Sorrento is beginning to grow on me. I have never disliked being here, but today bel ragazzo and I were eating our lunch in the public gardens with Mount Vesuvius and the bay of Naples stretched out before us and we agreed that the views here are spectacular...there are worse places we could be ;)
Sorrento is getting busier by the day and I even survived my first experience at the insane Naples airport last Friday. The fact that I made it there is one piece was a good start as I drove the entire way! Oh...it was so scary and people drive like maniacs cutting you off and not giving way, but I did it! I am not ready to drive into Napoli...and I don't think I ever will but the airport is a good start at least.
And speaking of airports Naples is one of the worst organised airports in Italy! It is a nightmare this year for package tour operators. Last year there were 2 terminals so all the tour operators had their arrivals in Terminal 2 which had a bus park outside. For some reason this year Naples Airport has decided to close Terminal 2, and only use Terminal 1 which is a good 15 minute walk from the old terminal. Thankfully my guests have only private cars on arrival and departure...but the poor other tour operators have their guests coming into Terminal 1 then having to walk unescorted to Terminal 2... Sounds simple but it is not...this is Naples after all!
Here in Sorrento the main tour operators have quite a bit of power with the airport and tourism boards...rightly so as we bring in most of their income. Bel ragazzo attended a meeting last week as to how to solve the airport situation. It was decided that the airport would paint a line from Terminal 1 to 2 for the customers to follow, leading them to the old bus terminal. All good in theory but not in reality.
The blue line starts across the zebra crossing in front of the arrival exit. So this causes immediate chaos as the tour agencies are telling customers to follow the blue line...but no one can see the blue line. Once they find the blue line they have to walk on this path and then the blue line suddenly stops at the roundabout where there is a set of traffic lights. The airport cannot paint the blue line on the road as the council own the road and will not allow it. So you sort of have to guess to cross the road. Airport staff are meant to be along the blue line assisting people...but of course they are not. You can imagine the situation with cars whizzing by, not stopping at the traffic lights...and why should they when the traffic lights were not even working!
If customers manage to cross the road in one piece, they have to keep walking and last week when I did a test 'walk the blue line' the line suddenly stopped smack bang in the middle of the street! I had no idea where to go as perhaps the airport ran out of paint, but the blue line just stopped in the middle of no where. Thousands of guests had come in by this stage so I am not sure how they managed to find the way. To solve the situation in the peak of the day, in the hotel sun, amidst hundreds of angry people trying to find Terminal 2...the airport decided to get some more paint and finish the line - thus blocking the 'safe' path which meant people had to walk on the road until the paint dried.
Oh well...just another day at the Naples airport and I will be having many of these since I will be on airport duty every Friday.