Carol the taxi driver turned up right on the dot of 12pm and Dad and I set out for our first holiday ever together, just the two of us. Our chosen destination was Sorrento, based on a wonderful holiday Gary and I had there some years ago, and Dad’s desire to see Pompeii. The drive to Gatwick went perfectly smoothly, enhanced by Carol’s tales of her domestic life. Frightfully complicated, children still living at home Carol and with their children, a range of divorces and break ups, fights between daughter in law and parents in law – and to my utter bemusement still all booking a holiday together in Majorca. I must confess (and I know this does not reflect well on my character) Carol’s stories always cheer me up enormously…
Check in and the plane journey also went perfectly. Dad mistakenly thought I was tense on the plane, patted my hand and said “don’t worry” and then proceeded to tell me a range of airplane near –crash stories (I kid you not). But actually I had no valium and wasn’t the least disturbed – maybe I will get to the point where European flights could be even be economy.
Dad’s journey was not quite so sanguine, however, due to a strange toilet episode on the plane. He needed to go and went in after another chap who also looked like he was in his 70’s. Imagine Dad’s consternation when he went into the tiny toilet, and found 2 poos one on either side of the toilet seat. They were not IN the bowl but ON the seat – not squashed or sat on, but perfectly formed. How they could even get there is a mystery. Poor Dad was mortified. He didn’t want to be blamed for it so he had to clean it up (ICK!!) and he kept thinking “OMG is this what happens as you get in your late 70s?” He was amusingly distressed, but I’m afraid I saw it as suitable punishment for his thoughtless tales of airplane emergencies at take-off.
We were collected by a young Italian male with no English (or French, I checked), so efficiently that we were out of the airport and nearly at the car before I realised I had to go back to the airport to go to the loo. But once all sorted (nothing gross in the ladies toilet btw) we were on our way. A 50 minute smooth ride took us to the hotel, and we were all checked in by 8pm. The rooms were more than adequate – beautiful and spacious according to Dad. I wouldn’t go that far but I was relieved as they were only 50 euros a night and I thought they might be awful. Instead they are clean, very central right near the cathedral, and comfortable with a decent shower with lots of water. Very good value I must say.
Sorrento is still all decorated with Christmas lights and the main square features a huge Christmas tree dripping with lights. We walked around the streets and finished at Café Fauno, where Gary and I often ate on our previous visit. This is the perfect place to people watch, and we drank cocktails and ate pasta for dinner.
We didn’t get back to our rooms till after midnight. I was exhausted and went to bed with the window open as usual. Big mistake. Although the street has no cars, numerous groups of incredibly noisy Italians kept passing by and stopping under my window for very loud conversations. Eventually I had to shut the window, and finally I fell asleep properly. Imagine my horror when I was brutally woken up at 7.30 – why? Because we are right near the cathedral and it was a Sunday! The shut window didn’t help and the bells went off every half hour for a couple of hours!!! Reminded me very much of another Italian holiday….