Day 4: Journey to Sorrento and a brief stop in Naples.
After a well-needed relaxing morning we packed our cases, checked out of the apartment and headed to Roma Termini for our fast train to Naples. We took a taxi rather than walk with our cases which worked out much better than trying to do the 45-minute walk whilst carrying the girls, our backpacks and dragging the suitcase as well. 20 euros well spent. For once.
We got to the station with 5 minutes to spare to find out that the train was delayed by 10 minutes. We found the relevant platform very easily and waited for the train to arrive. All along the platform were vending machines selling sandwiches, snacks and drinks which was quite helpful as we needed to get Hetty something for the journey.
When the train arrived we walked to find our carriage and whilst waiting to get on a guard spotted us and beckoned for us to follow him, which we did. He said that we could sit in another carriage which was better as there was a baby change and more space. The carriage he took us to was almost empty and he put us in the disabled section so we had loads of room. Hetty got her own seat which she wouldn’t have done had we been in our original seats.
The journey itself was very comfortable. At one point the train was going 300 km/hour! The seats were large and comfortable and the tables were very big too. The ride was very smooth – you wouldn’t have realised you were going so fast. It was lovely to look out of the window and see the view although you had to be quick to see anything!
The journey took a little over an hour and we were in Naples Central station. I had read in my guidebook about a Banksy in Naples that was a 20-minute walk from the station and conveniently located very close to two of the alleged best pizza places in Naples; the founding city of the Pizza. It would have been rude not to! So we put our cases and a backpack into the luggage store for an hour (6 euros per item) and off we went.
We found the piazza without too much trouble but I’m extremely embarrassed to say that we mistook a copy for the Banksy graffiti. We walked right past the original work, which is now covered in Perspex to preserve it. We took some photos, embarrassingly a selfie, and then went off to find the infamous pizza places.
We went to ‘Di Matteo’ first which had a massive crowd around it and I had to bustle my way in to get to the front in order to get served. I ordered a Margarita which cost 1 euro 50 and oh my gosh it was amazing pizza. Next was on to ‘Del Presidential’ but in my opinion it wasn’t as good as the one from Di Matteo.
We then went back to the station, retrieved our bags and needed to get a train to Sorrento. We bought our tickets from the tabacconist in the station for 4 euro 50 each and made our way downstairs to the Circumvensuviana station. It was a bit confusing as to which platform we needed to be on but after asking a couple of people we found that it was platform 3. There isn’t a lift to get down to the platform so Andrew had to carry the suitcases down the stairs as well as his backpack and whilst carrying Hetty. Not ideal! After a little bit of a wait a train came along bound for Sorrento. The platform was packed so as the train pulled in I was relieved a door stopped right by me so I managed to get on first and grab a seat. Andrew attached our case right behind my seat and he sat next to me and we put our backpacks under the seat.
The journey took around 1 hour 10 minutes and we stopped at over 30 stations but it wasn’t too bad as there was lots going on to occupy Hetty. A man came on playing the accordion with a young boy playing the tambourine. It gave a nice atmosphere to the journey too. The train jerked at one stop and Hetty went flying off her seat into a man sat opposite but she was OK luckily. I had to feed Tabitha on the train which I was worried about but no-one said anything or stared so it was ok!
When we arrived at the train station in Sorrento we were met by the person who manages the apartment we had rented outside. Helpfully there is a lift at the station. The lady showed us the way to the apartment and she carried Hetty the whole way which was very unexpected but very nice of her. I suspect maybe she didn’t want to wait for a toddler to walk the whole way though!
After being shown around the apartment, and paying our ‘cleaning fee, cot fee and city tax’ we were left to it. I wasn’t as impressed with this apartment compared to the one in Rome but I think we had been a bit spoiled with the one in Rome. Andrew went off to find some supplies whilst I unpacked and then we had some tea from a local bar which was mediocre.
The girls took some getting down, which was understandable due to being in a new place but they slept ok thankfully.
We then had a glass of wine on the veranda which was nice and reflected on the last few days and what the rest of our holiday had in store. We were both exhausted from all the site seeing so we decided to have a relaxing day the following day and not do much so that we could recover a bit!
