Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dan's Comments 1

From time to time on this tour of Italy, Dan has agreed to share some of his impressions with me.  Here's the first:

"This is a very interesting country in many unexpected ways.  A motorist is apt to leave his car in the middle of a one-lane road and block the flow of traffic while he has a drink in a bar.  Yesterday a Northern Italian told us that this would happen in South Italy, but before we reached our hotel it happened to us here in Rome."
Our bus blocked in Rome.

"The proficiency of drivers, especially big bus drivers, on the switchback roads of the Amalfi Coast is incredible.  In three days of driving we encountered only two accidents, although there was seldom more than six inches of leeway between our bus and the ones it was encountering.  Fortunately the Vespa riders usually didn't try to squeeze between us until we had passed.

Scenically that coast is quite spectacular, with volcanic mountains of the southern Appenines plunging several thousand feet into Homer's wine-dark sea.  It takes a while, though, to make the esthetic adjustment to fishing villages that look like tenements."
Fishing village along the Amalfi Coast is very different from one in Nova Scotia

"Pompeii was much more impressive than it seems in photographs.  Something about the third dimension gives it a convincing reality, the humanity of which is attested to by the hundreds of museum amphorae and the handful of plaster casts of the bodies of people killed in the eruption.  Today there are 700,000 people living within Pompeii's distance from Vesuvius. That's what makes it the most dangerous volcano in the world."
Amphorae and cast of victim from Pompeii.

"After even Amalfi's tourist accommodation, Rome's seem rapacious.  Five euros to use the TV or the Internet. It would be cheaper to buy a new blouse than to have one laundered here."

Eleven euros ($15.00) to launder a blouse.

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