Salermo and Pompeii

Rob and Jacky Black
Sat 11 Jul 2009 08:39
40 37.9N 14 45.1E
Monday 6th June
We motored along the coast from our anchorage passing Positano and Amalphi and arrived in Salermo Nuevo Port around 1600. We were directed to a berth and assisted by a very helpful chap -
Favio, the senior Omaggiatori (who lives on a motor boat on the visitors pontoon.) The charge here was 50 Euros per night which included water and electric but there were no showers or toilets.
There should have been free WIFI but a storm the previous week had severed the connection! We met an English couple Polly and Phil on a Moody 34 -Margaret Ann - who were very helpful in
that they gave us directions to the supermarket and the station, plus details of the times for trains to Pompeii.
We walked into the city along a shaded promenade that follows the bay. every few hundred metres were water fountains and the old tram tracks were still in evidence We alos shaw several areas where
there were stone circular tables and chairs and witnessed their use by groups of elderly gentlemen playing cards in the shade!
The tourist office ( next to the station) gave us a list of train and bus times for our trip to Pompeii and we then wandered back along the main pedestrianised street to find the Spar supermarket.
It was very hot and we were tired by the time we eventually found the place but managed to fill 3 large carrier bags (Pingo Doce and Lidl type) with required supplies and staggered back to boat
- a good 30 minutes walk.
We had cold showers on the pontoon from the hoses provided before we even unpacked the bags!
Salermo is a buzzy city not at all touristy and we saw loads of proper shops as well as the customary cafes and bars. It is a ferry port too so many people were going off for day trips as well as
holidays to the various islands nearbye.
Tuesday 7th July - we caught a bus to the station at 0815 which took us on a rather longer journey than we had anticipated so had a tour of Salermo and the outer areas before arriving at the station at
0900! Got our tickets and then headed for platform 3 and the fast train to Pompeii. It was only 10 minutes late so we were in Pompeii by 1000. ( be warned the taxis outside the station charge 10 euros for a two minute journey!)
Found the tourist information office - about 5 minute walk from the stationand got all the information required for our visit. A further 5 minutes walk saw us at the Amphitheatre entrance where we paid our 11 Euros
each were given a map and off we went. Unfortunately we hadn't realised we could have rented an audio guide from the booths outside and as there were none available inside we just had to follow the map. It was a truely amazing place and almost unbelievable! We had an excellent book borrowed from our friend Judith in Shoreham which gave us some super pictures of what each of the major sites would have looked like plus intersting details of their construction and use. I had previously read Robert Harris' book 'Pompeii' so it was really brought alive for me. We spent most of the day walking around - it was incredibly hot and we were thankful to have water bottles with us which we could refill at the numerous water fountains in the streets.
We stopped to eat our lunch in a shaded spot near the amphitheatre before leaving the site and headed back to the station. Had an icecream and drink at the very good cafe next to the station before getting the fast train back to
Wednesday 8th July
We left the marina around 1000 and headed off to the Aeolian islands a 120 mile journey which we did overnight. It was the first time in weeks we were able to sail properly and we enjoyed the crossing. We saw many ferries a couple of cruise ships and a few other yachts. In the early morning pre-dawn we saw Stromboli flashing in the distance - quite a sight! (This is an active Volcano for those who didn't know).