Monday, July 20, 2015

Elba Island - Days 1 & 2

I would love to call my Elba posts something exciting or descriptive but they would all be something like nap on the beach, eat lunch, siesta, then lay in the sun, drink wine, etc...This was definitely the relaxing, uneventful beachy part of our Italian vacation!


But the morning we left Rome for Elba Island was an ordeal!  We have never taken a train at Termini before so when we got there 20 minutes before we were scheduled to depart and discovered it to be a bit of a cluster to print our pre-paid tickets, we realized our mistake:  since we knew we were taking the train from Rome to Piombino, Piombino to Firenze, and the high speed train from Firenze to Roma, I bought our tickets ahead of time.  Turns out, despite being able to purchase ahead of time we still had to stand in a long ass line to get the attendant to print out our tickets, what?!  Seriously the dumbest set up we could have imagined.

We were lucky that the woman who was dispersing the numbers to stand in queue - yes, a queue for a queue - was nice enough to help us.  She took our confirmation number, cut to the front of the line to the front desk and printed our tickets to Piombino and then explained the complicated maze of directions to the correct platform to board the train to Piombino.  We bustled over, bags in tow and found our seat in a car that was very clearly marked as one that had A/C, "do not open the windows".  But it wasn't A/C and only 4 of the 12 windows had the ability to open...great.  We didn't want to risk getting off the train to find a different car since we were both feeling a bit disheveled at this point so we stayed put and we sweat and it was okay :)

Once we got going, the scenery whisking by helped to calm any flustered feelings.  Green  fields, Italian pine trees with their elevated wigs and the occasional orange or red barn house...


The many regional stops with their alien flora and bright blue railing...




Passed the straw fields and row of what looks like toy trees is the Apennine mountains.  After nearly 3 hours we arrived in Piombino at the Piombino Marittima station...




We boarded a ferry with our bags, while others had their cats and I was insanely jealous...





About 45 minutes later, Andy and I felt like we were arriving to Kauai again!  Lush green Mount Capanne...

Elba Island is 86 square miles and is famous for the place of Napoleon's exile in 1814 to 1815.  This trip was sort of an extension of our honeymoon in France, which I will one day blog and share with you!








We drove from Portoferrario to Procchio, where we stayed at the Hotel Del Golfo.  Despite seeing other guests dressed and heading to dinner when we arrived, we were ready for the pool.  We quickly dug out our swimsuits and headed out for a swim!





Before we left for our trip we bought this waterproof Nikon camera.  I realized how quickly our DSLR was getting exposed to a lot of unwanted elements so a second more durable camera was in order.

Have you ever used an underwater camera before?  I don't know if it was because we were loopy from the heat and the travel but we laughed so hard taking these pictures.  It's so silly because you can't see anything when you're taking pictures, you just point and attempt to click and hope it all works out.








Andy was a master at floating in this salt water pool.  Me on the other hand...disaster.




^^ Flexed toes and all, haha.  That's about as close to floating as I'm going to get.

Eventually we quit goofing around in what felt like a private pool and wandered off grounds to find some food!

This smoke signals and the cozy grapevines at La Casa del Vino had our names written all over it.  Since this was a wine bar they didn't have a real "dinner menu" but dinner is whatever they were cooking up on the grill that night.  Sausages and ribs with a salad and some grilled veggies, it was like a nice home cooked meal!  Totally our style.  We took the server's recommendation and ordered a bottle of the Belnero.  Smooth and velvety with a little fruit!





The next morning was hot and sunny so we headed down to our reserved chairs and umbrella in front of the hotel.  The hotel wasn't terribly busy so the families that were there crossed paths often and although we didn't talk (everyone was speaking Italian), we gave the friendly smile of recognition but kept to ourselves.

For two of our four days we were parked next to this adorable little family with three little ones.  These two, the twins, Claudia and Julia, were just so chunky and darling.  It was fun watching them scoot around on the beach...



It's always nice to get a new suit before going on a beach vacation.  I usually go for bandeau style tops since I don't need much support and it is nice to not worry about tan lines, but somehow this pink frilly Eberjey bikini caught my eye on Revolve and I'm in love (get the top here and bottom here). 

Sure, it is a little cheeky for a family day at HVSC but when in Elba, I fit right in...  











We had lunch at the hotel restaurant most days.  We kept it light with prosciutto and melon and tuna carpaccio...



After lunch we took a little siesta or laid out more on the beach.  I flew through my book, Shogun - a great read if you can commit to 800+ pages!  It is not often that we lay around and read all day and it was fabulous.

In the evening, we decided to look at other restaurants in the area but nothing looked that appealing so we went back to La Casa del Vino.  This time we went for a Vermentino :)






^^ Interesting little bites of food served with our wine order.






After an early dinner we strolled back and enjoyed the views from our hotel grounds...


2 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures!!
    xx
    Mademoiselle Coconath
    http://mllecoconath.com

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for reading :) - Charlie

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