Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Wolkenstein Coghlan Family Vacation

There are loads of photos here, and they are all out of order. But it has taken me ages to post this and I am tired, so this is the best I can do. At least the pictures are pretty.

These are pictures of our trip to Positano. Lucie came to meet us in Rome and we all rattled around together in a huge villa at the top of a cliff separating Spiaggia Grande and Spiaggia Fornillo. There were no stairs up from our villa, which meant we had to climb the 450 stairs down to go anywhere, then 450 to come home. Very good for the thighs, ladies.

This is one of the world's oldest paper mills in Amalfi. It looks like something from a Bela Lugosi film. It is powered by incredibly pure hydro coming from the mountains. I bought some hand made rag paper, some ink and a nib and have been inspired enough to use them for thank you notes. The nib is a real pain, but it makes my handwriting look really fancy.

Julian desperately wanted to steal this coffee machine from the paper mill.

These terrifying switches are from when the mill got power. You can see why they have switched back to hydro. Just too frightening.

Betty Jean was very well behaved in Rome the second time around. We found a hotel near Termini and found the service better, the food cheaper, and the Centro Storico only 10 minutes walk away.

BJ loves rocks so she was in heaven on this beach. Pebbles everywhere AND they were salty. Yum. It was the smaller of the 2 beaches. Free deck chairs and cheap drinks. Even amazing snacks like buffalo mozarella and fresh anchovies.

Some stylish looking books made by the mill.

I wsn't paying attention during the mill tour (one on one for 3 euros or something ridiculous). I just asked Julian to shoot it because it looked pretty. I highly recommend the mill. I think it is called the Museo di Carta Antica.

All the style you would expect in Italia.

Pasta. lots of pasta.

Loads of people have veggie gardens. They are built into the terraces. The green grocer gets fresh stock each day and the tomatoes still have that on-the-vine smell. I even came across a garden on the Spiaggia Fornillo. The sea was not 20m away.

Spiaggia Grande. Much more impersonal and more expensive.

These little grotto-ey villages are built into walls everywhere. This is the local bus stop. Some of the little houses look like they had lights inside at some point. Another funny thing is that if there is a cave on the side of the road, you'll see someone has put up a door and a padlock at the entrance. They use the space for storage by the looks, although, one we saw was made into a beach shack with a little window and even a window box.

Don't let this picture fool you. Betty Jean did very little walking on this trip. She maybe walked down 4 stairs before crying to be picked up by Julian.

This is Lucie on Vesuvio. She is literally standing in the clouds. Very out of character for her. I stayed at the bottom with only portaloos, garbage, and Betty Jean to keep me company. At the time we were there, Naples had a garbage strike to contend with. It seems the Napoli Mafia control the garbage collection and blocked the dumping sites. It was at crisis point, and even Vesuvio wasn't spared. There was garbage piled high all up the mountain despite it being a World Heritage site.

This is one of the temples at Pompeii. Some of it was in incredible condition. Other bits had been graffiti-ed over the last hundred years or so, so even that had a historical impressiveness!

In Rome. Things went downhill for BJ and I after this photo was taken.

The iPod shuffle is a godsend. It has gotten us out of so much trouble. If used at the right time, it can buy us at least 5 minutes of peace.

Betty Jean was none too impressed with Pompeii. Things reached a climax outside the only fully restored building on the site - the brothel.

The hordes.
The view from Lucie's room.

Our lunch every day was fresh bread, swiss cheese, prosciutto, tomatoes and beer.

BJ and her N.B.F.

The smartest thing we did on holidays was buy this pool. We gave Betty Jean every bit of tupperware in the house and she ladled, scooped and poured the days away.

Betty isn't that tiny - the lemons are just really big. They make the Limoncello from them.

So, it looks like we did a lot, but we really didn't. We all look so relaxed! There is another installment coming, but I can't stare at the screen any longer. Ciao.