March 12th, 1999

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Welcome to Italy.

Here is part XVI of our European Holiday Flash Pages.
We overnighted in the seaside town of Salerno on the Amalfi coast.


Ooroo from da Guru, ;-)

It looks as if we seem to have survived the trip to Portland, Oregon last weekend. There was a big Antique show on in the Portland Expo center and Ruth said she was in desperate need of stock for her stores. We climbed into the big tin crow for the hour flight, grabbed a rental car and tried our hardest to get lost like some bloody Tommy Tourist.
We headed north from the airport and crossed a large river that was actually the state border, so we had in fact left Oregon and stayed in Vancouver, Washington. We managed to jag a great hotel overlooking the river but we had to go through the "Bronx" to get there. It looks as if the downtown of Vancouver, Washington had died of natural causes a decade previous. Every window had bars on it and the streets were actively patrolled by a motley crew of assorted vagrants, drunks, hookers and bums. For seventy bucks a night we got a room with breakfast included. The dining room was built right on the waterfront which made for great views while stuffing our faces.
Saturday turned out bright and sunny for our "antique-a-thon". Ruth had us at the front doors of the Expo center in time for the 8 o'clock opening. There was a mad bull rush for the doors as all the bargain hunters, armed with their best plastic negotiating weapons of choice (credit card) did battle with other like armed individuals. 1600 dealers from all over the Pacific northwest turned up for the feeding frenzy. Unfortunately I only lasted for 4½ hours before having to find some other activity. Ruth being the trooper that see is, stayed until stumps at 5 p.m.
Sunday saw me dropping Ruth of a 8 o'clock for more antique hunting. I went off in search of a roadster/hod rod show. I must have covered more territory than the early explorer and only ended up Tommy Tourist of Portland thing. I couldn't find the place for the car show so I headed back to meet Ruth. We then spent 4 hours walking around the antique show together.
We got to Portland airport and hour before the gate was meant to open thinking that we just get our seats and chill out for a while. The airline had other ideas. The plane that was meant to be used for us was sent to Spokane and back as those passengers has plane problems. We were scheduled to be home in Boise at 11 p.m. but we actually got in at 12:30 am. After 5 hours sleep it was off to work, I had meetings scheduled until 6 p.m., so it was bloody long day for the pair of us.

Gotta go.

Stay Happy ;-)
Ruth & Fitzy

Florence, Italy SEPT 1998
We continued on from Florence past Rome, Naples and lobbing into Salerno.
Salerno, Italy SEPT 1998
We found miles and miles of the sunflower fields. The countryside went from lush semi-tropical to brown dry rocky enclaves.
Salerno, Italy SEPT 1998
Auto Grill??? Should have called them Wallet Grill. These are road side cafe's that were rip offs. They're only redeeming feature was that they were cheaper than paying the toll to get off and on the freeway.
Salerno, Italy SEPT 1998
The roadside stops had a captive market and charged accordingly. We were charged 10 bucks for a quart (500ml) of engine oil.
Salerno, Italy SEPT 1998
Just below Naples is the seaside town of Salerno. This was taken from our forty dollar a night hotel just outside Salerno.
Salerno, Italy SEPT 1998
The local beach, 400 feet down the cliff. We were going to stay in Naples but 2 out of the 3 guide books commented that the authors had there cars stolen while in Naples.
Salerno, Italy SEPT 1998
Lounging on our balcony. Sorry about the silhouettes, but we are still potty training the camera.
Salerno, Italy SEPT 1998
We had dinner at the hotel and fair dinkum, I had the best calamari I had ever tasted.
Salerno, Italy SEPT 1998
We turned up in the dining room only to find a wedding reception. The locals just carried on like nothing happened and were treating us like we were in the wedding party. It was one of the most memorable parts of the trip.
Salerno, Italy SEPT 1998
The experience we had in this little place is what travelling is all about. We even conducted a conversation with the waiter even though we could not speak Italian and they couldn't speak English.
Salerno, Italy SEPT 1998
We watched the sunset and the moon rise from our open air dining room.