Day 5: Relax and our first taste of Sorrento
We had a lazy morning which included breakfast on the veranda, doing a load of washing and walking to the shops to get some more supplies including some ingredients for dinner as I fancied having a go at making some pasta for us that night.
We then decided to have a walk into Sorrento to the main piazza: Piazza Tasso which we found without any trouble straight down Corso Italia which was the road our apartment was just off. We had lunch at a cafe/restaurant just by the infamous bridge in the piazza which was nice. We then spotted that there was a ‘train’ ride around Sorrento which we thought would be a good introduction to the area so we could get our bearings and it would hopefully be something that Hetty would enjoy. We booked on to the next train and in the meantime we got some gelato to pass the time. I had a brief look in one of the souvenier shops and noticed the high-quality souveniers on sale compared to anywhere else I’d been pretty much.
We then got on to the ‘train’ which was on wheels and it set off around the Sorrento area. It lasted around 30 minutes and took us around the local streets and down to Marina Piccola, informing us about the history of the area and famous people that have visited. Hetty enjoyed it so much she didn’t want to get off and Tabitha fell asleep half-way through! It was a bit of a gimmick to be honest as there wasn’t much to it and at 6 euros each it was a bit of a waste of money however it gave us a better idea of what was where and our first glimpse of those breathtaking views the area is famous for.
We then headed back to the apartment in time for me to make some dinner for us all which went well and everyone just relaxed in the meantime. We had a lovely first full day in Sorrento, having some R&R but also having a brief but enjoyable introduction to the area on the train ride.
Day 5: Marina Piccola
We had another relaxing morning including breakfast on the veranda and it looked like it was going to be a lovely sunny day. We got ourselves organised and decided we would get the bus to Marina Grande. We went to the bus station and was told we needed to get the bus from a bus top near to Piazza Tasso and she marked it on the map for us and told us which bus to get (line D). On we walked, and Hetty for once was ok with walking (so far she had walked a tiny amount and then demanded to be carried the rest of the way) but it took forever to get to the bus stop. We were told the buses were every 20 minutes, so we waited. And waited. Then a bus came but it was line A so it wasn’t the right line we needed. We waited some more. And then we started to think we were at the wrong bus stop or we’d been told the wrong line. Another line A bus came so we asked and he told us we were at the wrong stop and beckoned to the next street along. So we walked around to the next street and as we got to the bus stop a bus came but it didn’t have a ‘line’ on the front. It stopped and he said that was the correct bus so we got on. By that point we had been waiting 45 minutes and Hetty had done so well waiting patiently bless her. Patience isn’t usually her strongest point – she is a toddler after all! After being on the bus about 2 minutes the driver suddenly went ‘Marina Piccola not grande’. I was SO annoyed! So we’d spent all that time and ended up on a bus that took us to the wrong Marina. We decided to just embrace it and we got off and had a look around the small Marina, which is where the boats for Capri, Positano and Amalfi leave from. There isn’t much there apart from the ticket offices, pier, about 3 or 4 cafe/restaurants and some touristy shops. There’s also a ‘beach’ which consists of a pier in a square shape with sun loungers packed on to it. Needless to say we didn’t go over there so I’m not sure how it works or how much it costs.
I took some photos and then we decided to have lunch at one of the restaurants that overlooked the sea. The waiters and waitresses were really lovely and made a big fuss of the kids which was really nice. Whilst in Italy we found that the locals really do love kids (as I’d read before coming) and that people bend over backwards to help you when you are travelling with young children. However this restaurant really went the extra mile and I even thought they might not leave us alone to eat at one point! The meal was nice, although mine was a little salty (to be fair, I’m finding a lot of the meals a bit salty for my tastes but I don’t add salt to most of my cooking). Towards the end both children started turning into ‘the devil’ so we made a swift exit, took an obligatory selfie by the sea and then looked at getting the bus back up to Sorrento.
We were told by the very unenthusiastic driver that he would be leaving in about half an hour, so we did what anyone would do with half an hour to spare and got some gelato. It then started to rain but luckily we managed to find shelter under a tree.
The bus journey back was fine, but packed and at least it dropped us at the bus station so a bit closer to the apartment than the piazza! Hetty was way overdue a nap so we walked back to the apartment and put her down for a nap whilst we had some quiet time and I read up about Pompeii for our trip tomorrow.
