May 18, 2018

Istanbul to Naples

The airport in Turkey is too small for the amount of flights and the numbers of people using it.  A new and larger airport is set to open phase one later this fall.  Meanwhile there is limited seating including at the gates.  There are people sitting on the floor everywhere.

From our departure gate you can see people as far as one can see.  It was a bit of a struggle to push through and to get to our gate.  They have departure gates on two different levels.

We got to the gate for the assigned boarding time and then sat there for almost twenty minutes before any official person showed up.  She then proceeded to walk among us to check our passport against our face as well as our boarding pass and then to stamp our boarding pass.  There is no way I would have got on that flight with an incorrectly spelled name.  This was a tedious and time consuming task.  By now I had figured out that we were going to be bused out to our flight parked somewhere on the tarmac.  Once the bus showed up everyone started pushing forward to get on the bus.  It was very full and toes were being stepped on.  Once we reached the plane it was a free for all of pushing to get on the aircraft.  Despite being seated in business class we were in the midst of the pack.  I was drained by the time we got into our seats.

We were served breakfast on this flight which was only 2.5 hours.  Yes we each got our piece of fresh honeycomb.  I have never ever had honey that tasted that way.  Not overly sweet but so light and smooth.  What a treat.  I forgot to mention that we had been learning a few words in Turkish, the most used was thank you.  Whoever we spoke to in Turkish would break out in a huge smile of surprise at our effort.

Colin got to sit by the window on this leg of our journey. All that color you see on the horizon are more and even more apartment high rises.

A very large stadium with thousands of parking stalls around it.  We noted that rush hour traffic was often at a standstill.

We were greeted by Mount Vesuvius as we approached Naples.

Getting off the plane we were taken by bus to passport control.  It was a wide building that was already filled with two bus loads and then our two buses pulled in and we were almost out the door.  There were only two agents working to handle hundreds of people.  Everyone was surging and shoving to get to the front of the line.  It was horrible and it was hot and I was getting very claustrophobic being in the middle of this swarm of humanity.  Then another few bus loads came behind us.  We had been there close to 90 minutes and were not even halfway to the front.  Those from the far sides kept pushing into the line and those of us further back were stuck.  A new agent came on duty and I made a split second decision and ducked under a rope and moved to that line as did a few dozen others.  Not ten minutes later we ere processed and reunited with our luggage, thank goodness.

We finally figured out where the Alibus was loading to go into the city and it was not just outside the airport door to the right as we had been told but a 3 or 4 block walk to the stop.  We made it and manged to get off at the correct location and then it was a bit of stretch to figure out where we were going and to actually figure out how to cross several lanes of honking and fast driving vehicles to get to where we needed to be.  Finally got checked in at our airbnb which is very nice.  You can check it out here. Once Davide left the rain began.  We proceeded to unpack and settle in.

Once there was a break in the rain we headed out to the store about 4 long blocks away to pick up water, fruit and wine. Of course the rain returned and we got rather damp.  We dunked inside a restaurant to share a pizza for lunch.  While inside. the rain fell even harder.  It was much to cold to even consider sitting outside to eat.

Once we got back to our apartment we found out that our walking tour of the historic area of Naples had been cancelled due to the weather.  So we bundled up anyway and head out to tour it ourselves with a Rick Steves tape.  We did get most of the tour done but I was very cold and haven’t warmed up yet.  I only have a thin long sleeved blouse with me and a thin sweater and my light waterproof  jacket which is also windproof thank goodness.  My feet were totally wet ( mainly because I can’t wear closed toe shoes ).  But we made the best of it.

We first headed out to check out the small train station just a few blocks from our place regarding our excursion the next day. We passed these old gates called Porta Nolando which are a remnant of one of the medieval city gates in Napoli.  The gate was first erected by the Spanish in the 15th century.

Some lovely old buildings along the way.

Look at the size of the stone that this church was built with.

There is a main street full of neat shops, that is closed to traffic except for the scooters. They are crazy drivers that have no regard for the safety of pedestrians.

Many other tourists and locals out between the rain downpours. We were so enjoying all of the sites that we ended up keeping going and going until I realized that it was 8PM.  This is a long street that eventually leads to steps that head up to the castle on top of the hill.

We only stopped here as it is the oldest gelato store in Napoli, 1894, and is said to make fresh gelato every day.  I got a small cup for the two of us to share, pistachio for those who need to know.

Now that is a slab of cheese.

The building on the right is a church and does not look like much on the exterior but looks can be deceiving.

The inside is very ornate with lots of gold.

We were going to stop here for dinner but it was much too cold to wait in line for an hour to get in. More on this place later.

So we walked back to within two blocks of our place to a restaurant that our host had recommended.  It was full of Italians so that was a good sign.  We ended up having a tasty bowl of penne in tomato sauce with eggplant.  Just what we needed on a cold night.  So ended our first day in Napoli with over 20,000 steps and a shivering me.  Took a long time for me to warm up that night.  It is kind of ironic that we just left a city that is flooding and arriving here to March weather with lots of rain and very cold temperatures in May.


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7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Istanbul to Naples”

  1. How cool! That’s all I have to say!

  2. Jannose says:

    If you get the chance do the Hop On Hop off Bus. Good way to see most Cities.

  3. George Yates says:

    Too bad about the cold weather and rain, but sure looks like you are seeing some wonderful sights.

  4. Peter says:

    Pistachio, my fafourite! Despite the weather it looks like you’re having a good time…

  5. Shelagh says:

    I really do not have a sweet tooth but one time in Italy I had a limone gelato. It was so good that later in the same day i got another. Never have I tasted anything so delicious.

  6. Maxx Trails says:

    Awesome pictures of the landscape from the plane! I love following along on your travels 🙂

  7. I am sorry you ended up with much colder temperatures than what we had – Naples looks interesting though and your Air BNB looks very nice!

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