Monday, August 13, 2007
July 3rd (Written July 5th, on a train, somewhere)
We woke to an ocean swim, the water was cool, but not cold and the sand soft between our toes. The same could not be said about the wall of rocks piled by the high tide. All of it was dark black from its volcanic origins. We floated about until we were good and pruny before heading up for showers and breakfast.
Breakfast was a combo of highs and lows. It was, for Erin, the first breakfast in a while with something other then "a bun," yogurt to be exact. On the down side, the coffee was terrible, that may have been an operator malfunction, but the button's were not labeled in Italian, never mind English.
We left our luggage with the desk and walked into the city, we shopped the quaint stores in search of beach towels but failed (little did we know we wouldn't find anyone selling beach towels until our last day in Italy.) Around noon we hired a boat to take us around the Island of Stromboli to see "the scar of flame."
Our ride was really nice, we didn't see any liquid lava, but we got a hot gas geyser and a rock slide, and a lot of smoke.
Our Captain/Guide spoke no English, but he had the universal gestures for eruption, explosion and lava flow down pat. Erin was regaled with my standard lecture of Hawaiian lava types and why the names are backwards.
The boat took us all the way around the Island and out to the lighthouse Island of Strombolicio, where we swam from the boat. The water was crystal clear, and it seemed like it was only feet deep, but it was really tens of feet or more.
The swim was great until one of the snorkellers who we met out there said "Jellyfish" which put me off, and out of the water.
We made shore in the heat of the day and sought out lunch. All the restaurants were closed for a siesta, but we found a nice bar, with a great view. Italian bars are more like small cafeterias; you can get pre-made food, like sandwiches and pizza, which can be reheated, as well as drinks and deserts.
A Biera, and a hotdog roll, and a gelato later and we made for the beach where we idled the day away.
At 5 we boarded our ferry for Naples, sad to leave that smoking gem of the Aeolian Islands.
The boat to Naples was hard on Erin, rough water, higher speeds, and no fresh air and no clean windows made her queasy. Even I was affected, but mostly I was just hot and sticky. It was a grueling 4 hours, but it was still a great day.
We scurried away from the port by taxi and found our hotel. It was in a sketchy alley; from the outside we were worried, but wonderful on the inside. Our first order of business was showers, and then dinner. Knowing we would be late, we purchased rolls, prosciutto and pecorino from Stromboli and made our own sandwiches.
We ate, and then like every other night, we slept the sleep of the dead.