Once she woke it was still raining so we chilled in the apartment for a little while. I then made us some cheese on toast for tea whilst Andrew went and got some beers in and got Tabitha to nap in her sling. Once we’d finished tea it had stopped raining so Andrew and Hetty went for a swim in the shared pool by the apartment and I grabbed a quick shower.
After they came back we gave both the girls a much-needed shower and once they were in bed Andrew went for another swim whilst I caught up on my blog and posted some pictures to Instagram/Twitter/Facebook! Pompeii tomorrow 🙂
Day 6: Pompeii
We aimed to be up and out to get the 7:55am train but yet again it didn’t quite work out so we ended up getting the 8:25am train instead. Unfortunately that extra half an hour meant when we arrived the queues had already began to build up and we had about a half an hour wait for tickets. It had a separate queue for online bookings and skip the queue tickets; I’d only looked the night before and decided not to bother getting them online as I wasn’t sure how it worked with collecting the tickets and as we were planning to go early I didn’t think it would matter. As it happens I wish we had booked online! At the entrance there were some toilets and a luggage store. It cost 13 euros each to get in but there were signs up saying 15 euros so I think it might be going up soon.
We also got an audio guide for 8 euros and had to leave a passport although you can leave a driving license or a credit card. We probably shouldn’t have bothered as it turned out useless as we didn’t have time to really listen to it due to the kids!
Tabitha was asleep in the sling on me for the first half hour which was great as it meant I could take in the sheer size of the town and some of the remains of buildings. I also managed to take a few decent pictures although the fact there were so many people there meant there was always going to be someone in the photos. Had there been less people there it would have been a lot more enjoyable experience and a lot more moving. I was still impressed nonetheless.
After not very long Andrew got a bit stressed and frustrated as I think he really wanted to listen to the audio guide and appreciate what he was looking at but with Hetty not co-operating and wanting to go in the opposite direction or run up and down the ramps 15 times it just wasn’t possible. The heat quickly ramped up but whilst the sun was still not directly above there was a bit of shade we could escape to every now and then. We managed to walk to the Amphitheatre, taking in a few of the different buildings/areas on the way. The Amphitheatre was the furthest thing away on the map and something I definitely wanted to see; it being the oldest Amphitheatre in existence today, hence we started with that and worked our way back from there.
Tabitha woke on the way to the Amphitheatre and needed a feed so I stopped and sat on a wall to feed her but she refused it so then I was stressed out, as was she. I’d told Andrew to go on agead as Hetty was becoming impatient. Tabitha then didn’t want to go back in the sling as it was getting too hot so I ended up carrying her for the rest of the walk. When I got to the Amphitheatre I found a ledge I could sit on and tried to feed her again and luckily that time she fed. However she still didn’t want to go in the sling which meant I had to carry her all the way around whilst looking at the Amphitheatre. It also meant she was exposed to the sun more as the sling has uva and b protection so I was very stressed and felt like everyone was looking at me. I did enjoy looking at the Amphitheatre and couldn’t believe how much of it survived.
I met up with Andrew and it appeared Hetty was also proving to be fed up and overtired. She eventually went off for a nap after my husband power walked around the Amphitheatre for a while. By this point you can imagine we were both a little fed up, hot and in need of a cold drink. We therefore decided to head to the cafe back near the forum and re-group.
Luckily they had a baby change mat in the ladies toilets there, although when I tried to put it back up it swung back down and hit me on the arm so hard I shouted out ‘bugger!’ and I got a few stares.
The cafe does basic food such as panini sandwiches and pizza. It’s very expensive though, but then they have a niche market!
We then had a look at the copious amounts of artefacts caged near the cafe including a few casts which reminded me that I wanted to see the garden of fugitives that I’d read about in my guide book. Consulting a map I realised it was almost back to the Amphitheatre again and I just didn’t have the will power to walk back all the way with everyone so Andrew offered to take both kids back into the cafe and let me go back alone. Hetty was still asleep but Tabitha was awake and didn’t need a feed so he said he’d give Hetty her lunch once she woke up and that would pass the time. So that’s what we did. It took some finding but I eventually figured out where the display case with the casts in was and although it wasn’t what I was expecting it was still quite moving. Seeing the smaller casts for the children that perished was quite upsetting.
