Bari to Naples…

After our luxurious ferry ride, we got off at Bari… We wandered out of the Port and set off for our hostel… There were directions given to us on the website, however I wonder if whoever wrote the directions has in fact ever been to Bari. So we made up our own directions heading through tiny little streets. Finally we found one that looked similar to the address we were given. I started to walk down the tiny little alleyway and Kath said I don’t think it is down there, it seems pretty dodgy, but I kept going insisting it was the right place. Finally we saw a tiny door and it was our backpackers hostel… mmm.. There were big signs up everywhere saying check in at 10.30 and it was only around 9.30. We were going to leave but decided to knock on the door and see if anyone answered. We knocked and one of the guests answered the door and he said that we had to call the number and I said we didn’t have a phone (can you imagine the cost of international calls!). So we just asked him if we could just sit inside and wait.. he said I don’t know I am a guest. So Kath just walked up the stairs past him and we put down our bags.. When we got inside my first thought was this is a mistake. We sat there for ages discussing our options and what we should do. The guest who let us in went out and we were stuck in a cold, dingy place with no food. We were sitting in a room not much bigger then a bathroom, that had a tiny bar fridge, a tiny tv, and a tiny kitchen – consisting of a sink and stove top. We were looking around the room and there were so many rules on the doors and walls. You must not cook in the Hostel. No Alcohol in the hostel. Check out is at 10.00AM, if you stay any later you will have to pay an extra night. (written in pretty bad english might I add). Finally at 10.40 the reception guy turned up. We were like we want to check in and he said have you got a booking (we were thinking well if we didn’t we surely wouldn’t be staying here now!) He was very nice and gave us a key to the front door and a map of the tiny town. He then took us upstairs to our room. We walked up some very narrow stairs and hit a wide open room with 2 bunks in it. He goes you sleep here. Here is your locker. We said thank you and looked at each other in horror. Why didn’t we just continue on to Naples. We made our beds and put some of our stuff in the lockers, then had a lay down on my bed. The bed was like sitting/sleeping on rocks. Every spring was out of place and jabbed you.. it was going to be a long night. In our room was a set of stairs leading up to the other 2 bunks (we think). It was really steep old wooden stairs (apparently made out of a whole oak tree, I think that was what it was). So the only thing that kept us from the outside world was the rickety old door at the front – great security! We tried to use the “wi-fi” that they had – but couldnt connect to it. The receptionist was busy sweeping and mopping the floor very thoroughly. Finally he said “internet” and I said yes, what is the code for your wi-fi and he was like you have to come down stairs, so I picked up my stuff and followed him downstairs where he gave me a cable to plug into my laptop (so much for wi-fi). We checked our accommodation for Naples and re-checked the bus times, then he was like you have to get off internet you can go back on at 3. (His hours were 10.30 – 2 then 3 – 10, I think it was close to that) We were like umm ok then. So we went back upstairs then decided to go out and see what this town had to offer and get some lunch/dinner. We wandered around the main street near the port and found a bar that apparently did pizza. We went in there and ordered some pizza. When the pizzas came out we were a bit horrified about the look of them. I picked up a slice of mine and the topping slid straight off.. Kaths looked like it was swimming in a bowl of liquid. I ate ¾ of mine before I was sure I was going to be sick if I had another bite, Kath ate about half of hers. We quickly paid and got out of there. We saw a Castle and then headed back to the hostel. ,but before the movie I had to use the toilet – Kath had used the toilets earlier but didn’t tell me what they were like, she said I just had to see. So I went down to the bathroom and it was a flimsy “divider” door that didn’t close, a toilet (no seat), a urinal, a shower (no curtain or door) and a massive sink. It was all very clean but was really awkward.. When we were getting ready for bed some people turned up at the hostel wanting to have a look at the rooms. The receptionist brought them into our room then proceeded to take them up the dodgy wooden stairs, they got half way up then said forget about it we will go elsewhere. We thought that was pretty funny – but glad they didn’t stay they looked a bit dodgy. We went to bed fairly early as we had to be up by 6 to get ready to take the bus. I don’t think either of us slept particularly well that night and when 6 came around we were really just ready to get out of there. We took all of our stuff into the kitchen/home entertainment area so we could pack our bags and see and not disturb the other 2 sleeping. As usual we had given ourselves far too much time so we sat there waiting. The free breakfast was cream filled croissants (not fresh), old cornflakes and tea/coffee. We opted against breakfast there as we knew there was a McDonalds at the train station that we could get some brekky.

