Friday, 2 August 2013

Arrivederci Orvieto

We slept a little longer this morning, and, after enjoying a FaceTime conversation with our daughter Sophie, we left our hotel.  We'd meant to Skype Jess, but overslept.  

We'd enjoyed our hotel, a little more luxurious than we'd had for a while.  The hotel itself dates from the 5th century after Christ.  This was the basement at least, and the construction of succeeding floors above is attributed to later centuries.  The stone arches visible on parts of the walls in the sitting room outside our bedroom, for example, were constructed in medieval times.  

We dragged our luggage through the streets of Orvieto, taking one last look at this unique little community, and reached the funicular after a 25 minute walk.  We took one last view of the vast surrounding Umbrian landscape from Orvieto's lofty heights, a patchwork of fifty shades of green.  We then boarded the funicular and descended the 300 metres to the bottom of the cliff face.

In the coffee shop at the train station at the bottom, we had coffee and bought lunch for the three hour train trip to Sorrento.  We also bought a bottle of Orvieto Classico, supposedly one of Italy's finest wines, which we'll open some time soon.  I forgot what country I was in and spoke French to the lady in the shop.  

When heading for the train, Jean forgot to pick up her hat.  That's the second hat she's lost on this journey.  We'll have to buy a third one now.  At least we had our train tickets for the trip to Sorrento.  Yesterday morning, when departing Florence, we needed to get the Orvieto-bound train from a different station to the one we were at.  It was too much trouble to get a ticket for a short journey.  So, we boarded the relevant train without tickets.  We then spotted the ticket collector, and we had to move through the train away from the ticket collector to avoid getting caught.  Fortunately, we soon arrived at the appropriate station, and got off, avoiding a confrontation with the ticket collector.

I'm pleased to say I think I've finally kicked the head cold I've been nursing since we hit Barcelona.  The head cold and the stifling heat of Barcelona, the French Riviera and the first couple of days in Italy made me less than happy.  Now I'm better, the heat is a lot more bearable.

A viewing point from the edge of Orvieto
About to descend via the funicular 
Going down 
Near the bottom

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