I couldn't leave the West Coast without one more seafoodie note.  My last night in Sorrento, for an appetizer I settled for a plate of beef ragu ravioli at the harbor but ascended the stairs one last time and found a fresh seabass with mixed veggies at a restaurant I highly recommend called BluWater.   They carried a mixed grill which included the holy grail of seafood aka grilled octopus but the waiter brought out a silver platter with two fresh seabass and a mini live lobster he upsold me the 13 euros for the fish from "right here" as he pointed to the Tyrrhenian Sea.  Sidenote:  The mixed veggies had delicious chunks of tomatoes as I combined it with the seabass and a bottle of Castello Di Querceto Chianti Classico 2011 for a meal fit for a king.  However, I was immediately reminded of my serfdom when I returned to the tiny hostel room and found that an 18-yo South Korean girl had taken the bottom Leslie Nielson would say:  "nothing to see here, move on!"

A final pictorial look at Pompeii...the lower pic gives a glimpse at the modern city of Pompei.  I guess they figured they'd have more fortuna by dropping an "i".  The adjacent pic shows one of the seemingly endless storage units of the property reminding me of the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark before the series gave up things like irony and plot for Hollywood schmaltz.  It would be an impressive and inviting endeavor to catalog the uncovered artifacts.  There are endless stories stored in thee, uh, storage.

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You could always tell the real important recoveries in Pompeii by the velvet rope or protective glass treatment. 

I'll borrow someone else's summary of pic#3 on this lazy Sunday afternoon:


The inscription on the top of each leg identifies the table as having belonged to Casca Longus [not to be confused with Karl Hungus]. He was the first assassin to strike Caesar in the Senate in 44BC. He died in 42BC along with Brutus at the Battle of Philippi in Macedonia. His lands and possessions were confiscated and publicly sold. The table was then or sometime later bought by the owner of this house.


Talk about history!  Good to see they keep the help "spirited", I know there's some convoluted scientific explanation for why the excavation project needed to re-create the vineyards of Pompeii (pic#4), if not, to make a visit to the lupanare that more enticing.

The final shot is a sentimental (too soon?) last look before heading north for the rest of the adventure. 

Heading North meant another stop through Napoli.  Okay, since I didn’t spend the night in Napoli I’ll take this moment to consider the trains.  First of all, why doesn’t anyone bomb any?  I mean, you see people of all walks of life carrying baggage the size of a train car and, of course, this is just the physical stuff you can actually see.  Who knows what kind of baggage is entrapped in their psyche, percolating, waiting for an explosion of Vesuvian proportions.


The nice thing about the lack of security is I could walk around swigging from a bottle of limoncello at 9:30am and no one took notice.  Well, a few people noticed but I think they felt sorry for me as I slurped from a yellow plastic bag tightly wound around the neck of the bottle and replaced it inside my day pack strapped to my front like an infant helplessly strapped to the belly of their proud father.


As you may have guessed from my post on the way down, I missed my stop on the way back.  I was looking for Napoli Centrale as was printed on my ticket so when the train stopped at Napoli-Garibaldi and almost everyone got off and it looked really familiar, I asked the businessman across from me who had the look of a regular commuter:  “Napoli?”  he said next stop, I think to just shut me up.


The next stop was Napoli-Porta Nolana the last stop north on the Circumvesuviana line.  I grabbed my bags and took the walk towards the exit with an impalpable sense of foreboding.  Uscita?  No, I didn’t want to go into the world of Napoli.  Everyone had told me it was dirty and corrupt and full of organized crime.  Nothing as simple as the Mafia. No, as one of my hosts earlier had told me and I quote:  “It’s more like the Bloods and the Crypts”[sic]  Great, if there’s one thing worse than organized crime, it’s the laissez-faire attitude towards taking lives in South Central.


I avoided the exit like a cat avoiding a trip to the vet.  The man at the ticket counter was very nice and matter-of-fact.  “Bologna?  You need to go out the double-doors, hang a right and it’s a four-minute walk to the TrenItalia station.”  I felt like Homer Simpson in NYC and at any moment a bird was gonna steal my chili dog, a local would abscond with my camera, and I would be chased all the way to stazione Garibaldi by a pimp donning a felt hat and a full-length fur coat.



















None of that happened, as you might expect, that kind of thing only happens on the Fox Network.  Alas, the four minute walk was uneventful and soon enough I was on a high speed train back north...not to be confused with the monorail.

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