Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dogs of Sorrento

There were a lot of dogs in Sorrento, both on the street and in yards. One poor old dog that looked like a red lion lived on the street with a bad leg. We saw him in the evening up in the city and in the morning down at the docks. Somehow during the night he had wandered down the cliffs. With all my heart, I wanted to have him euthanized. It made me a little sick to hear people talk about him, oblivious to his condition.

For several reasons this was my first trip to Europe that I didn't experience jet lag. Usually I lose the first two days in misery as I adjust. Not so this time. In fact, I was feeling just fine the first evening we arrived in Sorrento, and I talked Al into taking a stroll into town. The air was cool that night and light to the touch. Very few people were about as we hiked up (always start going up so you can come home going down) the residential street in the dark. It was a narrow street with these wonderful, moss-covered walls on both sides. Occasionally a gate would open, releasing a private car into the lane, forcing us into the 8 inches of leeway as it passed.

We were standing looking down into a garden full of olive trees when we heard a great, deep roar from behind us and above. (On the cliffs of Sorrento, all views are either above or below.) Startled, we looked up to see these two, large dogs in the yard above our heads. They continued to loudly warn us away, at which point we decided to head back down to the hotel.

We slept well that night with the balcony doors left open and were wakened by competing choruses of birds, amplified against the cliff. The doves were by far the loudest and most easily distinguished, dispelling all romantic notions of these birds as gentle coo-ers.
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