Israel – Travel Day

We are heading out on a new adventure. Not only are we going somewhere we have never been before, we are on a tour; something we haven’t done before! Our trip to Israel is put together by our church. A small group – 32. Not all are from our church and we don’t know many who are.

Those flying from Norfolk, gathered at the airport around 3 this afternoon.

Our flight for Newark left at 5:30. Our flight to Tel Aviv leaves Newark at 11:00 pm! Israel is 7 hours ahead of us on the east coast.

First indication that security is tight. Our gate is closed into the waiting area.

Our 10 hour flight was uneventful. We arrived in Tel-Aviv at 4:15 pm.

Customs was uneventful. We met up easily with our guide and bus driver.

One thing I had not thought of or read was everything in Israel is new since 1948 – the highways, buildings, construction all over.

The hotel is an hour north of Tel-Aviv in Netanya on the Mediterranean. Beautiful hotel.

Our view:

A short time in our room before an incredible buffet dinner. I took a spoonful of most everything. Going to be open minded. This is one of 3 stations.

It was the beginning of the Sabbath and there were prayers being said and candles lit.

How often do you see shelters in hotels?

Tomorrow will begin at 5:45, boarding the bus at 7:30. Will be a long day

Day 27 & 28 – Rome

We arrived in Rome early afternoon on Saturday. After checking in to our hotel and getting a little lunch, we took off for our typical walk:

The Diocletian Baths; American Embassy; top of Spanish Steps; then down them and to the left off to the Trevi Fountain. After a gelato, we hit a couple of churches before eating supper at the original Peroni brewery.

Trevi Fountain

A church

Sunday, we did our typical week to Santa Maria Majorie; St Peter in Chains; St John’s Latern; lunch then on to the colosseum and Roman Forum. Just a semi- leisure walk.

At 3:30 we had The Most Fantastic Tour of Nero’s palace. Built in the 1st century, it was covered up after his death and not discovered until the 1700s. It s an active excavation and tours are only during the weekends. I think we were told only 200 people a day are allowed in.

Exhausted travelers waiting for our tour:

Our tour begins:

We have to wear hard hats:

The floor plan:

Some inside pics:

At one point we sat and put on video goggles were we saw a video that showed how the palace looked when it was discovered; how the excavation progressed and in the end, what the palace looked like originally. It was incredible!

Frescos on the high walls:

Original mosaic floor:

A hallway:

The octagon room:

We were all very impressed!

A late night dinner.

Day 26 – Last Day in Sorrento

A chilly morning; a lazy morning. Laundry on the line; suitcases out to pack.

We did last minute shopping, picking up those things we might want to get but checking everything out.

We worked our way down to Marina Grande for lunch.

Was a beautiful day to eat by the water. The winds were gone.

Our lunch:

Tom had pasta with shrimp and I had calamari. We shared a tomato salad with the wonderful local tomatoes.

Our group:

We finished the afternoon packing and getting ready to leave Sorrento.

After lunch we picked up tons of seaglass!!!

What am I going to do with it???

Tomorrow is travel day.

Day 24 – 25 – Sorrento

Yesterday, Wednesday, was a down day for us. We just took advantage of catching up on things, and walking the streets of Sorrento. We enjoyed the inlaid wood factory, and several of the many, many shops that are in Sorrento. We ended the day with an in house meal. Tom cooked broccolini with Italians sausage. Terrie, Jon, and Leonard provided a fantastic gnocchi. And the girls made an incredible Caprese salad.

Today, we met up with our guide that we had used in Naples, at Pompeii. We spent three hours with her, then we finished wandering around Pompeii. We walked over 8 miles. We saw many things that had been opened within the last 1 to 2 years. Pompeii just continues to grow!

On the train to Pompeii:

A beautiful view:

Our guide who’s knowledge and passion is unsurpassed!

Beautiful remains:

We went into a house that was just available to tourists last year.

After our guide left us we wandered around ended up at the amphitheater and leaving the city through that gate.

We walked into the city of Pompeii and visited their church.

A gelato and back to the apartments for a quiet evening.

Tomorrow is our last day in Sorrento.

