Kate and Bron's Diary for 2002-10-01

Stayed the night in Sorrento

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From: "Bron Gondwana" <brong@brong.net>
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2002 21:21:38 +1000 (EST)
The two girls who had the good (i.e. not bunk) beds in the room were
leaving, so we grabbed their beds. Made it a little more tollerable, so
we decided to stay one more night. There was so little space that they
were nearly shoved together anyway, so we had effectively a double bed.

Breakfast was a stale bun and a small cup of drink. Found a
supermarket for food, then train to Herculaneum (quite crowded). We
decided it wasn't worth fighting about, and paid for the train. Only
EUR 3 return each.

We forgot to take enough film, so had to buy some more there. Expensive
(yay for tourist prices), but better than no photos.

Luckily they accepted Australian passports as well as EU ones for cheap
entry under 26 into the ruins. We went to the toilets inside, and found
someone with a couple of bits of cleaning equipment and a bowl taking
'tips'. It looked a bit dodgy to me, and we didn't pay. When we went
back later the guy was gone, as was the bowl. Opportunistic behaviour at
its worst - the service he provided consisted of pointing at the correct
door for us (as if we can't read) and occasionally wiping the floor
cleaning tool around in the middle of the floor. It certainly wasn't
clean and nice enough to be worth paying for - especially inside a
restricted area we've already paid to enter.

The audioguides were discounted for groups of 2 or more, and we decided
to get one each. Again, really, _really_ worthwhile. We spent nearly 6
hours walking around the ruins, and listening to everything. I listened
to every single item on the whole guide, and Kate only missed a couple
of (actually quite boring) bits on the various styles of art. We stopped
for a picnic lunch in one of the garden areas. They've done a fantastic
job of putting green bits in where they belong, and making it a whole
lot brighter than it would have been with just the buildings. Some of
the buildings are amazingly preserved, and we're really glad we came
here instead of Pompeii.

Another crowded train to Sorrento, and out for dinner to try the
Southern Pizza[tm] (thick base) as opposed to the Northern Pizza. It was
really nice, and very cheap (especially with free shots of a lemon
flavoured spirit afterwards), but the experience was marred by seeing
the cook smoking over the top of the food as he prepared it. We left
immediately after seeing that, and didn't leave a tip.

Slept much better in our new beds.

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