Monday and Tuesday
This was originally posted on blogger here.
I woke up on Monday feeling tired. As the day progressed I felt less well, and most of it seems blurry.
I did hang out with the Plone 4 Artists group and really nailed down my understanding of best practices for Plone testing, both unit and functional. This was good to have, and I managed to hang onto this even if this day seemed a bit surreal.
I gave up a bit earlier than what I wanted, said some goodbyes, and headed back to the hotel. I collapsed into bed and slept.
I woke up hours later feeling terrible nausea. Something I ate was very much disagreeing with me. The rest of the night was misery as my body spent hours voiding itself of something I should not have consumed.
I woke early to the sound of stomping workmen. My hotel is being improved. Which is surprising because it is already really nice. Anyway, it was 8 am and I was ready to go to Herculeanium!
I was very weak, and just going from my bed to the bathroom was exhausting. Since normally I can cycle 11 miles easy or dash up the stairs of this hotel, I knew today would be really challenging.
Slow and wearily I packed up everything – stuff I had not done last night. Just moving around was challenging and I had to take breaks. I drank water constantly and told myself this would pass.
In fact, since Herculeanium (and Pompeii) together made a half day affair, I determined I would visit them in the afternoon. I napped a bit on those times the workmen weren’t around.
I was ill a couple times that morning, but by 12:30 pm I was ready to go. I grabbed my wallet and borrowed camera and made my way outside. I walked the quarter mile from my hotel next to Piazzo Bovia to the Piazza Municipale, which is bordered by Castel del Nuovo. From there I would take the Alibus to Piazzo Garibaldi and from there I would take a train to my destination.
Waiting for the Alibus I got ill again. It was brief but really unpleasant. The thought of going all the way to my destination was too much. I suppose sometimes fate is not kind. A visit to ancient Roman ruins would have to wait for another Italy trip.
I was disappointed but I was determined to do something tourista in nature. A hundred yards from me was Castel del Nova. I resigned myself to a secondary exploit and made my way inside the old seat of the Kingdom of Napoli.
Castel del Nuovo
I tread my way around this lovely home of a dozen kings. I couldn’t use the flash on my camera on any of the indoor shots quite a few shots simply did not come out. Nevertheless I came in contact with amazing history and art. Some of the standouts include:
- A huge brass door with all sorts of decorative battle signs molded into it. It had been looted from the Castel del Nuovo in some battle with the Genovese. While being taken away on ship it had been struck by several errant cannon balls with one inside. The light was really bad here and I could not get anything but a murky shot of this marvel.
- The chapel area had a number of early medieval wall paintings mounted inside of protective frames. The art was not as refined as the later paintings elsewhere in the castle, but the skill of the artist was undeniable.
- There was a lot of religious iconography in the paintings, and you could really see the work of the artists to capture the light of the heavens in certain figures. This attempt to understand light also came out in the more secular paintings.
- One work by an obviously skilled artist depicted an artist working at an easel. Behind him was a group of obviously notable nobles and soldiers. And they were bending over and looking at his rear end. It was a surprising piece that if not for the skill of the artist, it would have seemed so out of place in this somber castle/museum.
- I gazed into the Hall of Barons, the assembly room of the nobles of the Kingdom of Napoli. Even after 10 tries, I could not get a good shot of this room.
- I managed to get some nice shots of the courtyard and its various denizens. Of course there was a snoozing stray dog enjoying the warm sun, and a pair of very friendly cats.
My endurance was shot. Climbing up the staircases had worn me out. I felt my nausea returning. I made my way back to the hotel stopping just to buy a set of postcards, my one purchased memento so far.
My bed beckoned and when I awoke it was dark again.
It was about 9pm when I headed out looking for tourista shoppes. I walked down Via Toledo, into a couple big stores. Then into smaller stores. Nothing was an ideal souvenir. I eventually went off the Via Toledo down some narrow streets. I found a shop or two that suited my needs. They didn’t have refrigerator magnets or anything, but I did get a couple things for my family.
Murano glass seems to be a bust. When I ask for it I am either directed to Venice or given a complex set of instructions I can’t follow. My Italian is just too weak.
My hope for refrigerator magnets and glassware is the Capodichino Airport. Maybe they have something.
Tags: Ploneconf2007 Italy legacy-dannygreenfeld