Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lost, exactly where we should be - 3 October 2007

An Italian hill townAs is the way these days, a 2-hour flight takes from1 pm until 10 pm to complete: by the time you get to the airport, allowing for traffic; wait the obligatory 2 hours at the terminal; stand in immigration queues; wait for the luggage; and queue for the hire car. Then it is simply a matter to driving to your hotel and into bed. We had taken our sat-nav system with us so had no trouble navigating a strange city in the dark and arrived quite quickly at 318 Corsa Alcide De Gasperi. We really wanted 320 but the Sat-nav did not offer that as an option and once we arrived we found out why: the numbering went from 318E to 320B and neither was Residence La Nuova Arca.

Grecian columns at PaestumWe asked some locals at a gas station and they indicated in broken English where we should go. We drove all the way to the end of Corsa Alcide De Gasperi and back again. We stopped at another gas station and confirmed with a motorist there that we were on the correct road - at which point she sought my assistance opening her fuel cap. Stopping at 320B a resident told us that La Residence was past the stop sign and to the right. Tucked in beside the motorway off ramp was another small street so we drove to the end of that. Nothing looked like La Residence so we went back to Corsa Alcide De Gasperi, and decided to ring the place. While I was getting the phone fired up, Christine saw a local parking her car so asked her. She spoke no English but rang La Residence on her mobile (saved us an overseas call) but got nothing sensible from her call. Trulli in AlberobelloShe indicated to follow her so off we set and she drove to 320B where she asked another resident and had a long conversation in Italian. Ultimately we ended up back down the side street that we had visited before and the hotel receptionist was out in the car park. (Looking for us?) It seemed she gave him a piece of her mind about the lamentable state of his signs then we thanked her profusely and she left.

In the daylight, next morning it seemed that we had driven past three signs, with the Hotel name on, along the little side street but has missed them all. All in all it added at least another hour to the already long day.

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