Thursday, November 4, 2010

Last Day Roma to Sorrento

Alan with the Crowe
Last day in Roma, with our imminent movements to Sorrento (via Naples) weighing heavily on our minds, our last morning was spent moderately eventless... a late rise, packed the room, scoffed some breakfast upstairs and then checked out – where we headed to one of my favourite sites in Rome; Piazza de Venezia and the monumental building constructed for the first King of United Italy (King; 1851, site completed; 1911) and later incorporating The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Similar in wow-factor as its twin in France (Arch de Triomphe), this colossal white-marble building dwarfs everything near by.  With her inviting multi-levels of cascading stairs guarded by three massive bronze statues we climbed as high as we could by foot, and then scaled to the top level by lift.  And like Paris, Nice, Monaco, and Venice before hand; we were gifted by a stunning 360degree view of Rome.

View from our hotel balcony in Sorrento
Behind us stood a unique angle of the Forum and ruins, along with the Colosseum in the back ground. Before us was a birds eye view of the chaotic Venezian plaza, a lane-less roundabout that is always abuzz with numerous vehicles swerving around each other with gay abandon (a spectacle only surpassed by, ironically enough, the Arch de Triomphe and her 12 points of approach) that has to be seen to be believed and in the distance, the imposing done of St Peter’s Cathedral – the largest Christian church in the world.

Opting for a final coffee to wrap up our Roman experience, we headed back to a cafĂ© we’d already enjoyed the Nectar of the Gods at a few days earlier that I had discovered with the parents when here in Sept.  On recognising us, we were greeted by the owner like old friends, shaking our hands warming and imploring us to sit wherever we pleased.  Feeling adventurous, the following espresso went down a treat especially being sipped in view of the ancient arena down the street.  But, alas, we had to make our move.

And again ...
After the beautiful Concierge lady I fell in love with helped me repair a torn 50EUR note with tape (imagine a brunette/Italian Meg Ryan… sigh) our private car couriered us to the Roma Termini – and the craziness it contains – with a good 80mins to spare.

Once on the Eurostar, we made quick friends with a lovely Canadian couple when Nesh coated said gent by opening an overly excited bottle of Coke upon him and our table. Once dry, conversations rolled easily, with laughter and hilarity abounding. I may even have a contact for when in the land of maple and snow in 2012, which is awesome.

Naples, the danger-zone.  After the incidents of Paris and Venice, we were on high alert is this much warned about area. Making our way from Eurostar to local trains was an effort in itself, with the knowledge the metro-lines being ‘beneath’ the main terminal but all lifts being out of action.  Eventually, we found ourselves where we needed to be and when we needed to be there.
And then the ‘train’ pulled in; something that would have looked archaic in the New York subway in a 70s movie, but we boarded nonetheless and stood for the 90minute-30stop trek to Sorrento, unwilling to step away from our bags, conversation limited to a few bellows at each other over the incredible carriage noise until we reached the safety of solid earth.

View from the docks
And we were lost again. Sorrento was one of the only places (originally) we were never able to have ‘pre-organised’ transport from arrival to hotel… we had to wing it today.  A friendly cab driver ended up assisting us, quoting he’d charge no more than 20EUR to get us to our hotel, if the meter ended lower; we’d pay lower.  Most excellent.
Reaching the Best Western La Solara, I went in expecting a ‘no-frills’ environment.
I now eat my words.
Random pic of cars
This BW has to be one of, it not, the best hotel we’ve stayed at on this trip; awesome 
concierge service, free wifi in the room (that worked!), free bottle of wine, awesome view, quality breakfast (though we didn’t get to attack it as planned), and English TV (even if we were forced to watch GI Joe… twice) plus a free BW shuttle bus service to/fro Sorrento central for it was a little out of town.  Kudos!

Knowing we had us a big Saturday ahead touring Capri/Ana Capri, a night in was had, sponging of said net access and free wine and enjoying the perks of a place of safety.

No comments:

Post a Comment