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Positano Travel Blog

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A view from the bus.
I told my mom that one of the things I wanted to do this trip was to lose a little weight. My plan was to change my eating habits some while I didn't have pressures from work etc.  I said I wanted to work out....let's be real, I'm on vacation, I'm not doing a lot of weight lifting.  I am however walking a ton. 

At my job I do a lot of sitting.  It's not the job itself, it's my current assignment there that requires this sitting and it's driving me nuts.  I like to be a bit active and now I just feel like a lump of potatoes and the scale has helped to solidify that fact.  I do work out at home, but what I went through today was a real workout.

I slept in a bit longer then I intended. My eyes opened at 7 but my body refused to get out of bed until 9.
  I hit the road, grabbed some snacks at the grocery store, and got to the station at about 10:20.  I speak and read Spanish and can do okay sometimes with Italian, but didn't understand the special notice sign at the bus stop.  I met a couple from DC who had some info from their hotel explaining that the road to Amalfi was closed.  He explained that the road between Positano and Amalfi was damaged and that to get to Amalfi you had to take a bus from Positano to Praiano, then walk a short distance to the next bus stop past the damaged road where another bus would take you to Amalfi.
  No big deal....right?

As background, when you got to Amalfi you are usually intersted more in the Amalfi coast then Amalfi the city.  That generally includes the cities of Positano, Amalfi, and for some Ravello (a little more inland)  To get to Amalfi from Sorrento you have to take a bus.  There isn't a train available.  I'll explain why later because I was pleasently surprised.  The bus typically goes from Sorrento to Positano, through a little known city/town called Praiano and finally to Amalfi.  To get back you go the opposite way. 

It is possible to take a train to Solerno and then bus to Amalfi, but then you miss the views fo the coast and you miss Positano.


Finally the bus arrived in accordance with the revised schedule which was posted in Italian and was in agreement with what my new Washington DC friend said.  We hopped on, and headed for Positano.  When you take this bus SIT ON THE RIGHT SIDE of the bus.  While the first quarter of the trip is mundane as you make your way to the coast, once you're there it's amazing.  You are on a small road looking over to the Amalfi Bay.  The view is great and the smell of burning brakes only enhances the experience.  Again, the driver spent more time on the horn then he did on the brakes, but they had a slight odor to them anyway.  (I'm exagurating a bit, the trip wasn't unsafe at all)

Positano, and Amalfi are both on a mountainside headed straight for the water.
  That means that every road is on an incline and there are lots of switchbacks.  I got off at the top and wandered around.  I had hoped to make the next bus (only 1 hour between them) after I wandered a bit.  Positiano is beautiful, and there are many small passageways to wander, shop, and dine.  I am on a self imposed diet and don't like to shop (whatever you buy you must carry) so while I enjoyed the scenary, I did't need to spend much time there.  When I finally decided to go back to the bus stop I got lost in all the alleyways and ended up deciding that the closest bus top was directly above me.  I thought that the stairs wouldn't be that bad.....  All I can say in hindsight is that the Great Wall of China is on a hill.  Positano is on a mountain.  I must have climbed 1 million meters up before I finally got to the busstop, only to have heared the bus leave 5 min before I arrived.
  I knew because I could hear his horn (but not his brakes)

When you arrive in Positano look at your map carefully.  If you plan things right you can get off the bus at the top of the hill, walk down, enjoy everything and meet the next bus at the bottom on the other end of the city.  I ended up doing this.  After missing my bus, and knowing I had an hour to wait I wandered down with a closer eye on my map.  I met the bus and got on.

Then we made it to Praiano.  The driver dropped us off.  I don't ask for directions, a fault I fully admit to, but listened as the woman in front of me asked.  He said °Yea yea, just go down it's not far.°  We left the bus and started down the road.  We walked, and walked, then suddenly two construction workers yelled at us.
  We, this Germann woman and I, were obviously headed to Amalfi, and they pointed us down these stairs.  We were both nervous, not that this made sense or not, but figured they were probably being honest. 

In some places following these instructions would have ended me up in a trinket shop.  In Praiano however we found stairs, and a slope all the way to the bay where we could see the road we needed to be on way above us.  We confirmed the instructions with another gentelman (the German woman spoke more Italian then I do) and we kept walking.  As we approched the bay we saw the bus....and then as we headed up the mountainside path....saw the bus drive away.  Another hour of waiting.  The German wasn't interested in waiting and turned around.

An hour later the bus arrived.
The church in Positano.
  I took it to Amalfi and looked around.  Positano was much more interesting.  Amalfi was laid out better for most tourists, it was larger on the bay, and more of a flat walk.  Then there was a central road which headed into a valley  where much more of the city resided.  This too was easier to walk around, but not as quaint. 

I headed back.  Another wait for the bus.  They didn't have any signs posted about the road delay at Amalfi (despite the 8 buses staged there and the large SITA bus terminal nearby) so I didn't remember when they would run again.  Another lesson learned, if you see a sign about a bus delay write it down so you have it when you want it. 

We got to the road block, and got out.  I now recalled my last experience and started walking fast, hoping not to miss this next bus.
  I walked fast, then I saw a sign with the departure time so I started running, up the hill, my feet acheing, my calves burning, and my shoes squeeking.  I made it.  I was dripping in sweat but I made it.  Then the bus was nice enough to wait for everyone.  Not that I wished bad on them...but isn't that my luck. 

What a great day though.  Despite all of my problems with buses, and all of the stair walking, I saw something that few tourists bring themselves to. 
dkcotter says:
I could only come up with the same words:
Just beautiful!!!
Posted on: Mar 26, 2009
quinnkim says:
Wow, it is so beautiful!
Posted on: Mar 25, 2009
quinnkim says:
I can't wait to see your photos, it sounds amazing despite the miles of hiking!
Posted on: Mar 23, 2009
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A view from the bus.
A view from the bus.
The church in Positano.
The church in Positano.
The Amalfi city plazza
The Amalfi city plazza
Amalfi city church
Amalfi city church
Amalfi city
Amalfi city
The sunset on the way home.
The sunset on the way home.
Positano
photo by: Eric