We set off from the hostel at 6.50am, and went to the bus stop, to wait for our #20 bus. We waited for over an hour before the bust turned up (the first one just never showed up). When we got on the bus we hadn’t bought a ticket so I told Kath to go and see if the driver will sell us one. So we got our tickets for 3euro together, we thought that was pretty good. We were unsure of where we were exactly meant to get off but the bus seemed to say the place we were after. And we just had to look out for the big golden M. Finally the bus arrived at the train station and we hopped off. We knew we had to get a bus from around here somewhere, we weren’t too sure of where though. So we went to the ticket person and asked for 2 tickets to Naples. First he said 80cents each, I said to Kath are you sure. Then I told her to said Napoli, so she said that and he goes ohh ok 2.80euro. Kath said to Napoli? And he said si si. So we paid him and went looking for this bus. We spotted a Tourist Information point and it didn’t open until 9.30, the bus to Naples left at 9. We then spotted a sign that said bus #16 to airport. We then realised that the guy had sold us a ticket to the airport… grr. We then saw another sign that said #20 to Port, 80cents… the driver ripped us off!! I told Kath I was sure that on the map of the bus stop it was on the street behind the train station. So we went over the overpass and wandered down the street – no sign of any bus stops or ticket places, so we decided we would just have some brekky and wait til the tourist information was open and ask them. I logged onto the wi-fi in McDonalds and Kath got us brekky. Apparently they don’t do the usual breakfast menu, you can get croissants and other pastry. Kath then re-found the bus stuff and we realised we were infact only a street away from the bus stop on the other side of the train tracks. It was 8.50am. So we quickly finished our breakfast then re-loaded ourselves with all of our packs and walked really quickly to the bus area. This time we saw a whole group of people standing around, and some of them had suitcases. So I asked a guy if he had a ticket and he said yes. I asked him where he got it from, we spotted it was on online ticket – grr! There was a bus sitting there which was the same brand as the one we were due to take. So we asked the driver if he was going to Napoli and he said no other side of the road. Next minute a bus pulled up on the other side of the road and it was a mad panic for everyone to get over there. Drivers in Italy are terrible, they don’t care about the lights and they don’t care about pedestrians. We buddied up with some locals trying to cross and they just walked out and put their hands out to stop the cars so we snuck behind them. Everyone was putting their luggage under the bus and we finally got near the driver and asked if we could buy tickets on board, he was like no and pointed down the road… Grr so we started to trek off to find the ticket agency, luckily some other woman didn’t have a ticket and she gestured for us to follow her and all 3 of us set off on a run to the ticket place. Kath and I both had our big packs and our little packs and a shoulder bag on us. It was not an easy run! When we finally got there she got in first and asked for a ticket and we asked at the other ticket booth. Apparently there is only one printer and it took forever for her ticket to come out. Then she waved at us and set off on a run back to the bus (I was thinking, please hold the bus for us!). Finally our tickets were printed and we set off on a mad run back to the bus.. The worst part was crossing the road… We finally got near the bus and saw that the lady was just getting ready to board and there were 2 people behind her. We rushed to get our bags off and then jump onto the bus. We were puffing and panting something chronic! It is hard to run with an extra 20+ kgs of luggage on you! We finally got on the bus and he told us to sit on seats 27/28 so we found our seats and someone was sitting in there, and I said 27/28 is our seats and she said something in Italian then was like doesn’t matter. So we just sat somewhere else. We had a big drink of water and took off our layers. We were relieved we made the bus and didn’t have to wait for another 4 hours for the next bus. The bus trip was pretty good. Kath fell asleep quite quickly. There were heaps of orange and lemon trees everywhere. We passed through a few mountain tunnels which was cool.

