Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday, September 30, 2005

so far but oh so close

Posted by Hippo Bean at 6:07 AM
Somma Peak on the left, then the Gigante valley and then Vesuvio's summit. The still active volcano looms in front of us most real. I was at the stern of the SNAV Sicilia, contemplating the now lite last remnant of the Naples protective wall while unaware that Vesuvio was so close! Big and in full view! Most impressive. As the evening light faded, artificial lights came on and we can see the lives of the houses spiriling up the side of the mountain that look like lava flows. The overnight ferry started to pull away from the Napoli harbor. Welcome to Amalfi. It's been 7 years since Hippo last set foot in Italian soil. The flight to HRW was uneventful. Since I had 4 hours to blow before the BMI flight to Naples, I surprised Tomo and Mely by showing up at their flight gate. Then I found a good spot and settled down for my carefully prepared music and awaited for the appointed hour. The flight to Naples was pleasent in the company of a Napolitano who gave me insights to the city. Flying over the Alps was an impressive site and I thought I spotted Lauderbrunnen. Then the wind kicked up and rain splatted on the windows as we descended into Napoli. A bit rocky but otherwise unenventful. My flight actually touched down before theirs so I had time to scout out the airport. Alibus to the Port of Naples was quite a welcome to the industrial city filled with traffic, people and caos. Why would such a big mass of people want to live here? The SNAV Sicila was already docked when we made it there and we went in early. The evening on the ferry we got the ultimate pleasure of seeing the coastal lights diminished right before our eyes and a fantastic silhouette of Visuvius as a backdrop. Then we passed by the island of Capri. Out on deck, it was windy and a bit cold. Pitch darkness, lights on land, and the constant sound of waves, an occassional splash. Again such settings always made me melancholic, I thought of him constantly. Wondered what he could be doing at that moment. So far but oh so close to my mind. Thus was the first day of what promises to be a memorable journey, last of the year.

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