This post has been written for the theme “26 Places, 26 Memories” for the #AtoZChallenge.
N FOR NAPLES, ITALY:
Naples is an ancient city located in Southern Italy. It’s known to have beautiful art and architecture, the best pizzas in the world, and grungy streets with a distinctive character. The city of Pompeii that perished under Mount Vesuvius, is located nearby.
As I’ve noted in an earlier post, I visited Italy in June 2014 for my honeymoon. We spent a couple of days exploring Naples before moving on to the Amalfi coast. On the way back, we stopped at Naples to catch a train to Rome, where we were scheduled to visit the Vatican City. However, we received a phone call that made us change our course.
NEGATIVE NEWS RECEIVED IN NAPLES:
If you remember, I kept waking every night at 3:00 a.m. after the spooky incident at our hotel in Sorrento. The night before we were travelling to Naples, I was up yet again. I’d begun leaving the bathroom lights on, so I wouldn’t have to lay awake in the dark. The dim lights sometimes projected funny shapes on the wall. That night, I thought I saw the shape of a black bird. In my terrified mental state, I assumed it was the bird of death, and took the superstition very seriously.
The next morning, my husband had arranged a speed boat to take us to the stunning Blue Grotto, a cave located near the island of Capri that houses stunning blue water and echoes music. I’m mortally afraid of water, so the dinky speed boat on the choppy sea, coupled with my superstition about the black bird; had me petrified. Fortunately, we survived the boat ride and reached the train station at Naples, without incident.
While checking the timings for our train, my husband received a call from his cousin. His beloved paternal grandmother had passed away. Maji, as we all knew her, was the head of our family; and she was especially dear to my husband. Days before, she had telephoned us in Italy, imploring us to return early. Perhaps she had sensed that she didn’t have much time in hand. Her sudden death came as a shock, with the grief magnified because we weren’t with her when she passed.
The only time I’ve seen my rock of a husband shed a tear, was in the train station at Naples. He was unable to express the depth of his grief but I sensed it. Maji had been a mother-figure to him, and had become one for me too, despite the short period of time I knew her. I dedicate this post to that phenomenal lady and to all my amazing grandparents, who left such a strong imprint in our lives, and whose legacy lives on through their children and grandchildren.
Come back tomorrow for the letter O and another story!
Eating the best pizza we’ve ever had at ‘Da Michele’ in Naples, June 2014
Exploring the sights and sounds of Naples, Italy
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*Unless specified, the copyright in all pictures belongs to nooranandchawla.
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A for Amritsar, B for Bhopal, C for Cambodia, D for Delhi, E for England, F for France, G for Gwalior, H for Hemkund Sahib, I for Italy, J for Jim Corbett National Park, K for Kamakhya Devi Temple, L for London, M for Munich