Upon arrival in Naples, we went to the ticket office to see if we could exchange the return ticket for one on a slow train. It was not possible because we had paid with a credit card. The only way to do the slow train was to buy another ticket. We decided we would do that another time.
For now, we had to find our Naples hotel. This time we were armed with a map. Off we went, but we had not exited the train station where we thought. To make a long story short, we made an extensive circle through one of the worst parts of Naples dragging a suitcase and trying to make sense of a map which wasn't telling us anything useful. When we finally reached the hotel, we looked back and realized it was just three blocks from the station - just as advertised.
We fell on the bed and mindlessly surfed the 732 channels on the TV and eventually decided we had to have something to eat before bed. Finding a place open and ready for business on a dreary Sunday evening was not easy, but we persevered. At last we found a cafeteria/deli serving decent beer and wine and a wide array of pasta. I chose the one that looked the least dried out and made friends as best I could with the German proprietor and the Italian helper. It must have worked because we were treated to a small plate of anchovies after we finished the pasta.
As we sat there in our red plastic chairs, we watched a parade of people come in for a cup of coffee, a beer, a slice of pizza, and we were both struck by what a great cast they would make in a Fellini movie. What an assortment they were!
My first impressions of Naples: What a mess! Trash everywhere. Impromptu yet endless flea markets and rummage sales. Poverty on a colossal scale. Cute little kids.
Sheets hanging on clotheslines in the rain. Did I mention trash? I certainly don't want to forget about the trash. It's the most important factor in my first impressions.
Right this moment, I'm ready for sleep. Tomorrow will be a better day! I'm positive. However, I needed to write this down to make sure I remember some of the more interesting, but not always positive, aspects of travel.