Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ciao Italia - Pompei & the journy to Rome

Upon splitting up from our Corfu group, and Dave going his own way, me, Brent and Dan made our way to Italy. After countless hours on crappy local trains, seeing more hopeful stowaways lurking in the streets at the port city of Patras, we finally got on a ferry to make our way back to the good ol' town of Bari, Italy. Now for a supposed shithole of a city, I actually grew quite fond of this little place. It gave an authentic Italian flavor, and we had a much better 2nd outing there. However, we didn't last too long there, as we pretty much just walked directly across the town and to the train station. After checking our bags, we walked around for a while, only to just end up at the train station. Eventually we boarded our train, sans mon chapeau, which Brent left....still sour. hahah. Along this journey, we split from Dan for a few days as me and Brent were going to the ancient city of Pompei, and Dan was going to Rome.

Once we split, our excitement began....well not really. First we ended up at some shady station waiting for a connecting train, and as we were there, a creepy Swiss kept talking to us, and he actually followed us and stayed at the same hostel as us......now looking back, he was probably harmless, however, a middle aged traveler asking tons of questions is also creepy. Also, while waiting, there was a legit Schitzo there. Literally walking around, saluting the cops, and then making barnyard noises....doing this straight for at least 30 min. Finally we got on the next local train and off to Pompei

Pompei

The actual city of Pompei (modern day) was nice, just a small Italian city. Luckily for us it was the weekend, and the nights really come alive then! We hit up a small restaurant for a delicious pizza, and then had to scurry back to our hostel. Now, this was the first "Y" hostel we stayed at...it was the AIG YOUTH HOSTEL (HI). It really wasn't that bad, the place was massive...huge rooms with few beds, etc. However, they have strict curfew rules, and gave a shitty breakfast....but really it was good for that little town..i guess

So, the ancient Pompei ruins. Unbelievable! I mean in the background you see MT. Vesuvius, the volcano that exploded thousands of years ago and buried the city in ash! I mean some of the fresco's looked no worse for the wear! The architecture and layout of the city, the intricate decorations, the planning of the city (streets, gutters, districts, etc) were astonishing for a town that existed so long ago....and then of course the perfectly preserved bodies!! It was pretty crazy. I really enjoyed our time there, even though it was basically a day trip, but definitely worth it!

Rome

After leaving Pompei, we made our way to Rome via Napoli (Naples). This is where one of the craziest stories of our journey happened....we have no pictures or videos, but believe me, this was mayhem. SO, we're at the main station in Naples, and we're just about to board our train (trains in Italy of wayyyy overpriced for the old pieces of shit you ride on! Really...they're a huge rip off!!) Anyways, so we get on, and all we hear is like a crazy rally. Shouting, Cheering, Yelling, Megaphones, Whistles....anything you can think of. So me and brent stick our heads out of the window and literally see HUNDREDS of seem to be Africans and Middle Eastern/Indians running at the train. In seconds it was like water breaking on rocks....the train was flooded with these people, and next thing you know we have people basically sitting on us. I mean trying to sit on the arms of the chair, etc. At this point I was ready to drill someone......then all of a sudden, someone outside starts yelling and they all get off.....apparently they didn't all of tickets. So, we're now we have no idea what's going on, ask the usher when we're going to leave, and he tells us to go on the train to Rome across the platform....So we grab our bags and scoot over to that car. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as we enter that train, our original one takes off!! Now we're shitting that those jokers will come on this train! Luckily for us, minutes later we're off, and left that foolishness behind in Napoli.

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