Monday, May 18, 2009

Pompeii and Sorrento

We got up early (Anson actually got up really early and saw the sun rise on the beach) and went to Pompeii. First, though, we had to stop to pick up more supplies. We had seen signs for a large grocery store (we had actually stopped at it but it was closed). We pulled into the parking lot at 8:30 and found out it didn't open until 9, so we decided to wait. By the time  o'clock had rolled around there were 50 or so people waiting to get into the store. Most of them had carts and the atmosphere was sort of like the beginning of a race. People were not really 'jockeying' but more moving around slowly to try to gain a better position. As soon as the security guard opened the gate those in front shot out on their shopping errands. After Anson and I had gotten our groceries we headed off towards Pompeii. 

Although it was beautiful, and really cool to be able to walk around in that old of a place, it was sort of like a museum. Ie. it was really neat at first but after a while became a lot less exciting. Due to poor planning on our part we didn't bring in food and, because they didn't sell any inside Pompeii, we ended up leaving sooner than we would have liked. After Anson got lunch and I got gelato we walked around to the front and, to our surprise, they let us back in. Having been satiated, we enjoyed our round two entrance a bit more.

Because we were let in again, it was almost 4 by the time we left Pompeii, so we decided to begin making our way south, in preparation for heading inland (and back towards Bari) the next day. In Sorrento we stopped again for food and, to our surprise, we actually found a kebab restaurant. Anson ordered one of those but, because they are supremely meaty, I looked for something else on the menu. I saw savory looking baked goods in the display case and something that had spinach in it on the menu. For some reason (probably wishful thinking) I assumed that they were the same thing but, just in case, I asked if the menu item had meat in it. It did. (I found out later that the menu item I was asking about corresponded to the plate of spinach with sausages on it in the display case. Duh! it had meat in it.) I then asked if the delicious looking item in the display case had meat in it. It also did. After a couple more minutes of talking I began to realize that this experience was exactly what Anson had been talking about when he said 'When you ask an Italian a question, it is not just a question but a problem that needs to be solved.' I had brought up eating spinach and it was rapidly becoming clear that they were going to make sure I ate some spinach, if that was indeed what I wanted. I did my best to convey that that was what I wanted so they nodded and asked me to sit down. By this point Anson was well into his kebab and when, by the time he finished it they still hadn't brought out any food, we began to wonder if I had actually ordered anything. 

It was foolish for us to doubt and moments later they brought out ... a steaming plate of buttery, cheesy, salty, oily, and generally delicious looking plate of spinach. I answered in the affirmative when he asked if I wanted bread. Moments later he returned with bread, which I quickly used to sop up the oil and butter. It was, perhaps, a little to salty but overall good and, most importantly, it was very very Italian. 

After dinner we continued moving south and began to keep our eyes out for a campsite. We were not too excited about the possibility of paying 20 euros to camp so we tossed around the idea of just camping on the beach. However, as we drove along the coastal highway we started to see prostitutes on the side of the road. This only further contributed to a general air of shadiness so we ended up paying to camp in a gated campground by the beach. After we got set up we went for a walk on the beach, which, while nice, mostly reaffirmed our decision not to poach camping.

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