5.17.09 Amazing Amalfi Coast!

Amalfi Travel Blog

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Amalfi Coast

5.17.09    Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy

 

Wow!  The Amalfi Coast is gorgeous!  If you look at a map of Italy, track south of Naples just a tiny bit- there is the tiny Sorrento peninsula- on the southeast side of the peninsula is the “Amalfi Coast” and Amalfi is one of the quaint towns.  The cliffs are high, the picturesque towns built into the cliffs, and the water a brilliant blue!

 

First, we took the Circumvesuviana Train (12E round trip for all of us) from Pompei (near the ruins, across the street from our campground) to Sorrento, a town south of here.

Amalfi Coast
  Then we took a blue bus (24E for day passes total). 

 

We waited in a long line, since we couldn’t get on the full bus to Amalfi, chatting with a Scottish couple about travel tips.  Prepared to wait an hour for the next bus, we were surprised when a bus lady told the line that they were not using that bus stop because they were closing the road.  So we all tracked in our orderly line (mostly British and N. American tourists) to another bus about 6 blocks away, boarded the bus and waited, waited for the schedule to allow us to leave.  Pack your patience!

 

The Amalfi Coast is a UNESCO area!

 

“Hair-raising, hyperventilating, and memorable” our the reading said of the coastal drive.  While I was glad the to take the bus and not Sugar, I didn’t find the roads particularly steep or difficult.

Charles carsick-Lia helping
  The 500’ cliff drop-offs could be intimidating though.  And even the bus blew its horn consistently around the blind hairpin turns.  And there were several very close calls through small towns with crazy scooter drivers and cars.  So I guess, yes, I’m glad I wasn’t driving!

 

Plus, we very much enjoyed the folks on our bus Canadian, British, Scottish, Australian, and Florida!  But with the very hot and crowded bus, and the hairpin turns, Charles got carsick.  We just sort of yelled Ciao, Arrividercci to everyone as we quickly disembarked without a clue where we were.

 

We’d jumped off at the small town just after Poisano, which turned out to be a nice stop.  We didn’t have many plans for the day, just to experience the drive, see the coastline, and spend a little time in a town and a beach.

 

We bought some Gatorade at a nearby market for Charles, then hung out in a cool café, drinking a cappuccino and Diet Cokes.

Relaxing at the cafe
  The nice owner helped us find the beach direction (down) and we changed into swimsuits in the restroom, which turned out to be a good move.

 

But instead of waiting 20 minutes for the “orange bus” to take us to the spiaggi (beach), we followed old, black steps down, WAY down the cliff side.  “Oh, we’ll take the bus back up for sure!” we thought.  Of course, you know that this path took us to an isolated rocky beach with no access around to the beach where the bus goes!

 

The water was lovely- there were many picturesque rental units tucked into the hillside and some families were enjoying the black pebbly small beach areas.  We also jumped off the dock where the local restaurant also has a water taxi service, for 200E to Sorrento.

 

So after playing, we tromped back up the hillside, which required only one or two rest breaks (and we changed into our clothes along the way).

Amalfi Coast
  It wasn’t as bad as the 688 steps of the Eiffel Tower. 

 

We beat the hourly or so Sunday bus by 10 minutes!  Whew!  We flagged him down in front of our café (as the kind owner instructed) and Charles snagged a front seat for the ride back, which really helped, along with the A/C working on that bus.

 

We jumped off at what we all thought was Sorrento Train Station, since it said Circumvesuviana on it, which we knew was our line.  Multiple attempts to communicate with the train station dude resulted in us getting on a train, which stopped at the end-of-the-line station of Sorrento!  We still have no idea where we were.

 

So we ran across the platform to a train that had people on it and asked 3 of them, getting affirmative that it was correct.

Amalfi Coast
  We made it back!  Even got off at the right stop!

 

I have learned that with America’s lack of help with the global warming issue, people don’t want to hear about how hot we are.  So I’ll tell you- we were hot!  And it is probably hotter now in Texas.  We’ve turned into Cream Puffs.  But I am SOOO glad that we are doing Italy and Greece in May!

 

Lining the road from the train station and across from the ruins (same road) are stands with enormous local lemons!  Huge, like as big as a cantelope!  They sell fresh, iced lemonade (3E), and bags of local oranges produce the best fresh-squeezed iced OJ.  Ahhhh.  Molto Bene!  (very good!)

 

We had a lovely day, but are glad to be lazing around in Sugar now.

Hiking down to the water for a swim
 

 

Speaking of lazing around, we met one lady traveling with 3 friends who said she was ready to break free on her own now- she’d had it with getting up at 4am to catch a train from Rome this morning, plus 4 other forms of miserable transportation today.  She wanted to relax on an island. 

 

Another lady on the bus from Ottawa, Canada said that she had just completed her 7-day tour, which would be her first and last.  She was dismayed at the schedule of getting up early, just 30 minutes for each meal, go, go, go!  She was going to change her flight home, no matter the cost, so she could stay and relax to enjoy Italy before going home.  (both also complained of lack of internet- ha!  Preaching to the choir!)

 

It made us so happy that we have the time and flexibility to travel as we like.

Amalfi Coast
  While we now accept that we cannot see everything, we appreciate every minute of what we choose to do.  Our travel goals are multifold- see the sights, meet the people, eat the food, live the *real* places people live, eat, shop, work, and to experience the area fully.

 

Must go- Jazy is serving up tomato slices with the fresh mozzarella that we bought in Rome.  The mozzarella comes in a water- filled bag with the white balls of mild cheese floating around until drained and sliced.  Then she put some pesto on top and it is a masterpiece!  Wow!  And the pizzeria opens in an hour at 7pm.  Now, where is that Chianti? 

 

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Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast
Charles carsick-Lia helping
Charles carsick-Lia helping
Relaxing at the cafe
Relaxing at the cafe
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast
Hiking down to the water for a swim
Hiking down to the water for a swim
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast
Amalfi
photo by: tktheworldtraveler