I noticed a few people around Pompeii with strollers but they all seemed to be really struggling. The streets consisted of large cobbles and even the paths were uneven and made of cobbles. There were little ramps up in to some of the houses, but I couldn’t really understand why as to get to that point with a stroller or wheelchair would have been very difficult! If you go with a small child/baby – take the sling!
As the sun was now very high and hot, shade was very hard to come by and I think we were all fed up by now so we decided to call it a day. Before we left I wanted a selfie of all four of us with some of the impressive forum ruins in the background, only it didn’t quite go to plan. The brief window we had whilst Tabitha was not crying, Hetty didn’t want to look at the camera and then proceeded to try and squash Tabitha’s head with her head. Meanwhile Andrew was trying to angle the phone to get in the ruins but wasn’t quite managing it and I was getting more fed up and stressed out. I was just about to lose my cool when a lovely American couple passing us took pity on us and offered to take a photo for us, which they did. The angle was good: ruins in the background etc but unfortunately by now Tabitha was full-on crying and Hetty was extremely fed up. The photo however, captured the essence of our trip to Pompeii perfectly 😉
Being half way, we’d decided that we would bite the bullet and go back to Naples to actually see the Banksy at Piazza Giromolini. This time we actually saw it and although it is surrounded by a massive frame, it is quite easily missed as it blends quite well into the surroundings. The Banksy piece itself is quite faded and worn – so I do understand why they wanted to preserve it. We had some photos taken and then decided to take advantage of this second visit and had pizza from both Di Matteo and Des Presidente again 🙂
By the end of the day we were all absolutely shattered and fed up. I was feeling very guilty for taking the girls to not only Pompeii but then to Naples as well on such a hot day. They did brilliantly and hardly complained really, but I felt the mummy guilty all the same. To top our rubbish day off, we got on the the train back to Sorrento from Napoli and it was packed. There were no seats and no-one offered to give up their seat for us. So we were stood on a packed train carrying two children. My faith in the Italians was wearing thin. As we set off a women in front of me offered me her seat but she had loads of bags so I declined, giving evils to all the other people around for not offering theirs. After a few stops Tabitha started crying, and the woman insisted that I take her seat. Andrew then sat on the floor of the train with Hetty and got out her sticker book so she was happy enough. It just summed up our day really. Towards the end of the train ride we managed to get seats together and then a group of teenage boys got on, all with big bags so blatantly going to football practice. Two of them sat right by us, right when I’d just started feeding Tabitha (great timing!) then they were pretending to hit each other. One time they came really close to Andrew and Hetty so he had to say something to them but they were nice enough about it and stopped.
We were all absolutely exhausted by the end of the day and we decided that the following day we would finally get to Marina Grande and go to the beach!
Day 7: Marina Grande
Due to our poor attempt at getting to Marina Grande last time, we decided to just get a taxi from the train station rather than lose time waiting for a seemingly none-existent bus. Although it isn’t far from central Sorrento it still cost us 20 euros – we didn’t do that again! But the taxi driver did point out to us the bus that we needed to get back which was a bonus. He also explained that the cheaper places to eat were to the right and the more expensive places to the left!
Marina Grande was originally a fishing village and has a small sandy beach. It has quite a few boats around but from what I could gather they were all private boats and ones available to charter if you wanted to splash out and have a boat trip to yourself. There were a few restaurants and snack bars along the front, a couple of souvenier shops and some guys selling trips and sun beds. It cost us 10 euros for 2 sun beds and an umbrella which I didn’t think was bad.
The beach consists of black sand and is quite small but more than big enough for the number of people that were there. It’s a lovely place to paddle and swim if you are so inclined: there is a row of pebbles a few feet in and then it dips a little bit but it is safe enough for children to wonder around. Hetty had a lovely time playing in the sea and sand. Andrew made her a little boat out of sand for her to sit in which she thought was amazing.
Tabitha also loved the feel of the sand between her toes and watching everything going on. She needed a nap so I put her in the sling and had a walk up and down the front. At the far right side there are some steps up to a little view point over the whole Marina which was a beautiful view. The steps went further up and I believe that is the way to walk to/from Sorrento centre. At the other end was a little tucked away restaurant and some steps that looked like they were going up to the cliff top but I didn’t explore further.
