Sunday, November 19, 2006

Simple Pleasures 11.19.06

This past week has been a busy one. By Friday evening, coming home from another trip to Amalfi, we were wiped out! Yesterday we decided we had better have a day of rest and stay close to home. I went to bed really early - around 9pm so by daybreak, I was awake. Not wanting to disturb Bob who was still sound asleep I quietly got up, dressed and went out to watch the sunrise. We have a nice view from our terrace, but not the point where the sun comes up over the horizon and so I took my journal and walked down the road a short distance to the little panorama viewpoint and sat on one of the benches there. The sky was already a pale shade of blue, the sun had already risen but had not yet cleared the mountains to the east and a golden glow was emanating from that point. Pink streaks spread across the sky. The sea was dotted with small fishing boats and one of the large transport ships was slowly making its way out of the harbor at Salerno. It was peaceful and quiet with only an occasional car zooming past and a little honey colored cat and its kitten purring nearby. A few birds flapped their wings overhead and a steady, but gentle morning breeze was blowing. I could hear the water slap against the rocks below.

I walked further down for a sunrise view of Raito, the little town to the west of us, high above the Marina, with its lovely view of the Bay. It was lit with the morning light. Martine told us the other day about a devastating flood in this area around 50 years ago. We knew about the damage it had done to Maiori, further up the coast, but did not know that it had affected Vietri and the Marina as well. She suggested we look up the local priest in the church here and ask him to show us photos of what the area looked like prior to the flood and we hope to do that. Apparently there had been very heavy rains and the river overflowed its banks and many people died and houses were washed into the sea. One of the drawbacks to living in a coastal area like this I suppose. And I wonder what it must feel like to become accustomed to disaster - and if one ever does - floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, invading hoards of barbarians (most recently the guidebook carrying kind!) Does it make them appreciate every day and not give too much importance to little inconveniences; to drive fast and eat slowly; to love passionately and take the time to savor life?

I wandered home in search of coffee and put up a pot to brew. Bob got up and we shared another and a little breakfast out on the terrace. The pink sky was starting to look a bit threatening, but nothing seemed imminent and we decided to walk up the hill to Vietri and see if we could find the markets up there to pick up some groceries. We have been going to the little shops on the Marina but we have noticed our neighbors coming from the other direction with grocery bags and thought we should check it out.

Sure enough, in Vietri sul Mare, as we got away from the street with all the ceramics shops, we found them! Grocery stores, fruit and vegetables, meat and fish markets etc etc, even a hairdresser! We have passed this street, but at the wrong time of day when everything was closed and with all the metal doors down it doesn't look like anything is there at all. But when they are open it's alive and vibrant! And all the locals were out buying groceries, visiting with neighbors, picking up kids from the school (they attend school on Saturdays in Italy) and out enjoying all of it. We passed a young father and his little toddler and heard a strange "Good morning" from him! We looked around surprised and he asked if we didn't live down across from the hotel and told us he lived in the same building and had seen us. Of course we recognized him then! He and his wife live above Carmela and Anna and I had seen their little baby on the terrace with his mother.

We're not sure what we want to do today. I've been reading about Naples and have received advice on places to go and things to see there. Bob is out reading on the terrace and my coffee cup is empty. Time to go take a shower and get dressed. Then we'll see what comes next. The sun is shining and it looks clear and pretty. I'm just taking it as it comes.

Ci vediamo,
Rosemary e Robert

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