Monday, 22 October 2012

Park Life, Ciao Italia

And so we carry on. 
I'm writing from Heraklion, Crete now, reflecting on my time in Rome and in Naples, it's been, as always, an interesting last couple of days. Rome had some big reflection time, Naples was some great atmosphere, made some friends from Israel I got to sludge around the city with for a day or two, got to do the typical tourist exploring of Vesuvius, Pompeii, and Ercolano. The train to Pompeii was just a nightmare. Looking at us all; shorts, cameras, Yankees hats, guide books...disgusting. I like to think, traveling by myself now especially, that I could pass for a local. My backpack is discreet, I am moody looking and solitary, but I am blonde. Have also been told by a couple traveling friends along the way I look like a typical German/Anglo-Saxon/European. Whatever. As long as I don't look American. As me and the other sunburned sheep herded ourselves off the crowded train, I had already planned to hike my way to the top of Vesuvius. I don't need a 10 euro ride on some obscene, air-conditioned bus with thirty retiree couples from Minnesota, I am the real deal people, (cheap). So I walk. The road was very long, very windy, and I start cutting some corners--who likes to walk on pavement that long anyways? Long story short, I wind up inching up the gravel slope of an active volcano at about a 70 degree angle, very high up in the air. People began to notice me from the observation deck at the top, where they were conveniently dropped off by those buses I mentioned, and start snapping their cameras away at me, the sweaty, shirtless dot of a man scrabbling his way up the slope. 
"Where are you from?" California "So that's why you're crazy. I'm very surprised you're alive" (-New York)
"You are very courageous" (-France)
"I thought you were trying to kill yourself" (-Italy)

Perched up on the slope though, gravel sliding out from underneath me, looking out over the view of the bay, it was easily the highlight of Italy for me. 
So here is the rest of Rome, which I dedicate to my couchsurfing Queen, Giorgia. My best Roman friend, we scootered around the city, went to some concerts at the local punk house, ate, drank and made merry, and discussed the problems of the universe. 
My week with Giorgia.

Villa Borghese

Piazza del Popolo

Jewish Ghetto.

Campo dei Fiori. Historical site for witch burning.

"Man on drugs at concert"

Wide Hips


Took a train to Naples, a day later than expected as they were having a train strike at the Napoli station for my intended travel day. Stayed in three different houses for my stay there, some casual, some ultra casual, and some slightly overbearing and prone to babytalk. Napoli was a very beautiful, fun, and off-kilter city. Very much enjoyed my time there. 
I also ate pizza, yes.

Napoli. Mt. Vesuvio.

Piazza Plebiscito

Castel dell'Ovo
Oh wait, there's an art gallery in here?

Karni the Israelite

Electric prayer.

Piazza Gesu Nuovo

On the way up...

Depths of Vesuvio. Just a bit of smoke.

Perched on a cliff...


Ercolano ruins.

Pompeii and Vesuvio.

Shortly after landing on Crete, I remembered I knew not a single word of Greek. No real problems, I'm not too big a talker anyway, and most of the young people know English. A few of the busmen I needed to communicate with getting from the Chania airport to Heraklion were not quite so English inclined, but we managed..."Map? Mapa? No? Nothing like Spanish whatsoever? My bad" 
Magically figured out my host's location, and went off to another squat party that same night. Chatted with some dreaded Greek kids, danced to some ugly dubstep, very pleasant evening. It's agiven that most of the people here are very political, and I can only imagine how it's going to be once I hit Athens in a couple more days. Today I attended a protest at the college of Heraklion held for some students that were arrested in a previous protest against the administration who chose to withhold giving exams for individuals involved in a sit-in. What Crete has been lacking in sunshine so far for my stay here, it has made up for in local immersion and political education.
Photos to come.
Hopefully I can get to the beach soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment