Finding Paradise

May 15, 2008

Here we are in Paradise…the Island of Ischia, in the Gulf of Naples. We arrived yesterday afternoon after an hour and twenty minutes train ride (Eurostar) and a half hour fast ferry from Naples to Ischia….then the mini taxi to our hotel.

We are staying at the Hotel Europa (http://www.hoteleuropaischia.it/) which Luigi discovered through his many hours reading hotel reviews on TripAdvisor.

Ischia is a vulcanic island with a lot of thermal springs which have been used over millenia by people to cure different ailments (joints, etc)…

Many hotels have their own direct connection to the centre of the earth which means they have thermal mineral waters in pools for their hotel guests. Hotel Europa (http://www.hoteleuropaischia.it/) is one of those hotels. The water is a discusting brown colour, but it is warm, rich in minerals (at least we hope so) and very healthy (we also hope so)….

The weather has been sunny and warm (25 degrees). After a bit of walking around this part of the Island and stopping for a snack of pizza we relaxed in the pool. Nancy was a bit reluctant to swim in BROWN water….but conceded and actually enjoyed it, however a loooooong shower followed.

Not knowing where to go for a nice supper, we walked…….and walked….and walked….then discovered the “Rodeo Drive” in Ischia Porto….very exclusive shops that were just re-opening at 9:30 pm for the tourist traffic….(mostly German)….we did find a gem of a restaurant hidden near one of the many back alleys (so to speak!). Words do not describe the ambience….who would think that red damask tablecloths and fake orange (the fruit) lights on live trees in the large outdoor patio would be so inviting. In addition to a wonderful dinner (at ten pm!) we had live entertainment of three very talented guitar players singing romantic Napolitan (in Italian) love songs. We enjoyed so much that we moved to the indoor section, with many others and stayed until 1:30 am.

It was a tough wake up at 8 am! Today was a day to wander through Ischia Porto and explore the myriads of little shops nested in the Mediterranean style houses that we ony had a glimpse of the previous night, in the dark…..

After another session in the sun and swimming in the brown pool (Nancy now realizes it is helping her bad shoulder), we walked to the Aragonese Castle not far from our hotel, and wandered around. As it was late and we needed some fresh nourishment, we discovered another little gem of a restaurant.

After two days on the Island, we are now debating whether to stay here two more weeks…:-), but we seem to faintly remember that we are to move out of the condo in Edmonton by the end of May…..needless to say, we love this little (kind of) Island.

In the coming days, we hope to see more of the Island, boat around and possibly a trip to Capri. We are still debating whether to rent a Vespa for a day!!!!!

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