Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Final Italian Chapter...

I am back home.... YAY! Sorry, the signal was so bad in the Southern mountains, I battled to blog.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love my country!?

Not sure if Europe is a place I would like to visit in a hurry again, so here is my final take on a 13 day trip.
The final leg of our trip was to a little fishing village (sounds romantic- we thought it would be) on the Amalfi coast in Italy called Massa Lubrense . We had to drive through Napoli, and that was interesting, it’s probably the most condensed, visually poor looking cities I have seen in Europe. Like a large shanty town at the foot of a very large active volcano. There is certainly a polarised economy there. I am convinced that there will be a large disaster when Vesuvius does blow, the city is so congested that it would take more than a week to evacuate! Went to Pompeii (city built and covered by lava and ash in 79AD) that was something I was glad I could tick off my ‘life to do list’.

So, we hired a villa in Massa Lubrense and hoped to have a relaxed time, cooking, drinking and vegging......The cost of the villa was high so we obviously assumed to get what we paid for....YA RIGHT! You DO NOT get what you pay for in Europe, you need so seeeerious cash there.... we're taking mooocha bucks, but no matter how much cash you have its still very overcrowded! Eish! I battled with that.

The villa was in a beautiful remote surrounding with a fantastic view, but it was filthy dirty, and falling apart. I couldn’t help but feel that the owner’s thought process was ‘hey they will accept anything because the view is cool’. They made NO effort to prepare that house before we arrived. It smelt like one large dusty cupboard, it had been closed for winter. Not to mention that the first day we didn’t have hot water!!! I sooo don’t do icy cold water. We were assigned a 'chef'....this lady was as dirty as the house and told us she actually couldn’t cook, so we didn’t use that option. Trying to buy food was the next ‘joy’....there were only a few very little obscure shops (nothing like the North of Italy - where there are fantastic deli shops) These shops were on narrow windy coast roads and took us a day to find! Nerves were frayed as these people make SA taxi drivers look like they are the cast of Driving Miss Daisy!! I have NEVER seen driving like this…

We finally got hot water and things improved. The Isle of Capri is situated just off the coast near the villa and that was very pretty (see pic above), BUT I cannot honestly say that we got what we paid for. In the end you would expect clean as a minimum when you are paying Sun City Palace prices, so it was very disappointing.

All in all I still love Italy, there is an essence about it, Venice and Florence were great. The South was not great and I do think I have a tendency in my own mind to romanticise things a little, the last time I was there I was a student camping. Being all grown up and paying grown up prices I feel the cost of the trip did not equal the actual experience we had. Maybe we are just too fussy! We will be doing more S African trips from now on...

Chow for now.... or should I say Hambani kahle!


Zani said...

Good to have you back.

Nic said...

hi hi,

thanks for adding the SA Rocks badge to your blog!! I have added you to the SA Rocks supporters list.

If you would like to contribute to SA Rocks just email me:

Graeme said...

Yup... it's SA for me... Just spent a couple of days in Graaf Reinet. Not much to that I hear you say ? Think again, a great little restaurant called the Kliphuis, a couple of the best galleries in the country with some 20 of the original JHB station Pierneefs and the Hester Rupert gallery filled with SA art from the 50's and 60's. And, of course, the enigma of Helen Martins and the Owl House in Nieu-Bethesda, 50 km up the road. Accomodation (clean)in a local farm house with the guinea fowl and peacocks on the doorstep.

I know, it doesn't have the sea but who cares !