Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Serene Serendipity in Southern Italy

I believe good things happen when you least expected, and it feels even better when they come coincidentally. I remembered I  was in a bus taking me from Siena to Napoli (Naples in English). It was supposed to be a 6.5 hours of journey. The bus were 15 minutes late which was something you should expect in Italy. Of all other European countries I visited, Italy would be the one where the transportation was not sharp on time. It happened several time, my train to Venice which was late almost an hour, my train to Siena was 20 minutes late, and some buses as well. So, when I saw my watch, it was 12.15 am and the bus was just coming, I'm not surprised nor dissapointed, hey in my country things could get worse!

The schedule said we're supposed to be arrived at Napoli at 6.30 am and with the 15 minutes delay I expect we arrived at 6.45 pm. Around 5.45 am the bus was stopped and I think I heard the conductor said Napoli. But I saw my watch and I was like "There's now way we're one hour earlier than the schedule, It's Italy!" So, I sat still in my seat and looked outside, it was still pitch black, well not pitch black but dark and I was so sure it'd be so damn cold out there. I was not prepared for the cold temperature because it's Napoli, I was not expecting walking at cold dawn and I didn't bring my coat for sure. At that time I was so sure we're not at the Napoli stop I'm supposed to get off and it will be on the next stop until the bus started to depart and I saw "Hotel Terminus" the hotel mentioned at my ticket as the bus stop in Napoli. I know I was supposed to scream to the driver and ask him to stop the bus, something like "Ferma quel pullman per favore! Voglio scendere qui!" but I didn't. I just sat calmly like a numb tree. Weird.

For the next 10 minutes I was still calm until I felt the bus started to enter the highway. I started to panicked and realized we're heading far off Napoli right now (well, helloow, where have you been?? Do-oh). Lot of things were going through my mind at that time, what if the next stop is somewhere far and will take 6 hours of journey? If I want to go back to Napoli it means 12 hours of journey and I will be arrived at 6 pm. Noooo. And how much will it cost the 6 hours of journey back to Napoli? It will cost me a fortune! Then, what about my friend Yessi whom we made the deal to explore Napoli together? What if the next stop is a city where there are mafia? I mean, we are in the south of Italy. What if I meet the mafia gangster and they made me their slave who never get paid? Okay, that was a bit too far I guess.

30 minutes later I can get hold of myself and check the google map on my Blackberry (yes, Blackerry can open google map too!). From it I learned that we were on the highway Napoli-Salerno. Never really heard the city before then I browsed how long will take from Napoli to Salerno. I feel relieved when I saw it was not 6 hours ride. Then to make sure I asked the guy who sat in front of me.
Me: "Scusi, quale la prossima fermata?"
Mr. z: "La prossima fermata e' Salerno"
Me: "Per quanto tempo arrivare?"
Mr. z: "15-20 minuti"
Me: "Fiuuhhh, io vorrei andare a Napoli ma non scendevo perche penso che non e' Napoli ancora."
Mr. z: "Oh, non ti preoccupare, puoi prendere il treno da Salerno, solo un ora a Napoli, bla bla bla..."

The man kept talking while I saw from the window the most beautiful view ever, the Amalfi coast at dawn, It was so beautiful, with the pink-red-violet color of the sky, the sea and the hill with sparkly lights. I frantically tried to grab my camera to capture such a delight view out there but I did not fully concentrated as the man kept talking and I was tried to be nice, so when I finally reached the camera the view was no longer there. Huhuhu. I was dissapointed but glad at the same time that I witnessed the famous Amalfi coast even just a glimpse.

Finally we arrived at Salerno. I feel like such a waste if I get off at Salerno but didn't get to see anything, so after checked the train schedule and  bought the ticket, I took a walk to the port which is near the station, around 5 minutes of fast walking. I only have around 30 minutes there to jump on the train in order to be on time in my appointment with Yessi. Again, my eyes were so blessed with the beautiful view of the sea and the port at the sunrise. It was a view which I have never seen in Italy before (I was already 3 weeks in Italy at that moment). It was so sure the most beautiful sunrise which I accidentally seen in my whole life (hahah, whatta long name). Here are some pictures I managed to take.

Beautiful sunrise

The Port

I really wish I stayed longer in Salerno, in this city I finally experienced being teased by Italian guys with the "Ciao Bella" line, huahahaha, so pathetic. I know they were some port workers but still nice, I am pretty sure southern Italy is not only warmer in term of temperature but also at heart of the people.

No comments: