all churches in Italy I guess are like that. We also saw the chair where the Pope sits in this church.

Opposite to that is a small church. May be the only church we saw in our trip that wasn’t heavily decorated .The guide told us inside the church there is a set of steps. Jesus supposed to have walked on these same steps. We went inside. People were going up the steps on their knees. I touched it. The history behind that went through my mind. We took a couple of picture of me standing nearby that. But to our surprise none of the pictures has me in it!! Now don’t call me a ghostCouldn’t stay there for long as we had to head over to Catacomb. I mentioned about that in the earlier post.


Got up early, our bus was ready at 7.30.

On the roads I saw orange trees, full of oranges; I never got tired of seeing them. apart from that nothing much happened and we reached Vatican .

Wow, what a long line ahead of us!! I am sure it must have been a couple of miles long!! our guide was standing in front with a red ribbon tied on top of her umbrella. We met a few people behind us who were from Iowa . At last we were able to get inside the gate/walls of Vatican . Since it was a different country, they checked our passports and had to wait for our baggage clearance.Then we started our tour inside. It needs an expert to describe what we saw inside. Everywhere it is paintings. Instead of saying I am posting the pictures, they can say more than what I can say!!

Then we came to Sistine Chapel where we saw Michelangelo’s last judgment. Nobody was supposed to take picture there and the Vatican guards were watching us. But when I looked around, almost all the people had their cam turned upside and clicking away without flash light. After the Vatican they took us to a restaurant. Lunch was included in the tour. First they bought a basket of bread. Then for a long time nothing. I was thinking may be this is what our lunch was. I felt like crying because I was so hungry. Then there it comes, a table full of foodI felt so much better.
Then our last trip was to see the catacomb. It was supposed to be the place where the supposedly persecuted Christians were hiding. Romans did not know about this place and the persecuted Christians were buried there. But what our guide told us was a different story. The Catacomb guide looked like a Malayali, we asked her to confirm, she wasn’t a Malayali but a Srilankan. According to her there wasn’t any persecution at least regarding the catacomb. We saw the tomb of a noble roman and his family and also the tombs he bought for his servants. So the Romans did know about this place after all!! And if they did, how did the “persecuted Christians” hide here??

On our way back to our hotel, we saw the only pyramid in Europe .
Then as usual we went to our pizza placethe next day we are supposed to go to Sorrento . A beautiful placeso needed to do some packing’s since were were not going to be back for the next 4 days.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Rome 3

After waking up the next day we decided to have breakfast from the hotel. I have never seen this many varieties in any other hotels! We had our stomachs fullI had bread, cereal, fruits etc etc. Ate a lot so we could last till we find a good restaurant to have lunch. then we started walking. Going through the city, seeing all those wonderful ancient structures was a wonderful experience. Kept on walking and reached PANTHEON.It used to be a place of worship where all the Roman gods were worshipped. Later when the Christians came it became a Bascilica. IMPRESSIVE.
We felt like we were walking through the streets of Trivandrum. Did not feel we were in a foreign country at all. Didn’t feel tired also, the weather was so nice. We reached the Trevy fountain. I think we have seen this place in a lot of movies. From there we walked further ahead and found an Indian restaurant. Had our lunch from there.
From there we went to see the Spanish steps. It was beautiful to watch the city from the top of all those steps. But it was a long climb to reach the top. Then we walked again till we reached a street that has only shops on both sides. Especially jewelleries. Beautiful ones. I didn’t want to leave that placebut had to as it started to rain slowly. We started our walk back to the hotel. Then went to that same restaurant we went last night to have pizza againFirst full day in Rome was very good. But the next day we had to get up earlier as we were going with a tour group to Vatican and Catacombs’. I hate getting up early any day. But then had no choice.