There is nothing quite like returning home after a vacation. Even though it was the vacation of a lifetime, I still gave a little squeal in the car as I saw the Seattle skyline. The thought of my own bed and ‘el elefante’, the affectionate name for our couch which looks like an elephant and as I’m learning Spanish has transferred to that language, created a lovely warm feeling within.
Now the overflowing piles of laundry are done and we’re settling back to Seattle life, sorting out the pictures, (a number one priority of course!) has made me reminisce and perhaps more so made me contemplate the question my beau asked on the drive back to Rome which was, “What were my favorite activities in each place we went to?”
Here they are in order of our arrival.
In a city overflowing with history, my favorite was the Roman Forum. It was at the end of the day that we wandered through having seen the Colosseum earlier and then the House of Augustus. Our legs ached after clocking up about twelve miles, but we were not willing to give up and go back to hotel before we’d seen them! There were remnants of pillars, shop fronts, houses, temples and churches. As it was our first historic site that we had visited, I really did (and continue to) struggle to get my head around the fact that I was walking around and looking at structures and a city that people living in 70ish AD had lived, worked and walked in. It was almost beyond comprehension. As I stepped in amongst the ruins there was a very strange sensation of being caught in between the past and present because the history spilled into the present in greater volume. A wonderfully overwhelming beginning to the vacation!
Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. These were my ‘must do’s’ and are now on my list of top ten most incredible accomplishments. Granted I can only choose one, so in this case I choose Vesuvius.
After a forty minute coach ride, putting both the Italian driving abilities and the strength of my nerves to the test, it was about a fifteen to twenty minute steep hike to the summit. Had it been possible, I would have skipped up there in my excitement, but as it was, it made me realize how despite going to the gym, all that work didn’t feel like it had touched the sides!
That moment of reaching the top and peering over the side to look in was a feeling like no other. I felt so small. There I was looking inside this enormous sleepy volcano which could potentially erupt at any given moment; it was really quite special to be privy to such an aspect of Mother Nature – in that moment I felt completely at her mercy. I must admit though, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of disappointed at not seeing lots of orange lava steaming and bubbling away at the bottom! However, what was noticeable was the heat rising. I’d walk through a patch every now and again, so it was certainly clear that there were ‘things’ happening under the surface.
Ahhh Positano, this was the second favorite location out of the whole trip for both my beau and I. The scenery was absolutely exquisite; I could not and have not found words to express its beauty.
After a long drive from Napoli and having skipped breakfast, we arrived hungry and ready to eat. Our hotel was much nicer than it had appeared when booking and the terrace gave us a first class view of the coast. This was my favorite moment. I looked out at what seemed like a painting. With a glass of Prosecco in one hand, I ate spaghetti littered with fresh olives, capers and tuna with the other, and as I sat there chewing, I literally couldn’t take my eyes from the view for fear that it would disappear because it may wasn’t real. It is said that Roman nobility would vacation on the Amalfi Coast and now I understand why, it’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.
So, that covers the first half of the trip, my favorite moments. It was extremely difficult to pin point a number one. I’m sure you may have thought some of mine simple, but I continuously found myself in awe of my surroundings; I didn’t have to actually be doing anything to be deeply moved by the moment I was in – shows I’m easily pleased!
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”