Thursday, 30 August 2012
A tale of two cities
We grab a quick lunch back on board before heading out on foot to explore Naples. What a contrast: one city I couldn't wait to visit and another I couldn't wait to leave. It begins well enough, with a stroll along the waterfront and through a park (although there were hobos snoozing under the trees). There were some imposing buildings towering above what may have been the old city wall, with tall shuttered windows and an air of faded elegance. But the map indicated that the historic part was just inland so we turned back and found ourselves in a scene of post-apocalyptic urban dystopia.
We persevered with our exploration, leaving the derelict square for the commercial centre. Even the supposedly upmarket shopping galleria - a dramatic building with vaulted glass roofs - was almost deserted apart from police officers. We never did find out whether the shops were closed for economic reasons or whether it hapened to be a festival.
Naples had one last surprise in store for us. As we sailed away, we had a fabulous view of the moon rising over Vesuvius.