After a lovely few hours relaxing and playing we then decided to get lunch. We went to a restaurant called ‘The 5 Di Leva Sisters’. It was a bit rough around the edges to say the least but the food was edible – nothing to write home about and there was probably better quality food elsewhere on the Marina but we were happy enough. They had a high chair for Hetty though which was a big plus!
After we finished lunch we’d just missed a bus back to the centre so we got an icecream from one of the shops and sat to wait for the next one. We had a lovely relaxed morning at the beach and we were so glad that we had made another effort to find Marina Grande.
That afternoon once Hetty had had her nap we decided to go get some groceries to have tea in the apartment, and then go have a swim in the pool. It was Tabitha’s first swim whilst on holiday and I was worried she wouldn’t like how cold the pool was. She was surprisingly ok with it although we took her out after 5 minutes or so just in case she was too cold. We then had a bit of an incident with Hetty which we are all still shaken up about. Hetty has gone to swimming lessons since she was 6 weeks old. She loves the water. She was holding onto her floats as she does in her lessons, kicking around the pool. I turned to Andrew who had got out with Tabby to tell him something and when I turned back Hetty was under the water, trying to kick to the surface. I rushed to her and pulled her up and she was fine, but it shook us all up – including Hetty.
She was really distraught at bed time and took ages to go to sleep. She then kept waking up crying and took a bit to settle again. I assume it was her being scared about what happened. Since being home she has been fine and settled back into her lessons fine. She seemed to just associate the incident with that particular pool which is a relief!
Day 8: Positano and Amalfi
Today was Andrews birthday, so he opened his cards and present, and then we got ready to go out for the day. We’d decided to go to Positano and Amalfi, to see the spectacular views from the Amalfi coast. I’d looked in to getting the ferry but it seemed quite expensive for what it was, so we decided to go via SITA bus for 8 euros each return. The online timetable said that 2 buses went at 8:30am so we thought we would set off from the apartment at 8am so that we could be there early and hopefully get a seat. I’d read that they could get quite full and sometimes people had to stand, which wasn’t an option with having the kids! We got there around 8:20am and there was a long queue. We got our tickets from the man at the SITA stand infront of the station (before you get to the steps on the left hand side) and joined the back of the queue. The bus then began filling up and as the man got to the couple in front of us he announced there were no seats left and it was standing only. Talk about bad luck?! We indicated we would wait for the next bus, which he told us would be in half an hour. At least it would mean we could get seats on the right hand side, which I’d read gave the best views. We didn’t have to wait too long luckily until they let us on to the next bus. Ours was also full and had people standing in it. I got the impression a bus left once it was full, and they’d tell the people it would be half an hour to encourage people to stand (they did the same once our bus was full).
The views on the bus journey were truly spectacular. It was breathtaking and something I will never forget. Obviously being on a coach it was impossible to take photographs of the views (something you would gain from having your own private taxi/transfer as you can stop at the view points). We decided to get off at Positano, walk down to the front then get a ferry to Amalfi and get the bus home. The bus at Positano drops you high up the cliff, whereas in Amalfi it drops you right at the front. To be honest, the walk down from the bus stop was absolutely fine. There were a few steps, of normal steep-ness I would say and then a lot of gradual steps and walks down smooth roads. We passed a lot of shops and alleyways – really quirky streets and shops that would have been interesting to look at, had we not had two young children in tow. We didn’t really know how to get down to the front, but we followed other people and spotted a sign for the beach and just worked it out ourselves. It wasn’t difficult and unless you have mobility issues (or a stroller) you’d be fine walking down.
We got to the beach front and were hungry, so we decided to have some brunch at a restaurant on the front. I don’t know what had gotten in to Hetty but she was acting up and had turned in to the devil child whilst we were there. It seemed like quite a swanky place, so to be honest I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible, to the point we let Hetty eat marmalade out of the tub just so she wouldn’t have a tantrum! Once we got out of the restaurant the heat of the sun was quite intense and I was conscious that the girls didn’t have suncream on yet. We walked along the front and asked about the sun beds and were told it was 12.50 euros EACH to have a sunbed/umbrella. 25 euros! I was very shocked and was about to just pay it then I realised how much money it actually was, baring in mind we’d be in and out within an hour (it was a pebbly beach, and we had kids with us) so we decided not to bother. I was then highly stressed out as I was worrying about finding some shade for Tabitha, how I was going to feed her, how we were going to get changed and what we were all going to sit on. It was so busy along the front that the few benches there were always taken and there wasn’t really anyway to just sit down. We walked all the way to near the end of the beach and saw that they had changing rooms. We stopped and put some suncream on the girls and decided to go to the free part of the beach (no shade though) and let Hetty have a paddle – we’d been promising her the beach so thought it only fair she get to have a play in the sea whilst we were there.
