Now have a few days respite before we move on, have time for blogging and email, but still having problems uploading photos - grr - the vagaries of other people's systems!
Here's news from Italy, hopefully photos will come soon!
Having spent an extra day in Venice, we have only 2 days to get down to Positano, on the Amalfi Coast S. of Naples. We take a midday train down to Orvieto, a medieval hill town in Umbria. The landscape is dramatic and slightly fantyastic - like a fairytale town suspended in the clouds - actually a plateau above steep cliffs.
Not too many people get off the train, maybe it will be nice and quiet? Aagh - on our arrival at 6pm the bus is mobbed by tourists on their way back down - it doesn't look promising! However, we go for a walk around town - the views are incredible, the Duomo divine - and find that it's very friendly and quite quiet now that the daytrippers are gone.
We find a 'local' bar and drink some white wine. We hear music, and discover a music event in a courtyard nearby - the band is playing Hendrix and other blues, they are selling Fair Trade beer, and rough-as-guts red, and homemade panini. The night ends with an Italian pop version of reggae/ska - the crowd is up dancing - it's lots of fun!
Next day, after sightseeing, and strolling at dusk in the beautiful piazza, also ends in music - a guitar trio playing outside a bar attracts a large crowd, and the girls are dancing in the streets - it's my kind of town!
Another late night, but we leave early for Positano - it's quite a trip! The train to Salerno takes only 4 hours, but it takes as long again to reach our little hilltop village of Nocelle, 5km above Positano. What a scary bus ride! now we really feel suspended in the heavens. It's a tiny village of vegetable farmers, with a few B&Bs and one small restaurant which happens to be fabulous.
Foodie alert - we ate (ok, it was over 2 nights):
Antipasto di casa (various cheeses, meats, grilled vegetables & bruschetta)
Cheese ravioli with tomato sauce & basil
Pork cutlets with cherry tomatoes & rocket
Grilled whole fish stuffed with rosemary
Finished with Limoncello liqueur - a local speciality.
The trip out was less hair-raising, but arduous in other ways. Let me just say:
1. Timetables in Italy are approximate at best.
2. The only time a train runs on time is if you are trying to connect with it.
3. It was about 38°C in Rome.
After 2 days, we make it to Arles, but that's another story.