Why do we love our blog title? Because it’s us; it has numerous meanings – just one of which suggests that Turkey is most definitely our home. And, when somewhere is your home, that means you can wander off elsewhere for holidays, for little breaks, for travel, doesn’t it? Sometimes we travel elsewhere in Turkey – and, occasionally, we leave the borders of our beloved adopted country and take ourselves off to see what the score is elsewhere.
That’s what happened in May. We’ve been to Italy to stay with friends in the past and they insisted it was about time we made a return visit – and we really wanted to make a return visit, too…so we did. There’s something really easy and relaxing about Italy. Maybe it’s because of all the Italy photos and Italian foods that are put before us throughout our daily lives. It’s a country that’s kind of exported itself so that you feel like you know it – and when you get there, at least for us, there’s no big culture shock in store. It’s everything you want it to be – for a holiday and travels, of course.
While we were there this time, we had a week of amazing Italian food (I’m not exaggerating – we each gained a wonderfully foodie 6 lbs in 7 days and you’ll see why in later posts), a week of chilling out at our friend’s house near Cervaro, of savouring the flavours of different Italian beers and wines, and, this time, of seeing a little bit more of what this little corner of the Lazio region of Italy has on offer for curious visitors like us…
Sperlonga Beach – You Surprised Us
Oh, how we love a little wander…and our first outing was coastwards, west from Cassino and Cervaro to the town of Sperlonga. And we don’t mind telling you – ohhhh, we’ve fallen for it big time! Maybe enough to go back and stay in Sperlonga one day.
Let us show you why…
This is a part 1 of 2 post because when our friends said let’s go to Sperlonga, their selling point was,
“It’s a beach and there’s a lovely little town you can walk around.”
We’re all different in this world. We knew Anna would be thinking, “Woohoo, we can go to the beach for a bit.” In the meantime, I was checking the space on the memory card of my camera almost bursting with get-me-to-that-lovely-little-town-right-now ridiculous enthusiasm. Yeah, yeah, beaches-smeaches; they’re okay and all that…but then we saw the beaches in Sperlonga… And this is just one of those little life experiences that challenge everything you thought you felt about beaches. The pair of us fell asleep! We don’t even do sunbathing, nevermind drifting off to wonderland on a sandy sunbed!
But anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get back to parking the car and ambling along to this beach, because don’t forget, I’m not dead bothered about hitting the beach on this day. My feet and camera want to get lost in the streets of Sperlonga and as we cross the road to the beach, we can see the old town of Sperlonga overlooking us to our left. Barry fancies a swim though because it’s the beginning of June and we’re yet to take the plunge in 2015 in Fethiye, and our friends just love a laze on the beach. And it’s early, too. Bags of time for a wander, later on…
And this is where the beach in Sperlonga just really won us over – and even wowed us a little bit. We went down the steps at one of the entrances and there was the beach attendant – very friendly, he was, too, we might add – waiting to take our cash. It was like being greeted by the receptionist at a posh hotel.
“Okay sir, that’ll be 30 Euros. I’ll take you to your beds.”
Our beds? We don’t choose our own beds? They’re allocated? Yes they are. Apparently, in the summer months, the beaches of Italy are absolutely heaving so maybe they need to be this organised. We’re here late spring / early summer though. There’s a smattering of other sunbathers scattered about the stretch of sand, the beds and parasols are in perfect, uniform rows. This is anything but our cup of tea – but we’re both shocked to be impressed. It works, somehow.
“Here are your beds, the menu is there on the table and you have changing room number 32.”
We get a changing room, too? Yes we do, complete with little mirror should you feel the need to look at yourself in your swimwear.
So this must be how to do the beach the Italian way. Our 30 Euros paid for a changing room, 4 sunloungers, 2 parasols, each with table attached, and a couple of deckchairs – guess they’re just in case you get bored of being horizontal. And I dare say the guy would have come round to take food and drink orders at some point – but we were all hungry and thirsty so we all decided what we wanted and our friend went off to the guy at the desk again to ask where to order.
“Leave it here and I’ll take it to the kitchen and bring it over for you when it’s ready.”
Wonderful. And there’s not a word of English on the menu – Sperlonga is a haunt for Italian tourists, mainly from Rome – but it doesn’t matter. Like I said above, Italy exports itself well and most of us have seen menus at Italian restaurants in our time. Panini with prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella and tomato for me, washed down with a lovely, cold Peroni. We all had panini – different fillings – and we all went the Peroni route. Well what else are you going to do on a sunny Italian beach? Perfect!
And it’s no wonder the Sperlonga beaches have Blue Flag status. The sand is like velvety talcum powder between your toes (at least it is in the shade; the roasting hot sunny bits are anther matter altogether), nothing is out of place, not a speck of litter, and we also have beautifully clear Mediterranean sea. A sea so shallow that Barry was almost a speck and the sea was still only lapping around his thighs. Perfect for kids – and me, paddling; not ideal for Barry’s swim.
Mmmm, lunch and a beer, a little paddle and back for a little lie down; the old town of Sperlonga climbing the cliff face to our left. That can wait a while as we enjoy the early summer heat. We’re offered sun cream by our friend but we don’t need it as we’re in the shade… And then we all drift off and we wake up a while later in full sun! See; beach novices; that’s what we are.
Time to change back into our civvies and head off to explore that there Sperlonga old town! We’ll tell you about that in another post…sooooo pretty!