Day 23 – Sorrento

It was a sleep in day; a no rush day.

We all walked to the market which comes around to Sorrento every Tuesday. We loaded up on olives and broccolini.

The walk up to the market:

After the market we went to The Farm. We have been to The Farm every time we come to Sorrento and love taking people there.

There is a group of ladies from Canada staying at the apartments and one joined us for lunch.

Here is Maria and Rosa at the mozzarella demonstration.

our table

Jon and Terrie

And so much food – all made at the farm

Was a much cooler day today and very windy. The streets of Sorrento were full but no cruise ship in. We discovered that the boats to Capri were not running so Sorrento became a day trip for ships in Naples.

We were so glad we did our boat trip yesterday!

After the farm (and a nap!), Tom and I took a walk to the ‘point’. We wanted to look at the white caps. And it was So Clear! All the haze we had the last couple of days is gone!

We had a 7 pm gelato making class!

Melissa and Deb were helpers.

Terrie got to help too!

It was Yummy! (Lemon)

Then a cool walk back to the apartments with a stop along the way.

Plans are up in the air for tomorrow since it may be windy again.

And that is it for today!

Sorrento

You all know we love Sorrento! And we love being back!

Our van picked us up at 1:30 and it was the shortest trip we have ever made. Very little traffic! Was sort of hazy.

We had a delicious lemon ice at our stop along the way.

Our apartments:

We had to go to our favorite gelato place:

We cooled off and relaxed in the pool.

A street we walk down by our apartments. The weren’t built for modern day cars!

Sunday we took time to do laundry and slow down a bit. Our goal was to take the 11:40 Hop On Hop Off bus around the peninsula but it was full! So we had to wait for the 1:40.

It was s hot day but beautiful views!

We tried a new restaurant close to the apartments and really enjoyed it!

Monday, we rented s private boat and did something I have been wanting to do – the Amalfi Coast by water! ✔️ on my bucket list!

The day started out a little hazy with rain threatening but all was beautiful!

We stopped in Positano for a visit.

Then on to the city of Amalfi.

At port getting directions:

A wedding!

Getting a coffee

By the time we got back on the boat the weather was perfect!

Was a fantastic ride back to Sorrento.

Back to the apartments for the evening and ordered pizza!

And that was that!

Days 18, 19 & 20

With no internet, then being unable to download pictures, I have been frustrated with documenting our trip. I will be More frustrated with me when we get home and I try and put our photo album together!

FINALLY figured out why I can’t download pictures. I am out of media room! I have been deleting old pictures so hope that does it!

On Thursday, We met our tour guide outside the duomo of Naples and had a great tour of ancient Naples. Tom and I have been to most of the places our guide took us but she taught us many things we didn’t know.

The patron saint of Naples is San Gennero and ‘his’ day was Wednesday, September 19. I was surprised we were able to get into the duomo and have few others with us.

How about this for a pastry?!?!?

How is this for a group of tourists!!!!

She was with us for 3 1/2 hours then took us to a restaurant she likes. After lunch, she left us and we walked for another 3 hours seeing several things.

Tom and I are surprised at the cleanliness of Naples; the buildings that have been cleaned; the piazzas that are freshened with new paint and vegetation. Even the crazy chaos isn’t as crazy!

Thursday, our guide along with our friend Susie Carbone, arrived at our hotel with a van. We went to some amazing places!

First was this cistern that was built in the first century BC by the Romans. it was like an underground basilica with 5 naves; arches all over the place. 49 feet high; 236 feet long; 82 feet wide; 440,000 cubic feet.

After the cistern, we went to these bath ruins; a terme that is believed to have been in a spacious palace. There were 6 levels to it. Just a quick peek here:

We then visited Cuna and although we have been to these Greek ruins, our guide was full of new to us information.

After Cuma it was a visit the amphitheater in Pozzuoli. We were the only people there. This in the 3rd largest amphitheater left in Italy. Very well preserved and one can walk all over and under it.

On Saturday morning, we checked out of our hotel and we were at the National Archeological Museum when it opened. Had been a few years since we had been to it and it has recently been updated. Was a nice morning.

Then we were off to Sorrento. Next post!