Part 7 - Naples
For this day we had kept all options open so we’d be able to respond to weather, mood and physical condition of our fellow travelers. We let our seniors choose between a boat trip to Capri, a visit to Pompeii or a tour of Naples. They asked if there wasn’t a kind of bus tour so we’d be able to see some sights... of course, there was: the hop-on/hop-off buses.
With Hildegard’s wheels, there obviously wouldn’t be much hopping, but the tour itself is interesting even without getting on and off. And the fact that the explanations in German language were given via headphones was ideal with regards to my in-laws reduced hearing.
We walked from the Terminal building to Castel Nuovo, the departure point of the red buses, and started with Route A, which took us in a little over an hour through the eastern center of Naples. The staff of the bus was extremely accommodating and let Hildegard board the bus first, through the double door in the middle, before all other passengers who were waiting and pushing against the door at the front. Only when, with Helmut’s help, she had mastered all the stairs to the upper deck did they allow everybody else in, and off we went.
Piazza and Chiesa Gesu Nuovo
Wherever we looked, we always saw the typical picture of half a household blowing in the wind from a balcony.
The stories about residents of certain areas, which to us seemed in parts rather run down, were entertaining and very interesting. It is said that this is where the original Neapolitan pride and cohesion shows, where Neapolitan songs were written declaring to always stand one’s ground...
After approximately an hour in the organized chaos of Neapolitan traffic we returned to our departure point near the harbor.
From here, we wanted to go straight on to the next tour, which would follow the coast in a westerly direction towards the elegant district of Posillipo.
To bridge the waiting time until the departure of the next bus, Helmut and I went for a short walk to nearby Piazza del Plebiscito.
From the hill we had a good view of the port building. It is actually quite large but looked rather small in front of the Liberty.
When the tour staff noticed that Hildegard had come with her wheels, they let her get on the bust first, just like on the previous tour. And off we went on the blue route, the second part of today’s tour.
On the hills of Posillipo, the tour passes many beautiful houses whose inhabitants have the privilege of enjoying the gorgeous view of the Gulf of Naples every day.
When we were back on the coastal road, we slowly returned to our point of departure. Again, the beautiful weather underscored the gorgeous views.
After about 1 hour 15 minutes this tour also came to an end and we got off the bus at the stop outside the port terminal. Helmut and Hildegard were thrilled. Birgit and I equally enjoyed the tour, but their elation was our greatest joy.
We walked back to the ship across the parking lot of the port.
Despite all of all their positive comments, Birgit and I had wondered from time to time whether and how my in-laws liked this trip. It was here where a few words definitely answered this question.
As we approached the Liberty, I said to Helmut, “So this is the last time we’ll hear the ‘bing’ ”. He hesitated, and I explained, “This is the last time we go on board. Tomorrow is a sea day, and then we get to Barcelona, and that’s the end of the trip.” He seemed a little struck and almost sadly replied “Oh, no, what a shame! But everything is so nice!”
Back on deck we had time left to enjoy the sun and take in the golden evening light.
Next it was time to dress up for that night’s formal night. Like on the other evenings, the food in the restaurant was good to very good, the service of our waiters Ronaldo and Lisette excellent, and we very much enjoyed the atmosphere of the formal night.
With what had become a cherished ritual, we ended the day on a nightcap in the Viking Crown Lounge with its beautiful views.
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