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Hardwood Furniture from Sustainable Sources


Sandro and Marg in Naples: Part One

March 2002


Air miles. We have been saving Air Miles for several years, but at a rate that meant we would probably never amass enough to get out of the country. However, since buying my gas-guzzler car, they had been mounting a little faster, and this coincided with a promotion by Air Miles which offered Two flights for the price of one on selected routes / times.

We found out about this offer quite late on and spent a couple of hours on hold on the telephone. We booked a couple of flights Manchester to Naples. Marg opted to buy the insurance as well, and together with the taxes, we spent almost 150!


We then spent a lot of time surfing to find information about the area, and to try and find a hotel.
After much deliberation, we settled on the Hotel Canada in Mergellina, a sea-front suburb just a couple of miles west of the centre and its port.

The Canada is part of a small chain, Sea-Hotels, and their on-line brochure looked quite acceptable. I tested my Italian and asked for a price for seven nights B&B, Double room, sea view. The price quoted to me was the highest of the several different prices we’d seen on the internet, so I called back and queried it – mentioning the lowest price we’d seen. The manager apologised and re-quoted accordingly.

I sent a confirmatory fax and we were set.

Thursday 14th March

The Manchester to Gatwick flight was unremarkable, as was the food.

On arrival at Gatwick, we had a short while to spare and went shopping. I dropped in to Dixons, and noted that they had a special offer on the camcorder I’d been lusting after for the past year. I put on my best behaviour and puppy-dog eyes and explained to Marg that it was too good a deal to miss, and that it would be so good to have a video record of our trip. To my amazement, Marg conceded – with the proviso that I did not, when we returned, moan about the fact that we would be yet again broke!

Gatwick to Naples. Again the flight was unremarkable, and we saved the sandwiches they dished out in case there were any holdups at Naples.

On arrival at Capodichino it was already dark outside. I left Marg inside with the cases and asked around the taxi rank about the likely cost of a taxi, and whether it would have made sense to try the bus. We loaded into a taxi who had quoted about €30.00

Our arrival at the Hotel Canada was ominous. The taxi stopped in what I took to be the hotel’s “drive”, but what turned out to be just part of the street. The large double doors were locked and there was an intercom typical of a block of flats. As he left, the taxi driver shouted to us to press the button for the hotel – which had the effect of a buzzer and the door lock clicking.

We entered a dark passageway, which had obviously been quite impressive some time ago, and headed for a very old-fashioned lift – the kind where you have to open a wire mesh door after the lift has stopped, then open the two narrow door of the lift itself, which, although small, resembled an old-fashioned railway carriage, with bench seats at either side! Up to the first floor, where it seemed the hotel was entirely based. It looked as though the first floor had been fitted with a mezzanine in part.

The manager showed us to our room and proudly opened the patio door to the balcony. This indeed overlooked the port of Mergellina, but also overlooked the very busy main street. We were tired, but even then we could tell that we were not completely happy with the room.

On the first evening, we ate the sandwiches we’d saved from the airplane then went for a brief walk before retiring. The walk took us first past several cafes and kiosks selling sweets, drinks and snacks, then eventually past an impressive looking pizzeria, which we decided we should try the next day.



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