From Sorrento to Sorrento, just a ferry ride away

Sorrento beach Dolphin swims




I giggle as I take my ferry ride from Sorrento to Queenscliff, (Victoria, Australia) waving friends behind as I cruise across the bay to meet my brother and family staying at Aireys Inlet. Places that may not mean much to overseas readers, who might have first thought I was talking about Sorrento in the Bay of Naples. The giggle in fact is related to the name being adopted by a little sleepy coastal town at the end of Port Phillip Bay where dolphins swim free. A small town with a population of only 1,500 although the number does swell during the Summer months.Sorrento toyshopHotel Sorrento







I have just come away from my Italian experience, having eaten at DOC pizza and mozarella bar in Mornington and been absolutely bowled over by the selection of Italian Sorrento delicatessenfoodstuffs they have in their delicatessen area.  Salamis and cheeses tease my nose and palate, figs and lush tomatoes burst from baskets and the amazing selection of pastas makes me almost homesick! All in a bustling jostling  atmosphere of cute young Italian waiters screaming orders around the table as only they know how.

Now memories flood in of the chaotic crowded ferry area of the ‘real’ Sorrento where I gathered tourists eager for the trip over to Capri. One was so eager that she got left behind in the scramble as she was still engrossed in shopping at one of the many souvenir shops near the ferry exit. What a day that was! But she forgave me as the ferry wouldn’t wait and she was last seen waving us goodbye!Sorrrento port Amalfi signposts





Sorrento known as the land of colour – it’s golden citrus fruits, majolica Sorrento harbourceramics in a backdrop of lush palm, pine and olive trees and matchbox striped bathing boxes overlooking a fantastic blue sea. Home to the legend of sirens that tempted many a sailor and tried hard to lure Ulysses. He outsmarted them fortunately, by stuffing his ears with wax and strapping  himself to the mast. It’s beautiful cloisters of San Francesco, prestigious hotels like Albergo Victoria and its crowded alleyways filled with every delicacy from fresh seafood to limoncello and baba (rum soaked cake).Sorrento piazza Yum yum!main square





Albergo Vittoria


St Francesco cloister

View of Sorrento






Home also to the famous from Casanova and Goethe and in later years Enrico Caruso, the great Italian tenor of the early 1900’s, (one of my favorite restaurants bears his name) and Luciano Pavarotti.            It’s a bustling town of around 16,500 inhabitants, and a very popular tourist destination, as ferries sail out to the most sought after places: the Isles of Capri, Ischia and Procida (a little gem), and Positano and the rest of the magnificent Amalfi coastline.

Sorrento in Victoria does not hold the same allure or the same cliffs overlooking the sea, but it’s still worth the visit.Main street I have fond memories of swimming with the dolphins who peered at us in our iridescent wetsuits, as we flapped around and gurgled into the water to attract them. ‘Flipper’ cruised past to say hello along with the rest of his family and I was breathless at their beauty and taken aback at their cheeky smiles as they glided timelessly among us.

Sorrento surfshopSorrento boats





Map Sorrento





B is for Buddha, Beautiful, Burma…..

Buddhas; there were lots of them, sitting peacefully, reclining, standing awesomely, imposingly large or small they were all over Burma.  Buddha

Reclining Buddha Temple WicksIt is a fascinating country with stunning sunsets over breathtaking temples, luscious lake and postcard beaches. Surprising sunrises as we scramble onto a local train to rattle and laugh our way through a 15 hour ride, or sit waiting for our 12 hour ferry to depart enshrined in fog. Magic temples, chaotic markets, agile fishermen, angelic monks, cheeky monkeys stealing water bottles, delicate women bearing fruit…..endless curiosities in a blaze of colour, and lots of feet washing! Inle lake

monks Nimble fingers and toes produce exquisite  handicrafts. Poverty in our terms abounds, yet locals show with pride their homes, and welcome us to their local festas and schools.  Children sing ‘Brother John (Frere Jacques)’ and giggle at our  ‘Waltzing Matilda’ response.







The countryside held it’s own surprises, far more beautiful than I had expected – an idyllic lake with floating gardens, a paradise Ngapali beachbeach of silky bleached sand and palm trees, and golden temples beckon on crazy hilltops.

Bagan temples





Bagan sunsetFisherman







Our local guide could not have been better, giving an insight into Yangon trishawthe country of today and entertaining us with his stories. It wasn’t easy for me to play a back seat role as it was my first time on tour as a participant and many a time I caught myself checking on luggage and recounting the group! Words cannot describe it all so I hope my photos will do it justice.

I stick with Aung Sang Suu Kyi calling it Burma instead of its current Myanmar and look forward to election results in 2015. Aung San Suu KyiShwedagon Pagoda There is even an Italian connection as the name Ngapali (silent ‘g’) is said to have come from the similarity to Napoli beaches….but take it from me, no Naples beach looks anything like this paradise coastline!kids