Monday, June 14, 2010

Italy: Part 1*

While S was working in Europe, he had a week off in Naples with a paid hotel room. Recognizing a good thing when we saw it, we decided I should come meet him so we could explore Italy together. I had planned to meet up with S in Munich and travel together on the same flight to Naples, but the plan changed because of an emergency landing during my first leg of the trip (a passenger was said to be having a heart attack). That time was scary and unlike any experience I have ever had while flying. Thankfully, it began before we got over the Atlantic, so we stopped in Halifax so the passenger could be taken off the plane to receive medical attention. Our flight then proceeded to Frankfurt, where I spent a lot of time and was re-scheduled on new flights to replace the ones I missed.

Meal in Frankfurt: yummy Apfel Kompott, pretzel, and a water

I had texted S from the plane while landed in Halifax to tell him about the emergency stop and to get the hotel address because I suspected I would miss my connections. This turned out to be the case, but I had no way to contact him after I left Canada. Thankfully I experienced the help of two kind strangers. The first was a guy I met in Frankfurt who agreed to write S an email to pass on my flight information after he arrived at his destination and had email access. He followed through, and S was thankful to have finally received word about me, after hours of not knowing what was going on after I did not make the flight in Munich. The other exceptionally kind person was a young woman I met in Munich while waiting to take my newly assigned flight. She is from Naples and she helped me figure out where our hotel was, and she and her mother even ended up giving me a ride to the hotel so I wouldn't have to attempt public transportation alone late at night. The kindness of these two strangers was particularly moving; I was so thankful for their help during a long and emotional journey.**
The next morning we had our first breakfast on the roof of our hotel. Below is the gorgeous view, which ended up being one of the things I enjoyed most. Just sitting on the roof looking at this view everyday during breakfast.*** Ah....

I quickly discovered Naples to be an overwhelming sensory experience. In a good way. There are mopeds everywhere (even sidewalks and pedestrian zones), red lights are treated like they are optional, and almost everything not moving has grafitti on it. Pizza was created here and we ate it almost daily. I also made it my personal mission to eat a lot of gelato.****

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*Yep....more photos and stories coming. As you probably know, I am too verbose to get it in on just one post. Or two. Or three. Haha.
**Each of them recounted a story of how they were helped in a difficult situation while traveling abroad and said they were glad to help another person out in return. I will, of course, do my best to pass on kindness in the future. The whole series of events was emotional for me because I had no way to alert S as to what was going on and when I expected to arrive in Naples. I later found out, that the airline would provide S with absolutely no information about my travel and flights, even knowing we are married. He was thankful to finally get the email from the guy I had met in Frankfurt.
***Mt. Vesuvius is on the left, under the clouds.
****When I was in Italy during my university back-packing-across-Europe days, I was too broke to afford gelato. As in, I didn't eat any at all (a budget of $21 a day including housing and everything did not leave room for luxuries like gelato, sadly), and I have always regretted that. So I made up for it with this trip by eating gelato every day except one, and boy, is it delicious!


  1. Ha... Lovely. I'm so excited for our own trip now. Except for the flight part -oh my. I'm such a nervous flier and would give ANYTHING to skip this part, a thing like this would have freaked me out. Glad you made it out OK, and the kindness of these strangers is so wonderful...

  2. Oh, and I posted the pictures from Sandra's flowers this morning! It turned out great! (Except I didn't see her when I delivered them and I have had no feedback from her, I really hope she liked them).

  3. That is so nice that those strangers helped you out! The trip looks amazing