My travels.

We flew back from Naples yesterday.

Every time I fly over the UK,I find that I never stop admiring the beautiful landscape. The orderly green and brown patches of land,and the shimmering waterways,my heart warms to those planners and architectures,who work so hard to maintain this green and pleasant land,I am always so pleased when the flight descends and the vista becomes clearer.

Naples has a beauty  of its own,despite a mass of houses ,as you descend, the sapphire blue of the sea,encircles like a necklace the mass cluster of the houses  and buildings which is the city.

I have always wanted to see this city. When I was a girl and living in India, I remember a film called “It started in Naples’ with Sophia Lorren and Cary Grant I think. I have not seen the movie,but used to gaze longingly at the backdrop of the film poster,which was this wonderful city.

The weather was beautiful, and our hotel was very nice,the upstairs dining room looked at this view,and I used to sit their mesmerised.The Vesuvius omnipresent, as if guarding the sea.
The next day we went to Pompe, we took a train from Naples. Trains are cheap and frequent, the stations and carriages though are littered with graffiti.But as the train whizzes through the country side,you find the most amazing colour . Morning Glory in all shades of vivid blue,seems to grow like our bindweed does! Enveloping anything and everything, climbing up and down the trees, and anythng it can reach.
And the most beautiful plants in the back gardens. This was a back garden I was walking past!
This is the city which was struck by a strong earthquake in in 62AD.After 17 years of aftershocks and when the inhabitants were desperately trying to rebuild it,in August 79AD,the Vesuvius erupted again to bury it under larva and ash. It was rediscovered in the 16th century,when the excavation,restoration and enhancement of the ancient city its extraordinary wealth of architecture ,sculptures,paintings and mosiacs  was undertaken . Most of the artefacts are in the museum.
Vesuvius though encircles the city and looms like a menacing presence.
Naples was undergoing some kind of protest,the city’s pavements were almost blocked by masses of rubbish,in sacks and lose,emitting a stench and attracting flies. The area of our hotel was though very clean and rather beautiful, when you walked into the town it felt as if you were in a different city. We even got caught in a demonstration. Students and workers,hundreds of them, with red flags and some with banners with hammer and sickle on them ,were marching and congregating in the towns main square. Some of them were starting to torch the piles of rubbish,and the police were descending en mass,as we quickly made a get away.
My other big ambition was to visit the coast of Amalfi. I have read the “Duchess of Amalfi” by George Elliot for my A levels. I have seen the pictures of the coast line in many magazines and car advertisements,but nothing prepares you for the sheer beauty of it when you see it. I simply held my breath, it is so tranquil and has such a dreamlike quality, that for the three hours we were driven around it,will remain etched on my memory for ever.
The rocky outcrop topped by the Saracen towers towers; the impossibly balanced umbrella pines,the tunnels cut through the rock and the green speckled peninsulas stretching out like lizards as far as you can see,and the sea shimmering in the sun one minute and clouded in the next.
The settlements here are triumphs of faith over reason,you can not see a lot of the buildings from the road as they  cling limpet like to the cliffs. Most of them are only accessible by way of hidden steps down from the road.
The driver of our mini bus pointed out to a magnificent white building ,perched over the coastline,as the one Carlo Ponti has had built ,just so he could bring Sophia Lorren for the weekend there,and propose marriage!
All of us women in the mini bus agreed that Sophia knew when she was on to a good thing! As some one said that Carlo was shorter,fatter and older than her and was also bald,some one said.
But if he could have a villa like that then who is complaining!
They say nature and its beauty are the best healers of ones soul, and I really feel rejuvenated.
The beauty I have seen will always remain with me.

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