Thursday, July 05, 2012


One September many years ago when on holiday in Sorrento, Italy, we, hubby me and sprog, took a trip across the Bay Of Naples on one of the daytime ferries that regularly made the crossing. The views were dreamy, the skies were lovely Mediterranean blue with minimal fluffy white clouds dotted about the skies. The crossing was even and pleasant.

We had not gone more than a few metres out of the ferry area, when the sky suddenly darkened; we and everything and everyone else were hit by a flash flood accompanied by spectacular thunder and lightening. It was of biblical proportions. Sprog was lifted up on to dad's shoulders, being too little to stay above the depth of rainwater that suddenly engulfed us. All traffic came to a sudden stop.

We trudged through the water, which was almost at thigh level, and took refuge in a café. There were a lot of other stunned customers there with us. As it was lunch time we thought it prudent to have something more than a drink: after all, we might have to stop a while. Although our clothes were steaming wet, we were at least out of the downpour.

There was no sign of any imminent improvement of the weather, nor, of the water levels going down. Neapolitan police who were standing on traffic islands had long since given up trying to direct wasn't going anywhere fast. All they could do was helplessly watch the stalled circulation and the people in their cars. Shops were in darkness and staff were closing down shutters. There was no point in us adding to the chaos, we were in it, and we had to get ourselves out of it.

Decision made, we trudged back to the port in the deluge, with sprog again on hubby's shoulders. Lucky for us, we were able to walk back onto the ferry that we had arrived on. Lucky, because the Master had decided the ferry would make the crossing back to Sorrento. We were the only passengers on board. We dripped abundantly on the seats and floor of the passenger lounge.  

A crew member, very concerned about the child being wet, insisted that we remove sprog's wet clothes so they could be dried on the engine during the crossing. I was given a crewman's heavy wool lined jacket, pre-warmed on the engine, to wrap round the little one. Sprog fell asleep the moment the warm coat was swaddled around the little body. We were very touched by the concern for our child. We were adults, we could cope with wet clothes, but the little one had to be cared for and be dry. Five minutes away from destination, the crewman returned with sprog's clothes dry and warm.  :) 

There was not a drop of rain to be seen in Sorrento, the weather was idyllic there. Yes, they had heard about the flash floods, so had most of the world. It was such a major occurrence, the flash floods in Naples had made international news.


Flighty said...

I've experienced heavy rain and flash floods abroad that there were far worse than anything I've seen in this country. Flighty xx

ZACL said...

I guess we see a lot of events in the UK via the media, Mr F. Being in the middle of it and seeing a fraction of a happening, or two or three streets of it, is very different. Being in the middle of the experience is always defining.