October 5, 2019
I checked out of the hotel in Napoli around 9:45 am. It rained hard from about 9 am until noon. I decided to just stay in the lobby and work on this blog until the rain cleared to walk the 30 minutes to the Port of Napoli. I was booked on the overnight ferry to Palermo, Sicily. The Italians spell and call it Sicilia. Pronounced “sischilia.”
As I walked I couldn’t help but think about how many men and women over the last 3,000 years made a similar walk down to this famous port. The Greeks founded the port in the 9th century BC. I wondered if I had shared a path with one of my ancient ancestors.
The humidity shot up when the sun came out so I sat in the shade and watched the ferries come and go. I did a lot of people watching. So many unique faces.
A very elderly couple came up to me asking for directions. “Non capisco,” I kept saying. I pointed to myself and said Palermo, 7 pm and shrugged my shoulders. They didn’t seem to know which gate to go to for the Island of Ischia. I wasn’t going to give them bad advice. They ended getting help from a Port employee.
I should have invested more time in studying the Italian language. I’m at the mercy of gps mapping, Google translate and extra sensory perception. Without the tech I don’t know if I could feed myself. I was very sorry I could not help them.
The Port of Napoli is undergoing massive rehabilitation. It is supposed to be completed in 2020. I think that is a tough schedule to meet. Everytime they dig a hole work stops due to an archeological find. The concept models are pretty amazing though. I hope the Italians succeed.
I was surprised that there was no covered areas for pedestrian passengers waiting to board the GNV ferries. The clouds were threatening in the evening and the smell of rotting trash and the noise from heavy machinery kept me tense.
Once the ferry left the Bay of Naples the water became rolling swells. Thankfully there hand holds in the shower. I had to brace my feet on the corners of the shower pan to not fall down. My floating refugio. HA! At least there were no bunk beds. I wrote this blog lying down because sitting up I could not keep my smartphone steady to use the keyboard.
Once I settled into bed I seemed to adapt to the rolling motion. I actually slept well through all the creaking, rolling, and vibrations. What an adventure!
And I arrived in Palermo 7:30 am the next morning.