When we finally arrived in Napoli we were just dropped on the side of a main road. As it had been raining Kath was trying to rescue our bags from being put into puddles. So we grabbed our bags and moved to the side to try and put them on. When we were finally all re-loaded with our bags we set off in search of our hostel. I saw a sign for the metro and pretty much knew that the hostel was meant to be close to the Archaeology Museum and a metro station. So we checked a map and found the station to get off at. We got a ticket and jumped on the metro. When we got off (one stop later), we wandered out and tried to find the Archaeology Museum. We couldn’t really see it, so we stopped to look at a huge map they had on the side of the main roads. As we were trying to work out where we were, 2 little kids came running at us, yelled something in Italian at us then sprayed us with party foam. So we were then standing on the side of the road, covered in bags, topped off with some white foamy stuff! Just great!! I was starting to get a bit cranky by this stage. We decided just to continue walking and get our bearing up the road a bit more. Finally we spotted a building that had flags out the front of it – I was sure that would mean it was a museum. It was! Then we knew we had to walk down the main street and the hostel should have been no more then 176m from the museum. Well we walked all the way down the street to the next metro line, then we walked in just about every street inbetween, it seemed like a pretty dodgy area and the people didn’t look that friendly. After I couldn’t take walking around anymore I had to pull out my laptop to get the address (we were meant to write it down in Bari, but completely forgot). We got the address and looked on a map we had in our Europe book. Still no clearer where we were going we kept walking. We found another map and located the street we were after (we had already walked down it). We headed back up and took a right (we had come down the left) and there was no sign of the hostel. We were both getting pretty frustrated at this point. We walked back down the street on the other side of the road, as we were about to hit the main road again I spotted a tiny sign that said Welcome Inn Hostel, 5th Floor. So we headed into the huge building (it has a courtyard type thing in the middle). We found only one set of stairs, and a really dodgy old looking lift, so we headed up the stairs thinking it would be the safest option. *I think we should now recap a few things, we arrived in Naples on the side of a main street no idea where we were going, some kids covered us in white foam, we had been wandering around for over 40mins looking for a hostel, which only has an A4 sign out the front of a huge building, and now we had to walk up 5 flights of stairs, which might I add were not just 5 flights, each flight has 3 sets of stairs*. So when we finally reached our destination of the “5th floor”. We were ready just to dump our bags and lie down and die! The owner of the hostel, Mario, was very nice and pointed out that we should have used the lift! Grrr! After we did the usual check in business we were shown to our rooms and given an option of beds. There were 4 bunks and one set had another single bed next to it, so we opted for the 2 beds next to each other. So as usual we made our beds and loaded up our locker with some of our stuff. We then decided to use the wi-fi and have a look at how to get to Pompeii. The son of Mario, Davide came and gave us a map and told us whats good to see and where the best pizza in town is. He was really helpful, he also wrote down how we needed to get to Pompeii and what ticket we needed to buy, etc. Very helpful!. We then decided to head out to try this pizza place and then go to the supermarket to get some supplies. When we arrived at the pizza restaurant, it was completely full and there were about 20 people waiting outside to get in. We were quite hungry, so we decided to go to the supermarket instead. The supermarket was pretty good, they had lots of varieties of foods (still no vegemite). So we got some bread and ham for lunch, muesli bars for snacks, apples, juice and Kath got a new beer. We then headed back to the hostel for our lunch. The bread we bought didn’t taste that nice, but the ham was pretty good. Davide was making everyone pasta for dinner, so we were stoked about free dinner! Dinner wasn’t until 8.30 though. We did some more research on places to stay in Rome and how to get up there. And I read a little bit about the story behind the Pompeii Ruins. Davide kept his word and we had dinner at 8.30 it tasted pretty good. Some American man was chatting to us – He is like 50 or 60, telling us how he is a published author and is meant to be here promoting his book but his published has held something up, and apparently his book is like one of Steven Kings, but he didn’t think so and how in 14 months he is going to have a massive contract for his book to be made into a film. He also said he used to be a famous basketball player back in America etc. But his book has been held up and now he has to live in hostels and wait until his book tour is up and running or something.. who knows! We headed off to bed quite quickly after dinner. We decided to watch a movie to relax. I fell asleep about 40 mins into the movie, I was completely exhausted.

