Monday, March 2, 2020

Gon' to the castle and we're goona get married

Monday March 2nd 2020
Naples, Italy (unless we have been blown to Sicily)

Woke up to a slight breeze and sunshine. Not too bad, I suppose. The coffee in the room was awful. I threw the first cup away, because the cup smelled like detergent. I made a second and even after washing the cup out it still smelled like soap. I’ll use my mug and Starbucks instant tomorrow.

I went down to the breakfast area to grab a cup of coffee and a pastry. The hotel charges for breakfast  $20 when you book with the room and $30 if you just want to pay for it. (Euros of course). The server brought me a solid silver coffee pot and 4 smaller pastries. Good, and I was expecting $10, she put down a $5 check for just the coffee. I motioned her over to point out she forgot the pastries. She said they were included with the coffee, they were small and of no consequence. Wowerzers. This is from the same hotel that said they would exchange USD for me at $100 to 65 E. (The exchange rate is currently 89) I know they are not a bank, but if Jesus stayed here he’d be flipping the Concierge counter over.

I put on my parka and strode into the wind and found that it was much too warm for the parka, even though everyone else seemed to be wearing puffy jackets. A quick change into my hoodie and I was just about perfect.

I had no plans, just walk and see where it takes me. With Mount Vesuvius to my right I headed towards a cruise ship in the distance. Thinking that was where my friends Lynda and Dick might have docked when they “Cruised the Med” a few years ago. That way I would be closer to the tourist area and might be able to find a money exchange that will give me 66 Euros, for my Benjamin. I walked along until I came to a decision point, go down of stay level? Stay level almost always wins, and it did this time.

The largest plaza I’ve seen with a big church on one side and a museum facing it. With big advertisement for Paul McCartney coming in June. Hasn’t that old fart made enough money already? I saw him 40 years ago and his show wasn’t as lively then as The Stones are now. What’s he going to do, come out with his walker and sing “Maybe I’m amazed”? It’s the crowd that should be amazed.

Where did that rant come from?

So back to my stroll, past shops your recognize if you lived on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. I didn’t come here to look at Tommy Hillfinger, and Vicky’s Secret’s windows. I saw an arrow to the left that said Catacombs. Cool ! Only problem. It is up. How can catacombs be up? I went up, and up. The street was straight and less steep than dinner a few nights ago, so keep on going. I was getting deeper and deeper into locals only area. Not dangerous, just no tourists. After five or six blocks it was getting clear to me that the catacombs were more up than I felt their down would be worth it. So, I went lateral. Past the green grocers the meat stores. The guy sitting on a stool stripping leaves from their stems. He man was a machine, fast and accurate. I was so deep in local the they stopped to watch me to take a picture of a cat on a Vespa.

I could have kept lateral for miles, but it would have been more of the same, so a right for some down. I got down to the fringes of tourism and decided it was time for a coffee. Maybe I should have had the coffee on the up and not the down? Coffee is funny here, I’ve already told you some, also there is the payment system. Sometimes there is a cash register back with the Batista, sometimes it is somewhere else in the store. You ay at either place, but if it’s in the store, you get a receipt to take to the coffee bar. The first one I ran into was the store type. I told the cashier what I wanted, twice. She looked up at me and made a personal call. Maybe she needed to phone a friend to figure out what an Caffe Americano was. Regardless after it was made clear I was being snubbed I left and went next door where I was successful.

Further in the camera toting crowd I look across the street and espy the most wondrous temple to consumerism. It was absolutely beautiful, and I knew I was among my tourist peers when I saw the Golden Arches on a flag. Fifty feet off the floor was an arch of glass the ran off into the distance on all four points of the compass. Capped at each end with Romanesque arches.

