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Naples, En Route To Pompei.

June 30, 2009

Before this past May’s trip to Italy, the last time I was in Naples was when I was 18 years old. Not much has changed. The old buildings are still there – older of course – it is way more congested, both street traffic and pedestrian wise, and a lot of people still smoke. There’s virtually no outdoor space, including sidewalk cafés, that’s free from secondhand smoke. Although I have to say that, thank goodness, the indoor air quality seemed to be good. 

Like a lot of folk, foreign lands always seem more magical to me than my homeland; the obvious unknown element of the terrain, the people/culture (including food), plus one is usually “out of oneself” when traveling. A different part of the persona seems to emerge: one that says “yes” to a lot more things, some that might seem a little on the “dangerous” side. Sometime during the two hour flight south from Rome down the coast of the “boot” of Italy, the terrain felt more “familiar” to me, a little less mysterious. Don’t ask me why, the only explanation I have is that it looked like an American coast-line (if you can ignore Mount Vesuvius as you approach Naples). I remember the last time I was in Naples, as I stepped off a train I felt immediately thrust into the heart of the city, this time I enjoyed the gentle approach flying over luscious green landscapes and coast line. 

The traffic, the commotion……………

The laundry dangling from washing lines, all added to the hustle and bustle of this busy city………………

 

We arrived in the “center” of the city just time for lunch……….

And witnessed a gathering demonstration, apparently about lack of jobs. There’s no place “exempt” from this economic down turn.

 

The crowd was composed of mostly young people, all behaving in an orderly manner. They were still “congregating” when we left our little restaurant and headed off to Pompei, Mount Vesuvius always close by.

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