Amalfi

May 11, 2012
I have been infatuated with the Amalfi Coast for several years; ever since I first laid eyes on photo taken there. Instantly I was fascinated with the seaside homes and hotels built into the cliffs and I could not wait until the day I could experience it for myself.

On our second day in Sorrento, we hopped on a bus to Amalfi. To say I was excited was an understatement. We boarded the bus and secured seats upfront and seaside for the best views. As we got on our way I noticed something was afoot because we continuously passed street signs pointing to Amalfi Coastal towns and instead headed toward Naples. I was puzzled. Finally, we got word that there was a landslide in Positano and all traffic was redirected. This bus we were on was going directly to Amalfi with no stops because of it. And it was 2.5 hour ride. This completely hijacked my plans. I wanted to visit Positano, Praino, then Amalfi, Ravello by bus and ferry back to Sorrento. There were supposed to be stops on the way and the ride is usually 1.5 hours from Sorrento to Amalfi.

Poor Frank suffers from motion sickness, even with heavy dose of Dramamine this was one tough ride. To make matters worse, the streets are narrow making it impossible for other vehicles to pass. We encountered oncoming traffic numerous time and they had to back down the mountainside to openings so we could pass, there were winding curves and 1000ft drops. You’d think the driver would have to be alert with two hands on the wheel… but no; apparently it is a completely appropriate time to text and chat on the phone. Fortunately, the stunning views kept us distracted.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug





















Death and heart attacks averted, we arrived safely it was nothing short of a miracle. Frank looked tempted to kiss the ground when we got off the bus. He said there was no way he was getting back on another bus. Our plan was to ferry back anyway so I saw no problem. That was until we went to the Ferry ticket booth only to learn ferries didn’t start running until the next day. You must be kidding! No, no they weren’t. We tried every which way to get back to Sorrento, but it was inevitable; we would have to get back on the bus - Much to Frank’s dismay.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

We tried not to think about it, we instead went off in search of lunch. We stopped at Da Gemma which is perched above the crowds. I recalled the name from my notes because they have chocolate covered eggplant and it was something I had to try. The restaurant was high end, its tasting menu was tempting but we ordered spaghetti with asparagus and clams and their house specialty, which is pasta with onion ragu. We were started with an amuse bouche of arancini and a tasty bread basket. We also had a bottle of local white wine.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug







It was all delicious. We finished with chocolate covered eggplant and ricotta ice cream. It was rich and reminded me of chocolate covered raisin. After lunch, we walked around a bit. Amalfi dates back to the 6th century, the cathedral at its heart was built in the 11th century.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug



Amalfi is also famed for limoncello and is a well known maker of a hand-made thick paper which is called bambagina, but it is widely recognized as a popular holiday destination for British upper class. It feels like a resort town through and through. The beach isn’t what I find ideal yet many claim spots to soak up the sun.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Before we got too wrapped up in sights I figured if buses were the only way back it would be best to find out when they leave. It seemed easy enough, but no… it took almost two hours. I was sent on a goose chase between drivers on buses, those coming off and the clerk at the counter. Each person would point to the next. No one. I mean no one knew what was going on. Not one person of the dozen I spoke to could tell me when the next bus to Sorrento was. Others wondering the same began to gather and we formed a line across the parked buses. There was no way they were leaving without us. Eventually buses left to every other destination so through the process of elimination we all hopped on a driverless empty bus figuring if we were all going to Sorrento, they’d have to take us there. It did the trick.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug











Our 2.5 hour bus ride took 3 hours on the way back because of a football game in Sorrento. Traffic was at a standstill for miles. 5.5 hours on bus was no fun at all, but we lived to tell the tale. It’s a miracle, I tell you. What I thought would be my happiest day was filled with utter disgust. At least, we saw some beautiful sights and ate a great meal… all was not lost. There is a world of adventures out there that you cannot get from photos or guidebooks. Some are for the better, others for the worse.

0 comments:

Search This Blog