I woke up at 6.30am, busting for the toilet – I meant to go after the movie but I never saw the end! Haha. We got ready to head out. It was looking very overcast outside and we decided just to take our jackets rather then our jumpers. Breakfast didn’t start until 7.30, Mario came in and set up some stuff for brekky. There was bread, croissants, tea/coffee/juice and mini toasty things. We had some toast and tried a croissant but didn’t really like it much. And I took some mini toast for later. We headed off to the metro to get to Pompeii. The ticket we wanted t buy could only be bought at a little shop outside the station. I showed the guy what Davide had written and I told him we wanted a 24 hour ticket. He kept telling me the price for 1 journey ticket and I was like no and pointed at the prices Davide had given us. He was talking really loudly at me as if I was dumb, so we just said forget it and walked off. We went to the ticket machine inside the metro and fair enough we couldn’t get the ticket we wanted from the machine. Some guy pointed us in the direction of another little shop that sold tickets, so that was nice. The guy in there was really nice and we communicated really well with him. He didn’t make me feel dumb!We had our ticket and off we went to the metro. We got off at the metro and went to the train station. We put our tickets into the gate to open it and it wouldn’t let us through. There were some ticket people there and they let us through (obviously we had the right ticket), thankfully! We jumped on the train and headed off to Pompeii. The journey was ok, there were so many orange and lemon trees and the fruit looked so tasty. When we arrived at Pompeii we found the entrance to the ruins and bought our tickets. Kath got 50% off for being an EU citizen and between 18-24. Woohoo! The ruins weren’t quite how I expected them. It was a huge town there and despite what it has been through I would say it was in pretty good condition. Though hardly none of the houses had roofs on them. The town was very large and it is a bit odd to think that is was undiscovered for so long! It was a bit annoying as there were so many areas that were blocked off for public access, but nonetheless it was pretty amazing. We saw old theatre areas, unfortunately we couldn’t get into the auditorium, it was closed. We saw some of the “bodies” of the people who had died there, I asked Kath if she really thought they were real and she thought so. When we were leaving the area with the bodies in it, we read in the book that they were actually just plaster casts of the actual bodies. But it was still interesting to see. It rained several times on and off while we were there, the streets were all flooding because of the rain. We wandered around the ruins for a good 3 hours then we were completely exhausted, so we decided to get something to eat and then head back to Naples. We got the train and metro back fine. When we came out of the metro station it was pouring rain, even the people with their umbrellas weren’t venturing out from under the shelter. We were going to head up to museum, but once we started walking and were completely soaked we decided to go back to the hostel instead.

We have put everything out to dry and are going to try the pizza restaurant again for dinner. Opens between noon and 3.30 and 7-midnight, so we are going to try and be the first ones there at 7 so we can get a seat and have the best pizza in Napoli. We also have to sort out if we are going to Rome tomorrow!

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1 Response to Bari to Naples…

  1. Mum says:

    Hi Girls, maybe you should look at some small private hotels instead of backpackers, probably not much more expensive off season and could be a lot nicer! Ask at the next tourist bureau.
    love Mum

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