Wednesday, March 21, 2007

EURO TRIP 2007!!! (Part I)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I just thought these would be the best way to start my post.

Oh. My. GOSH!!! So much has happened since last I posted(including the massive failure of the internet as a way to keep people together), I'm not even sure what to do here. I think I'll forgo mentioning anything that happened up until last weekend, especially since I don't remember any of it anyway.


As most of you know, I was planning on going to Naples on the weekend of the 18th. Rob and I, that is. We wanted to go to the Naval base to pick up some american food. Well, considering how difficult it is to GET american food, we decided to take orders from people who miss their precious peanut butter, and the like. And since Rob and I, with our military IDs, were the only ones who could get INTO the Commisary, we just thought it'd be nice. So, we did.

Wow. People REALLY miss their peanut butter.

I got about a page and a half in my notebook of people's food requests. Well, on top of this, Liz and Megan knew what we were planning, and started remembering all the cool places in South Italy people can go. So, we decided to make it a four-person trip. Well, with all the extra stops we were now making, a train ride would really be prudent, so what do we do?

You know it, baby. We rented a car.

Turns out that number A: I'm one of few people who has bvoth a driver's liscence AND a credit(debit) card, and B: I'm THE only one who can drive stick. So, I found a relatively cheap car rental place, and we booked it.

Adgenda set: Saturday, St. Patrick's day - Go to the church of St. Philomena, then to the Naval base. So at 7 AM (or so), we all got up, met outside, packed a breakfast/lunch (ok, the GIRL'S packed a breakfast/lunch, Rob contributed some stuff, and I brought nothing), and set off for the car rental place. (see the first picture). Finding that place ALONE was an adventure, I think we brought "roundabout" to a WHOLE new level, which was an interesting omen for our trip, but we got there, picked up our rip-roarin' Fiat Panda, and hit the road.

DAMN I love roadtrips.

I don't know what it is about 'em. Maybe it's the listening to music, or random conversations you pick up... maybe it's just hangin' out with friends, but I do love 'em. I've had a taste for roadtrips ever since my first one, when Alyssa and I travelled across several states. Fortunately, we didn't have to stay at a creepy hotel in this instance. ANYway, so, yeah. I drove. In Italy.

Scary? Yes.
Nerve-wracking? You bet.

There are absolutely no rules on the road in Italy. If there ISN'T a car at some particular spot on the asphault, it's your for the taking. Pick a bearing, and GO. If you can squeeze between the semi and the scooter, DO IT. It was a little terrifying at first, but VERY easy to get used to. Oh, I'm sorry, I lied... there's one rule: no passing on the right. This, coupled with the fact that there are no OTHER rules, means that you DAMN well better not block the left lane, 'cause they'll get pissed at you pretty quick. 140 KPH is nowhere near fast enough for it. And don't ask me what IS, 'cause I never, on the whole trip, saw a speed limit sign. All I know is the left lane goes a good 60 KPH faster than the right.

But through it all, I'd say there's no feeling quite like driving free, on the open road, on a beautiful countryside with gorgeous mountains, on a bright, sunny day. It's near indescribable. The freedom of just DRIVING again, not riding a bus or metro, was enough, but this place does have some pretty amazing shots. Allow me to demonstrate with the next post... on this, the first day, I was still kinda getting used to driving here, and wasn't quite ready to take pictures while driving.

But you shouldn't have to wait long for that.

So, about 3 hours later, we got to St. Philomena's. I had personally never heard of her, and apperently neither had the Catholic church until the 1800's sometime, when they discovered her tomb. But that was enough... her tomb told much of the story. She died several deaths before being martyred, that's for sure. Here's her church:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Very nice, with quality people inside!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Neat little side chapel, with a model of her which (I think) contained her remains.

I wandered outside for a bit, but then Rob called me back in - it seems the priest was willing to break out some relics for us to venerate... it goes back to the same problem MANY churches in Italy have - I think we were the first visiters to that church in a LONG TIME who prayed AS WELL AS took pictures. Sad stuff, but it was pretty neat for us. Then, we went outside, and I snapped a shot:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
My posse. (as always, more pictures of the PEOPLE of the trip, as opposed to the sights, can be seen on facebook.)

So then, it was off to Naples. Fortunately, we didn't have very far to go. We arrive at the Naval base, talk to some sailors, who spoke english with an AMERICAN ACCENT(!!!), got the girl's some day passes, and went on in.

I'm not sure exactly how to describe THAT feeling either, that is, being back on American soil, but needless to say, after we parked, Rob and I fell to our knees. Well, we went to the Exchange, which had picnic benches outside... the girls broke out their packed food, but Rob and I had heard too many stories of what they have on base to let it go.

We opened the door, and a heavenly choir sang out "KFC... A&W Root Beer... Taco Bell..."!

I made a bee-line(Where does that expression come from? Do bees fly all THAT straight? I guess straighter than most flies... huh...) for Taco Bell, of course... someone had put it in my head last week, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Rob went for the A&W.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
You all have no idea how beautiful this was to me after being away from it for so long. And yes, that's a grilled stufft burrito. And yes, they made it right. *sigh*

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The girls SAID they were ok with their packed lunch... but they needed nachos. EVERYONE needed nachos. And look, see how happy they are?

Anyway, after that, it was back to Rome... I'm currently working on posting a video I took on the ride back, but it's fighting me, so I'll probably post that tomorrow, along with PART II of Euro Trip 2007.

'Till then!



Blogger Mike said...

Ok, so as is customary, it is my duty to point out the strange and random things I see in your pictures.

What I would like to know is ... why is there a dollar sign just above that statue of St. Philomena?

1:49 PM  
Blogger Scarcely Human said...

Strangely enough, they were all over that church.


11:29 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home