Continuing on a caste loomed on the seashore. That could be fun. The guy at the gate says they have 2 types the 6 and the 11. The six is the grounds and the museum. The eleven is the same with the dungeon. Dungeon? That is close to catacombs! I give the cashier a 20 and he has a hissy fit. Don’t I have the eleven? I reaching my pocket and toss some hand sanitized, a wadded up Kleenex, a 10 and maybe $.40 in small change. There it is Tiger. He’s still pushing the change and 10 around while holding the 20 and waving it. Finally someone with common sense came up to him. I paid half to him and paid the rest at a different location.

The museum was works of art on one floor and sculptures on another. Some good and most unmemorable. I met up with the group for the dungeon tour near the appointed time. Out of one of the rooms come men in suits and women in dresses. Flowers and smiles, so probably not a funeral. I was a wedding. I was fortunate that the tour didn’t start until after the bride and groom emerged. He dungeon was a disappointment. Concrete steps down, and plastered walls in the dungeon. No cold stone with rings inset in the walls. No rats. No fun. I will have to put that 5 down to a donation to maintain the castle.

Back to the hotel to kiss and make up with my sore feet and kill time until the appropriate 7:30 dinner hour.
come here to look at Tommy Hillfinger, and Vicky’s Secret’s windows. I saw an arrow to the left that said Catacombs. Cool ! Only problem. It is up. How can catacombs be up? I went up, and up. The street was straight and less steep than dinner a few nights ago, so keep on going. I was getting deeper and deeper into locals only area. Not dangerous, just no tourists. After five or six blocks it was getting clear to me that the catacombs were more up than I felt their down would be worth it. So, I went lateral. Past the green grocers the meat stores. The guy sitting on a stool stripping leaves from their stems. He man was a machine, fast and accurate. I was so deep in local the they stopped to watch me to take a picture of a cat on a Vespa.

I could have kept lateral for miles, but it would have been more of the same, so a right for some down. I got down to the fringes of tourism and decided it was time for a coffee. Maybe I should have had the coffee on the up and not the down? Coffee is funny here, I’ve already told you some, also there is the payment system. Sometimes there is a cash register back with the Batista, sometimes it is somewhere else in the store. You ay at either place, but if it’s in the store, you get a receipt to take to the coffee bar. The first one I ran into was the store type. I told the cashier what I wanted, twice. She looked up at me and made a personal call. Maybe she needed to phone a friend to figure out what an Caffe Americano was. Regardless after it was made clear I was being snubbed I left and went next door where I was successful.

Then I heard the chanting and bullhorn and whistles. Yes ! I found myself in a protest! If there is a protest anyplace in the city I am visiting I'll somehow stumble onto it.

Further in the camera toting crowd I look across the street and espy the most wondrous temple to consumerism. It was absolutely beautiful, and I knew I was among my tourist peers when I saw the Golden Arches on a flag. Fifty feet off the floor was an arch of glass the ran off into the distance on all four points of the compass. Capped at each end with Romanesque arches.

Continuing on a caste loomed on the seashore. That could be fun. The guy at the gate says they have 2 types the 6 and the 11. The six is the grounds and the museum. The eleven is the same with the dungeon. Dungeon? That is close to catacombs! I give the cashier a 20 and he has a hissy fit. Don’t I have the eleven? I reaching my pocket and toss some hand sanitized, a wadded up Kleenex, a 10 and maybe $.40 in small change. There it is Tiger. He’s still pushing the change and 10 around while holding the 20 and waving it. Finally someone with common sense came up to him. I paid half to him and paid the rest at a different location.

The museum was works of art on one floor and sculptures on another. Some good and most unmemorable. I met up with the group for the dungeon tour near the appointed time. Out of one of the rooms come men in suits and women in dresses. Flowers and smiles, so probably not a funeral. I was a wedding. I was fortunate that the tour didn’t start until after the bride and groom emerged. He dungeon was a disappointment. Concrete steps down, and plastered walls in the dungeon. No cold stone with rings inset in the walls. No rats. No fun. I will have to put that 5 down to a donation to maintain the castle.

Back to the hotel to kiss and make up with my sore feet and kill time until the appropriate 7:30 dinner hour.







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