Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Sorrento, day 1 - going to Campania

Our flight to Naples was at 8.30 and we needed to be there three hours before, so we decided to stay overnight at the Sofitel hotel at the airport. We then discovered that we could check in, the night before, which meant that we didn’t have to be up quite so early… result all round.
The flight to Italy was good, and although it was cloudy we still managed to see the Alps.
The only thing was, we had to go via Hannover to pick up some stranded crew, so we arrived in Italy about an hour and a half late. (They couldn't refuel with us on board in Hannover, until the fire crew had arrived...)

We caught the bus from the airport at Naples to our hotel, and had our first view of Vesuvius - who followed us all the way to Sorrento.
The road was very winding (hairpin bends) with steep drops to the side – it meant we had beautiful views over the Bay of Naples, but it was a bit unnerving when we looked down! All the houses looked as if they'd been sprinkled on the cliffside.

The hotel was lovely and the staff were very friendly. Our room was very Mediterranean, with tiled floors and mainly white walls. We had a great view of the pool from our balcony.
We went for a small reccie of St Agnello (of course it involved a gelateria - true to form, cioccolata for Chris, fragola for Gerry, panna cotta for Chloe and nocciola for me). Then we went for a swim - the pool area was gorgeous, with orange, lemon and grapefruit trees as well as palm trees and banana trees surrounding it.
The kids were amazed by the size of the fruit on the trees (this hammy, over-dramatic pic was their idea - they may have second thoughts, once they see it...)
The freshly squeezed orange juice at the pool bar was pretty scrummy, too.

As well as seeing the pool from our balcony, we could also see the island of Ischia from our balcony, and later still discovered that we overlooked the sunset.

Dinner was a Neapolitan night - the kids chose spremata, Gerry chose noodles in vegetable stock, and I had arancini (rice calls stuffed with mozzarella). For mains, Chloe had grilled sea bass and the rest of us had a Caprese dish of pork stuffed with mozzarella; plus green beans and Neapolitan potatoes. Pudding was a lemon profiterole - and Salvatore, the head waiter, was lovely and brought fussy boy some chocolate gelati. Was very, very impressed by how much fuss the staff made of the children.

We were all tired from travelling so it was an early night.

20 comments:

Jan Jones said...

Sounds fab, Kate. Always wanted to go to Sorrento. I wrote a short story about it once, but it's not the same as being there.

PS - welcome back

Morton S Gray said...

Hi Kate

I think the energy from Vesuvius is amazing. I couldn’t take my eyes off it when I was in Naples. Found Pompeii a bit eerie though. Glad you had a good time.

Morton x

susanwilson44 said...

Hi Kate
looks fabulous, glad you had a nice time. Can't wait to see the pics you've got at Pompeii and compare them! I already know that yours will be better than mine x

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - it just got better from there :o) And you're right - it's lovely writing about things, but not at all the same as being there. (My research for two of my books did hold up, but the real thing was even better and I would've probably added more layers!)

Kate Hardy said...

Morton - so true about Vesuvius. (See tomorrow's post.) Pompeii was quite upsetting in places (again, see later in the week - I have three posts coming up about Pompeii).

We had a wonderful time, thanks, and I'm so glad we went.

Kate Hardy said...

Susan - I did wonder if we were going to bump into each other! (Really spooky as there was a suitcase on our baggage reclaim yesterday afternoon that had a strap embroidered with 'S Wilson'.)

I'm dying to see your pics, too, because it was such a huge place that I bet we saw different things. (And dunno about better pics - just different!)

Sue said...

I loved St Agnello - more than Sorrento, to be honest. I was cross with Sorrento because it was so damned difficult to get into the sea and I'd taken my snorkelling gear.

Food was good at the hotel. Can't remember its name, though.

margaret blake said...

Lovely pictures, makes me long to "go back to Sorrento" and Amalfi and Positano.

Caroline said...

Fab photo's Kate. Caroline x

Michela said...

So glad that you had a lovely time in my part of the world! And glad you liked limoncello and the famous arancini... they're delicious, aren't they?? Love, xx

Nell Dixon said...

Looks and sounds lovely

Lacey Devlin said...

You always take the most amazing pictures! It sounds and looks like an incredible trip :)

Cara Cooper said...

Thanks for these postings Kate, brings memories of our holiday back for us and it's always interesting to see the things other people do. I'm writing a serial at the mo with Sorrento as the setting. My mother who'll be 90
next year went there on her honeymoon back in the fifties. When they went to Pompeii there was no tourist stuff at all, just the ruins and they were shown around, just the two of them by a friendly policeman who had nothing else to do! How things have changed.... By the way, I hope you don't mind, but I'm buying an Ipad today and just had one or two questions I have asked you on Facebook. If you get time to have a look I'd be really grateful although I know you have a million books, blog etc to write!

Kate Hardy said...

Sue - I'm glad we stayed in St Agnello as it was a little quieter. We stayed at the Alpha.

And how annoying re the snorkelling!

Kate Hardy said...

Margaret - more pics coming later this week which might also make you feel wistful... It's a lovely part of the world.

Kate Hardy said...

Caroline - thanks :o) Better ones to come!

Kate Hardy said...

Michela - your part of the world is utterly gorgeous, and we had SUCH a good time. The food was fantastic (I did try local specialities as much as possible) and the people are just fantastic, so warm and friendly and kind.

Kate Hardy said...

Nell - thanks, it was. (Nerdy history ones to follow...!)

Kate Hardy said...

Lacey - thanks, and it was a great trip :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Cara - I thought it might bring back memories for you! And how lovely that you're using Sorrento as a setting. (Me, too, when I start the next one *g*)

How exciting that your mum went there in the 50s - and how amazing to be shown round by a friendly policeman. Having said that, even though there were a lot of people there, it didn't actually feel crowded.

Good on you for the iPad - you won't regret it. I've answered on FB but forgot to mention apps - Pocket Informant is a good todo/diary system and Pages for writing (I email my current WIP between PC and iPad as it's quicker than syncing). Oh, and Boggle and Peggle as "limbering up" tools :o)