We sat by the fence that was sectioning off the different parts (free, residents, sunlounge-ripper-offers etc…) and hung a towel on the fence to provide some shade for me and Tabby. Hetty and Andrew had a paddle and threw some stones but Hetty wasn’t impressed at the pebble beach. It was quite large pebbles too so not the best underfoot. Thinking about it we could have done with taking some swim shoes/jelly shoes for her.
After a short stop we decided to head to Amalfi as the only other thing to do there were the shops and we couldn’t look around those, especially with a toddler in a foul mood! We headed to the far right side of the beachfront where the port was and bought tickets for the boat to Amalfi.
As we were buying the tickets he said the boat was about to leave if we hurried up, so I power walked over to the boat he pointed too – totally oblivious to the huge queue of people I was walking past. As I got closer to the boat a man approached me and asked if we were going to Amalfi and indicated to the big queue. I apologised and as I was about to join the queue he beckoned for us to go on first. The perks of having two small children 😉
I was looking forward to the boat ride and being able to see the coast from the sea, however shortly after we set off Hetty had an almighty tantrum about not being able to walk around the boat. It’s the first major public one we’ve had with her really, and luckily I had some sweets in my bag to coax her out of the tantrum. Not an approach I would usually take but after the morning we’d had I just needed her to be quiet!!
Not long after that we pulled into Amalfi (the journey took 20 minutes) and we disembarked to a crowd of people waiting to board. We took refuge in a gelato shop where I could feed Tabitha and Hetty would be happy for a little while whilst we could re-group. Once I fed Tabitha she was due a nap so I said I’d have a walk along the front and take some photos whilst Hetty finished her icecream. I had a walk up and down the front, found some sunbeds that were 10 euros with an umbrella (hurrah!) and although it was a pebbly beach it was small pebbles and I thought at least we could have a play in the sea there.
I headed back to find Andrew and Hetty had left the gelato shop. I began to silently panic and wondered what I would do if we lost each other. I had a wonder back along the front and then stopped for a while and spotted him not too far from the gelato shop. Phew! I told him about the umbrellas and so we headed there, via a brief detour to follow a crowd of people heading through an opening in the buildings.
It led us to a large square full of little cafes and shops and a fountain in the middle. It was very heavily crowded, but there was quite a lot of shade and interesting shops. Set back a little was a huge religious building that a lot of tour groups were heading in to.
After a little nosey around the square we headed to the beach, bought ourselves a couple of sunloungers and an umbrella, and Andrew and Hetty got changed to have a dip in the sea. I got Tabitha changed and then Andrew dipped her toes in the sea but she got very upset so I took her back to the sunlounger and we just chilled whilst Andrew took Hetty for a swim in the sea.
Once Hetty had had enough we decided to go get lunch and then head back in time for Hetty’s nap. We figured with the movement of the coach she’d fall asleep in no time.
We found a restaurant on the front and sat down at a table. Andrew then realised he’d lost his glasses. He can’t see very far without them and it hurts his eyes if he doesn’t have them so he was quite stressed about it. We ordered and then he went to see if he could find them back at the beach and along the front. He came back empty handed and seemed to be really upset. What a birthday this was turning out to be!
As we were finishing up we spotted a bus to Sorrento so we paid the bill and Andrew changed Hetty’s nappy. We realised we didn’t have any supplies for the journey I.e. to bribe Hetty if she started kicking off, so Andrew went off to get some from the shop. Tabitha promptly fell asleep in my arms just before we got on the bus. When we finally got on the bus it was pretty full so we ended up sitting apart but at least we had seats. And I got a prime seat at the front of the bus!
Tabitha slept for most of the journey as it was very windy and bumpy! I could hear Hetty initially being a bit moany but she soon went quiet so must have fallen asleep quite quickly once we set off.
