Last Days

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Friday was once again a beautiful day, so we decided to just take it easy before the long slog home. We did wander down the hill past Agropoli to Capaccio Scalo, where many of the bufala farms are. We’d bought cheeses from a small caseificio in the area, but this time we went to Vannulo, one of the largest and best known. This place seems to have dome a massive marketing campaign, as there were tour buses in the parking lot and sunburned cruise ship groups getting tours, with others┬á crammed into the bufala gelato shop. No matter, we walked around, said hi to the water buffalo, and bought some fresh mozzarella and still-warm bufala ricotta.

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On the way back, we turned up the hill and drive the steep road up to Capaccio, perched on one of the rocks surrounding the valley. A bit of a white-knuckle ride down, but enjoyable.

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After a cheese lunch, we enjoyed an afternoon in our beach chairs, reading and enjoying the scene. And then sadly, packing for home.

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We were a bit seafooded out by this point. While the area boasts wonderfully fresh seafood, most of the restaurants have a similar mindset to Cape Cod’s “fried or broiled” offerings, here, fried or grilled. We parked at the end of town where the lungomare ends, and walked back into town. A drink under the porticoes, and then wandered over to a pizzeria. Nice, crispy pizzas with bufala and vegetables, yum. And a last gelato and sunset over the sea.

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Saturday morning, we headed back through Basilicata and onward toward Bari. Basilicata again looked lovely, though very empty–it’s a long way between villages there.

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Around Bari, we looked for some place for a last lunch, but were striking out everywhere–in the non-touristic towns, restaurants were firmly closed up on Saturday, I guess everyone went to the beach. Finally found an open place where we had an OK lunch in an empty restaurant, with the owners daughter watching Italian cartoons and her mother fighting with the chef.

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Easy flight to Berlin, and a short cab ride to our hotel on Kurf├╝rstendamm. The Amedia was comfortable, newly renovated, (although some of the design choices were odd–why the mural of the Taj Mahal over the bed?) and a fine place to overnight. We wandered around looking for a place to get a late dinner, and eventually circled back to the place next door to the hotel, where we had beers in glasses as big as our heads, and some decent food while everyone watched the World Cup. Berlin looks to be a lively, attractive place, one I’d love to return to explore.

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The usual cramped, long flight back to the US, chaos at JFK, and finally connected with my harried sister who kindly picked us up. Larry felt OK to drive, so four hours later, we were back in our own bed.

As one of our children’s favorite bedtime books said “It’s nice to be out and about, but its nice to come home too.”

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