I wake up to MacKay’s alarm which sounds like a bad Tom Sawyer rip off. We’ve gotten a decent sleep and aren’t too hungover for once. Grab a shower and make a mental note that my travel towel is officially done after this trip. We put anything of value in MacKay’s day pack and get moving. Gonna be a big day.
Exit Pizza Hostel into the noisy and busy streets of Naples again. We’re not in a crazy rush, which is nice. There are regular trains out towards Pompeii and our only real goals are to spend the whole day exploring the site and then get in to Florence tonight via high speed rail.
First thing’s first: Breakfast.
We head towards a main street on our digimap which looks like it has some options. The alleys are so narrow we have to stop and wait for cars to pass like in Prizren. We emerge into the airy main street and it’s just ridiculously riddled with garbage.
The filth of it all makes every other place we’ve been on this trip gleam in comparison. “Look at this shit dude. Smile.” Derp.
We find an outdoor patio with a good view of the glorious garbage piles and go in to see what’s on offer. We each point through the display glass to some pizza bread looking thing and another one with prosciutto and cheese. We get some tiny coffees and take a seat outside to test everything out. Dry and shitty. Ah well, good try.
There’s a lot of noise from the street and the atmosphere isn’t too appealing so we decide to just save some time, pay up and get things underway.
Inside again to talk to the girl at the cash. Don’t think she speaks English (or doesn’t want to?). I pull out a card to pay. She just looks and says, “No.” then starts yelling at the other employee behind the barista area who comes over to see what’s up.
“Yes?” “We want to pay.” “Oh.. talk to her.” “Ahh ok, we were just…” Another server comes in and the girl we were just talking to, who we’re supposed to be talking to again, is now yelling at him. He’s distracted and bumps into another girl holding a cake who’s also wanting to pay. Now Cake Girl is yelling at Clumsy Server Guy and Cash Girl is yelling at him too. Hmmm this is.. not fun.
Go back to the other guy who speaks English. “Could we get two waters, please?” “Bagno?” “No, acgua.” “Gas o sin gas?” “Sin gas, grazie.” He gives us one. I hold up two fingers, “Can we get two? Due?” Nope. He’s done talking to us and joins in the ensuing bitchfest. I look to Cash Girl for some help. She just puts a receipt on the counter without a word. Ok… looks like ours. I drop money on it, “Grazie.” Not a look. They’re all still yelling at each other. We’re out. Good times.
We hoof over to the train station passed more piles of garbage and busted up furniture. MacKay is shaking his head as we pass by some crushed monitors and blown out tvs, “Man… this place sucks.” Looks like we’re full circle back to our initial impressions of Naples.
We navigate to some train ticket machines and hit the screens trying to figure it out. It is the. slowest.. ticketing… machine…. ever. A line forms behind us as we wait for processing screens after each question. People are on their tippy toes wondering what the hell is taking so long. We’re also wondering. There’s nothing happening. No buttons are responsive. Screen on spiral load icon… Finally. We walk a gauntlet of scowls away from the explosion.
“Dude, we’re not even tired or hungover. This place just sucks.” “Ya, it’s definitely not my fave.”
But we get to the train and are happy to be on our way. It runs South and East along the Gulf of Naples passed the notorious Mt Vesuvius. It’s only about an hour and the scenery is great here beside the water.
Immediately off the train and it is all signs and billboards about the ruins. There is a pretty Italian girl trying to sell us tours of Pompeii. Guard instantly goes up. Oh actually this seems legit. An audio guide is 8 bucks. “What do you think, share one?” “And stick our heads together at each stop? No we’ll take two, please.” Then ten dollars for a shuttle to the entrance. It’s a 30 min walk. Sure.
We get into a small passenger van and the driver turns around, “We wait for two passengers for the bus. One moment.” This guy has a great accent like that asshole, Path, way back in Wroclaw. “Look at this weather. Is beautiful. End of October is a miracle.” Liking this poetic cat.
I notice MacKay popping a mentos from the pack he bought last night. “Got any of those left?” “Nah man, just ate the last one.” “You ate 20 pieces of gum last night?” “Yeah man, bottles only this big.” “20… last night?” “Yeah man, I like to be minty fresh.” “Ahhh… You have an addictive personality, you know that right?” “What? It’s just gum.” “No, it’s 20 pieces of gum in an hour haha.” “Ya, may have a point there. But no. All out of the fresh maker.”
The van pulls over and Great Accent Guy wishes us a good day.
We walk through a gate by some tall trees and are almost immediately in an open field surrounded by columns and what looks like an amphitheater behind.
Well this already looks super awesome. We’re on the case…