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Dorien Grey

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Sorrento Notes
7/11/2011 2:55:46 AM

Continuing the journal of my recent month-long return to Europe after 55 years

*****
From Dorien Grey and Me (http://www.doriengreyandme.com
*****

04-07-11

7:21 a.m. Just woke up. I was in a taxi looking for a gay bar I used to go to, to kill some time waiting for the rain to stop. I'd just had my camera stolen, I thought (wrongly) by a young man--he had stolen someone else's camera--and I grabbed him by the arm and turned him over to a nearby policeman.

And then I woke up in my tiny (it is, I have determined, less than six feet wide) hotel room in Sorrento, Italy, relieved to realize it was jut a dream. I went to bed before 10. With no internet and no TV, I tend to go to bed a lot earlier than normal. Another minor problem with travel is you never know for sure what a hotel is like or what it does or does not offer until you get there, and by then it is too late.

It's not that I've been sleeping badly, more that I have not been sleeping really well. My single bed, which is more like a daybed...that is to say narrower than a twin...is so narrow that to move more than six inches either left or right is to reach the edge.

Please understand these comments are not so much complaints as observations of the situation.

I think I will definitely try for Capri today. The screen below these words is blank at the moment, but I'm sure there will be many more as you read.

Walked to the landing and caught the 9:45 jet boat for Capri, about a 30 minute ride. Got off the boat and almost immediately on another...a cruise going around the Island. I wanted to go to the Blue Grotto, but it is entered through a very low cave, and was closed today due to the rough water.

12:00. Back on the waterfront in Capri, having a 7 euro (a bit over $10) milkshake served by one of the most beautiful young men I've seen since arriving in Sorrento. I just got off a circle boat tour of the island, which was very nice except for a very large German man beside me who stood the entire way, neatly blocking every view. And of course trying to take any photos on a boat full of 47,000 other people trying to take photos is an exercise in futility. I tried to use the computer when I first got on the boat, before we left, but the sun is so bright I couldn't see a thing, so gave it up in short order.

(My nose is now dripping a mixture of milk shake and blood--an interesting combination.) Another truly beautiful day. I have really been blessed by the weather.

Capri is basically a large rock thrust up sharply from the sea. The town of Capri--or at least that part assessable to commoners like me is merely a string of buildings lining the water's edge, from which the hills rise steeply upward. I of course took a ton of photos on the theory that one picture is worth....something or other. I've noticed that the only places to sit along the waterfront are at the innumerable cafes, many of which have people like the young man who served me the milkshake, who stand in front of their establishments and encourage passing tourists to come in.

Well, now for a walk around the town.

12:56 The "walk around the town" lasted roughly six minutes. It seems one comes to Capri for a specific purpose, and the waterfront ain't it for most people, I tried walking up one road, which went past a large open gate and was stopped by a security guard and told to go back, so I did. Not sure what I expected and perhaps I missed something (hardly a first) but I figure the hell with it and headed back to the dock, from which I was only a minute and a half. So sitting here waiting for the 1330 return to Sorrento, writing in the bright sunlight and barely able to see the screen (and totally unable to see the cursor!) And to to it all of, I just drooled chocolate milkshake all down the front of my hoodie. What fun! What jolly good fun. I am so incredibly--and constantly--humiliated by having absolutely no control over the physical actions of my mouth! I cannot speak after eating for fear of a steady stream of water-like liquid pouring out when I open my mouth to talk. I'm sure I appear either rude or mentally challenged when someone speaks to me and I simply can't respond. If my mouth would only produce 1/10 of the saliva it now produces as water, I could actually eat again like a normal human.

Well enough of the poor Roger bullshit for the moment (but have no fear, me being me there will be more...lots and lots more). Now I shall concentrate on walking down the streets of Sorrento with a chocolate-drool-spattered hoodie.

When I get back to the hotel I will change (again) and try to find a beach the internet told me (remember the internet? I do, but only vaguely) told me was near the hotel. We shall see.

1:54 Approaching Sorrento. When I boarded I went to the top deck to sit in the sun, but when we got underway, the wind got a bit brisk, and I came below. Nice seats...like a train. Ah, and we're about ready to dock, so I'd better shut down (hardly got started). They just cut the engines back, a sure sign. So, once more....

It took me probably well over half an hour to walk back to the hotel. It's a long walk, and I've made it four times now. I have done more walking in the three weeks I've been in Europe than I've done in three months in Chicago...and I do a lot of walking in Chicago. Well, they say it's good for you. I'll take their word for it.

After I got back to the hotel, I changed my I-hope-to-hell-the-chocolate-drool-will-wash-out hoodie for a regular shirt and asked the desk clerk for directions to the "beach." He assured me there was a very nice beach at the end of the street the hotel is on, so I set off. And off. And off, through a narrow, apparently residential street, where all the houses are hidden behind high walls, gates, and solid doors.

Finally came to the Mediterranean. No beach. Just yet another cliff looking straight down at the beautifully clear waters below.

Back to the hotel. Will have dinner here again tonight. Last night was good, but though I told them I only wanted half an order of the antipasto (pasta with some sort of bits of meat), I as usual got more than twice as much as I could eat.

As they say, "To Be Continued."


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Where The Redwing Sings by Mr. Ed

A book of nature inspired poems and essays, written from the heart and soul of a life-long nature, animal, and wilderness lover, and dedicated to today’s children - Earth's only ho..  
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