The bus journey back from Amalfi was an absolute highlight of the day and the whole trip. The views were spectacular, the near-misses were unforgettable (although terrifying!) and it was hilarious listening to people comment on the other drivers and close-shaves we had, like they were experts. The bus driver must have known those roads like the back of his hand and had to be commended. It must be one of the most stressful journeys to drive every day!
Back in one piece (just!) we headed back to the apartment and stopped off to get some supplies for tea. Andrew took Hetty into the pool whilst I had a shower, but she cried most of the time as she didn’t want to get in. The incident the other night had scared her and now she didn’t want to swim in the pool.
So all in all it was an eventful day; stressful and memorable!
Day 9: Our last day: Marina Grande and Sorrento
Andrew and I mooted the idea of going to Capri on our last day but decide against it as we wouldn’t have been able to go on the furnicular with the children (I’d read that children couldn’t be on your laps and ours were too small to be able to sit independently) and thus witness the views (unless we walked all the way and we weren’t up for that!) and it was a pebbly beach which Hetty hasn’t seemed to keen on. So we decided to just have an enjoyable last day and go back to Marina Grande as we had had such a lovely time the other day. We also needed to pick up some souveniers in Sorrento.
We’d decided to have breakfast out on our last morning in Sorrento and chose a place a little further up the road from our apartment. We both ordered English breakfasts and I ordered Hetty bacon and beans on toast. Our full English breakfasts were a few slices of prosciutto that had been fried, a fat frankfurter, an egg, some homemade beans, a tomato and some fried bread. And Hetty was brought some prosciutto on toast. It was enjoyable but very interesting! The coffee was fantastic though 🙂
We waited for the bus to Marina Grande for around 40 minutes but at least one came today. As we were waiting it started to spit with rain but it had forecast a nice hot day so we figured it would stop soon enough. We got down to the Marina and the rain was really coming down so we headed into a shop and had a coffee and got Hetty a fruit salad. After about an hour it still hadn’t baited so we decided to head back up to Sorrento, finish our shopping, have lunch and then if it had stopped raining we’d head back to the Marina.
We had a walk around the side streets full of shops, got ourselves a couple of fridge magnets, a Christmas tree decoration (as has become customary in our house), a couple of t-shirts and some lemon flavoured sweets. We then searched for somewhere child-friendly to eat, which took a while but we were given a flyer for a restaurant in some gardens and thought it looked nice so went and sat down there. There were bunny rabbits running around the gardens and they had other animals there: a cat, pig and a ferret to name a few. It looked quite posh the way it was set up so I felt a bit out of place as we first walked in. We sat down and an American waitress asked if we’d like a high chair and she brought one over. Another waiter kept almost looking down his nose at us, and he kept tripping up over the highchair which I thought was funny.
As soon as Hetty saw the rabbits she wouldn’t sit still. Andrew was running around after her, trying to make sure she wasn’t annoying anyone and then I ended up ordering wrong and it just turned into one of those disaster outings you wish you hadn’t bothered with.
I just wanted to go back to the apartment and call it a day but as it was our last day I came round to going back to the Marina as it had brightened up. We all went in the sea (although Tabby cried straight away again) and Hetty and I went for a swim. She then wanted daddy so we swapped and I sat with Tabitha chilling on the sunloungers whilst Andrew and Hetty swam in the sea.
We had tea in a restaurant by the station on our way back to the apartment which was lovely. They were very friendly with the kids, didn’t mind Hetty blowing bubbles everywhere and a much more relaxed affair than the place we’d had lunch. The food was good too. They even had a baby change which I was very impressed at as a lot of the places we’d been didn’t have one and we had to change Tabitha on the floor of the toilets in most places.
That night we packed everything once the kids were in bed, drank the last of the wine in the fridge and reflected on our first trip abroad as a family of 4. It had been highly stressful at times, but we’d had some amazing moments and memories that would last a lifetime.
The following morning we were up bright and early for our taxi to the airport to fly home.
Travelling with 2 very small children was incredibly stressful at times, but we got to see some amazing places – places on our bucket list. Italy is a beautiful country, with very friendly locals (“choa Bella!!”) and the food was to die for! It was hard work, but it was very worth it.