Day 64 - The Amalfi Coast
Trip Start Apr 19, 2011
69Trip End Jun 28, 2011
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So eventually we started our day at 10am with the aim of catching a bus to see the Amalfi Coast which is renown for its scenery, magnificent feats of engineering (both houses clinging to steep cliffs and the road that hangs off the vertical cliff faces in places) and finally for the hair raising drive round narrow windy roads which are often only wide enough for one vehicle.
We had heard stories about the road and given the insanity of the Italian drivers decided the bus was the best option and would allow us all to enjoy the trip.
That was the plan anyway.
We bought a 24hr ticket from the Camp ground for 7.20 euro each which gave us unlimited access to the bus service to get us up the coast and back and also into little villages off the main road if required.
Whilst there are signed bus stops over here the bus just stops in the middle of the road and there is no foot path or verge for those awaiting the bus to stand so at times it got a bit hair-raising just waiting to get the first bus to the central station.
We thought our luck was in when we arrived at the Station to find a bus waiting to depart for the Amalfi Coast via Positano (they run every 45mins) unfortunately all the seats were taken but we were told we could stand if we wanted to . Rather than waste the day we decided to give it a go. What we didn't realize is that they stack you in like sardines and with the winding hilly roads it doesn't make for the most comfortable of journeys, however it did mean we could see out both sides of the bus which is more that the poor woman who had my armpit in her face most of the journey could say
The ride did not endear the coast to us and when we got to Positano the first stop where most people got off we had reached the stage where we had decided to go to Amalfi have lunch then go home for a swim.
With a seat for the next part of the ride we warmed to the area a little more.
The views are magnificent with the Mediterranean in the background and houses clinging to cliff faces at every corner. Then you have the sheer cliff faces that the road has actually been built onto with nothing underneath you! Because of this the road is understandably quite narrow in places and many times vehicles had to back up or pull their wing mirrors in to avoid losing then as the bus went pass. These things still did not stop the mopeds and bikes overtaking on blind corners!
We got to the town of Amalfi about 1230 which is a small fishing town and does not have great review like Positano as it is more spread out and not so pretty but other than the heat 36 degrees and humidity we found it enjoyable with its tiny little streets meandering up the hill
We spent an hour trying to find a seafood menu- thought we should try some being a fishing town and had given up hope when Greg found a takeaway that served fried octopus,squid and fish like sardines - very yummy(the girls had pizza-whimps).
Hot and tired we decided to head back on the bus and managed to get a seat this time - This definitely made the trip enjoyable and we were really able to appreciate the amazing engineering and views.
After having enjoyed the Cinque Terre so much we thought that Amalfi might be a bit of a let down but it is difficult to compare the two. Where the Cinque Terre is very compact and assessable the Amalfi Coast is spread out with houses perched everywhere along the hillsides, the views are spectacular and the busy insane drivers along this stretch very entertaining.
After getting off the bus 1/2 a km from the camp we had a nerve wracking walk up the road as no footpaths and headed to the pool for a much needed cool down then off to the Restaurant (seafood for the 2nd time today) for tea.
Our cabin has left a bit to be desired but when you get to the restaurant that all melts away. The food is superb ( and cheap) as is the wine and the view would have to be the best I have seen in our travels