Off to Pompeii today. Vesuvius, the eruption and all that. A previous neighbour of mine was always burning garden rubbish and that got on my pip, so I would have been a bit pissed off, if, as a resident of Pompeii back in 79AD, that a mountain blew up just after I’d hung out my washing. Nightmare. Continue reading “Naples 2: Pompeii, Is It Me or Is it Hot in Here.”
‘Ryanair have cheap flights East Midlands to Naples,’ said The Little Nurse ‘Wanna go?
‘Yes,’ I said. ‘Someone should keep an eye on the Italians. Might as well be us.’
Ryanair let us down this time. I don’t normally knock Ryanair but they harried us to board quickly, two hours late, only to tell us we probably wouldn’t be leaving for another two hours. We arrived in Naples at 2.00am, over 4 hours late, too late to eat, but we were able to get a drink in the hotel reception. Gin is a kind of food, right?
The hotel was a bit weird. It bills itself as an ‘Art Hotel’ whatever that is. Maybe it’s because your wardrobe is a collection of brightly coloured shelves and a hanging rail, without doors. Or sides. Or a top. Or maybe it’s because the corridor lights are in the floor so you have to dance around them in order not to burn your feet. Or could it be the lamp made from a juice carton? The room had french windows, opening on to a tiny balcony, overlooking a fabulous street. No sea view, no rolling parkland or ornate gardens. Just a proper street with people, traffic, arguments, and dogshit. I loved it. Continue reading “Naples 1: Keeping an Eye on the Italians.”
The Freedom Trail is a red line on the Boston sidewalks which you follow around to see all the historic sites. Go on your own or join an organized tour. (Or hang around at the back of a group to get the skinny without the cost). We joined our prearranged guided tour on a drizzly morning and set off. It’s pretty good if a little over patriotic for non US citizens, especially us Brits. The guides are informative, enthusiastic, and importantly they have a sense of humour. Essential when they have to deal with a sarcastic clever-shoes like me. Continue reading “Boston 1: A Technical Defeat on The Freedom Trail.”
After the incident with the dogs in El Acerbo I set off for Ponferrada. It was mainly downhill and the terrain was either scree-like or huge fissured boulders. Tough going. I spotted a woman ahead in the distance. She was moving very slowly, unsure of her footing. I could see that she was struggling from a mile away. Even from that distance I could also see that she could never be described as a small eater, adding to her problems. She had my sympathy, I had been a little overweight myself a few years ago. Mine had been a medical condition though. I suffered from an overactive knife and fork. Continue reading “Camino 10: Downhill Racer”
As we had arrived fairly late into Santander our first morning was spent getting our bearings. I photographed the hotel as we left, a habit I’ve developed since my futile attempts to pronounce the name of a Delhi hotel to about 70 taxi drivers. So. Why Santander. Well, the Little Nurse and I love Spain but not so much the resorts. We are going to visit all the cities and all the large towns. As soon as we see cheap flights we’re off. STN-SDR was £40 return. Continue reading “Santander 1: Shellfish from Space”
Is there a sadder sight than five or six passengers hanging around a recently emptied baggage carousel where the passing of time is marked by the continuing circuit of a solitary dilapidated bag belonging to none of them. Being the most realistic of the disappointed travellers gathered thus, I pushed off to the lost luggage desk. The service was South East Asian. They look as if they don’t care. They look as if there is no system. They look as if this situation has never before happened. But there are wheels within wheels, and, after a few questions, you are handed a handwritten scrap of paper bearing an unfeasibly long reference number and sent on your way. Continue reading “Cambodia 1: Siem Reap for us. Luggage in Bangkok”
After a night in Malaga we caught the 10.30 train to Seville. It got in an hour late. We had about a half hour walk to the hotel. We swapped wheelie cases because the Little Nurse was struggling with hers. Too heavy she said. In reality one of the wheels was jammed. It might as well have been an anchor. Dragging it for half an hour killed the case completely so a new one would be obtained later. Continue reading “Feria de Abril Seville 1:”
Continuing my slant on the idiosyncracies of Spanish life.
The opposite of Multi Tasking is, naturally enough, Single Tasking and that’s the way they roll in Spain. A Spanish man never does more than one thing at a time. In fact major tasks like buying a stamp or going for a haircut could very well be the only accomplishment in a whole day. A major task, like filling up with petrol, Continue reading “Life in Spain 2: Car Parking, Extreme Single Tasking and Random Windows.”
The Don Suero Hotel Leon, my home for the last two nights is right on the Camino route, so I sat outside with my morning coffee watching dozens of pilgrims continuing on their way. As I had taken the extra day in Leon I didn’t recognise many of them. People I had met earlier had mostly rolled out the day before. Continue reading “Camino 8: Ghost Town.”
The Spanish do things differently. Here’s a few things I’ve noticed about the idiosyncrasies of Spanish life.
Almost all Spanish Street Names are named after people. Not things or places. There is no Spanish equivalent of Acacia Avenue or Thames Road. It’s all people. They start off with the great and the good. Kings are definitely top of the list. Continue reading “Life in Spain 1: Waiters, what can you do?”