Sunday, 31 May 2009

Spring Bank Holiday

Last week was my half term holiday, as we had our Spring Bank Holiday here in the UK. DH and I took advantage of that fact to have a short break in Sorrento, Italy. We have been there before, but we were both ready for a break and the price was right (discounted because it was a late deal!), we could fly from our local airport at sensible times and the hotel looked lovely on its website.

Sometimes reality doesn't live up to its promise, but this time, it was the other way round! The hotel was fabulous and the views from the rooms, restaurant and public areas were stupendous!

This is the view we had from our balcony, with Sorrento in front of us, and the waters of the Bay of Naples sparkling in the sun. It was lovely to be able to watch the activities in the town and harbour, and we could also see the lawns and grounds of the hotel immediately in front of us.
The hotel, called the Hotel Grand President, was very friendly and welcoming. They had even gone so far as to fit everywhere out in my favourite colour - lime green!
This is a view of the a la carte restaurant, where you could sit inside or on the terrace and watch the sunset over the bay as you dined,
and here I am taking my ease in the shade. This rooftop area was quiet and ideal for relaxation. DH loves to soak up the sun, but I like to lounge, read and sew under a sun umbrella. Perfect relaxation for both of us.
Although we spent several days doing very little, we also did some sight-seeing. We had a lovely time exploring Sorrento's quaint, narrow back streets, with little shops, cafes and restaurants at every turn.

But we also hired a car, driving along the coast to Amalfi (rather hair-raising, what with the hairpin bends and the Italian driving mentality!) and then down to Paestum, where there are the best examples of Greek temples in the world. Sounds a bit strange to find Greek temples in Italy, but of course, the Greeks dominated the Mediterranean for centuries, and these temples have survived in very good condition, even better than the ones in Greece!

Another day we went up the coast to Herculaneum, which is Pompeii's lesser known but probably more interesting twin. Both towns were destroyed by Vesuvius's eruption in the first century, but Herculaneum was swamped by mud, which actually supported the buildings and means that many of them are still intact, with roofs, stairs etc.

Here is a general view of the site, which though smaller than Pompeii is much more accessible and interesting. This is one of the streets, and you can see how well-preserved the buildings are.

And here is the culprit - Mount Vesuvius itself!


Nancy said...

What a lovely vacation! I so envy you living in the UK, with all of Europe close enough to visit. Your hotel looks marvelous and very luxurious. I could feel myself relax, just looking at the view from your room.

Contented Caroline said...

Glad you had a great holiday Lynda - the photo's look fabulous.

loulee said...

Looks like a wonderful get a way.

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Sew Create It - Jane said...

You sound quite rested...and it sounds like you had a wonderful time! The views look spectacular!

black bear cabin said...

How absolutely wonderful!!! Id love to see more pictures :)

anne bebbington said...

What a fascinating post Lynda - have only been to Venice but would love to experience other Italian destination - you've really whetted my appetitite