Naples and France
27.02.2020 - 29.02.2020 7 °C
Another glorious sunny day in Naples for our last full day. Heading out at the end of our street there is a funicular which takes you up 828 metres. At the top is a residential area, shops, along with terraced stairs and suburbs back down towards the water. Near the station and a short walk is the Castel San Elmo.
The castel is an imposing defence structure with unrivalled views over the whole of Napoli. Crossing the connecting bridge over the moat you breach the outer walls and like most castles you find yourself in the inner walled area. Looking up two canons would have aided the battle, as well as the usual bolt holes for other means to dispose of enemies.
Crossing the outer drawbridge you enter the castle into the main hall which would have been to greet important visitors and then you come to the inner gate when you are truly within the castle walls and wind your way up the stone corridors to the main courtyard. The vantage points on the ascent just keep getting better until you reach the top and walk along the parapets. Views in all directions from the mountains, the city of Naples, Mount Vesuvius, the Bay of Naples and Capri.
The Castel has had an evolutionary history as a fortified home, military post, a prison and currently used for art exhibitions and administrative offices along with being a well patronised museum building and is a great place to soak in some sun along with the glorious views.
We left Naples the following day and have found the metro in Italy is quick and convenient and in no time we were back at the Naples central station for the train to Milan. The next train trip was just under five hours, after a scenic detour due to police work on the line where derailment occurred a couple of weeks back, with regular announcements about hygiene and viruses. Understandably, and a little sad, a very different vibe when we arrived in Milan as it was very quiet, not a lot of people or traffic. We stayed in a hotel next to the station, which was a bed for the night for our early start the next morning.
The next morning we farewelled Italy as the train travelled from Milan to Basel, Switzerland and then through part of Germany to Colmar, France. We have travelled by train to most of our destinations and it has been an easy way to see the diversity of the country and cities. As we headed closer to the borders, the snow on the mountains and then on the ground and in villages was very picturesque and a reminder that the warmer weather was drawing to an end. Lots of people who had been or were going skiing hoped on the train at Thun and off again at Bern.
Changing trains at Basel for Colmar, we arrived at Colmar station which is a beautiful building. On the short walk from the train station to our apartment, we kept stopping to take in the beauty of the medieval and Renaissance buildings and statutes near where we are staying. Love Colmar, love France!