19.06.2014 - 19.06.2014
So it was time to say goodbye to Rome (for now anyway) and begin the next stage of our adventure. We headed to the airport to pick up our hire car. It was just weird and the first thing I did was head for the drivers door looking for the passenger seat. We soon got the hang of it and once we were on the autostrada it was fairly easy. We passed through a toll gate and took a ticket that we had absolutely no idea what to do with.
The scenery was beautiful with high hilltop villages and misty mountain tops. The storms continued to hang around but we have managed to avoid just about all of them over the last couple of days. Finer weather forecast tomorrow.
Anyway we drove along at 110 km with people whizzing past us like we were on a Sunday drive and got to the toll gate. Ok the ticket needed to go in. We had coins ready until it told us we needed 14 euro! Dave's saying hurry up give me the money I'm fumbling around trying to remember if the 2 euro coin was the big or the small one, traffic was building up behind, finally we realised we could just use a note which we scrambled to find and we got change and were away. Feeling a little (lot) stressed but ok.
Off the freeway into Pompei our GPS had taken us the long way and we had to negotiate some pretty crazy driving and streets. Italians are experts at driving down the centre of the road and sometimes when you are heading towards someone head on you question whether you are driving on the right side of the road. Any way we drove through lots of streets and roundabouts until we got to what should have been the hotel. It was actually not a hotel it was something else all together. I was wondering if the hotel actually existed at all. Maybe I had made a booking in a parking lot :/ eventually we found it but needed to ask someone who didn't speak English for directions.
The streets of Pompei are quite unattractive with lots of rubbish and graffiti. Once we found our hotel it was much better with very well kept gardens inside. They recommended the restaurant across the road for dinner. This was the best meal we had in Italy so far. Up until now the food had been ok but the restaurants in the area near the apartment in rome were very tourist oriented and I felt they lacked authenticity and were pretty keen to make a fast buck from the tourists. This one was the real deal and was the place the locals eat. It was also the cheapest meal we had had at 66 euro for the four of us and Dave and I had an entree. The boys had pizza at just 4 euro for a whole pizza. And a bottle of wine included.
Dave's stuffed squid for dinner
Fresh produce in Italy is very reasonably priced. Compared to eating out which is fairly expensive in comparison. The fruit is divine. I have been gutsing down apricots which taste like the real ones of my childhood at Enfield they are about 2 euro per kg.
Anyway we are headed to the ruins tomorrow which I have really been looking forward too.
I am so glad everyone has been enjoying our travels on the blog. We are actually now at Amalfi but I will publish this one and start on today's so everyone has their morning reading material.