Tag: Positano

Amalfi and Positano (aka the day we wore kagouls)

I mentioned during my packing post that the forecast for Italy wasn’t great and that I had invested in waterproofs. In the first few days I’d only used mine to walk from the bedroom to the bar (and therefore it was already a worthy investment!) By Thursday, it was worth it’s weight in gold.

The Amalfi Coast drive is renowned as being absolutely beautiful, with sheer cliff drops, sea views, and towns precariously built into the rockface. There are the usual organised trip options, which we always avoid where possible, plus the local SITA buses and the red sightseeing bus. The SITA bus, although cheaper, makes quite a lot of stops between Sorrento and Amalfi and is renowned for being very busy and hot. The red sightseeing bus stops just once at Positano and then again at Amalfi – a 90 minute journey overall. It also has the benefit of audio description in 5 different languages, which is useful for finding out what you’re seeing and a bit of history.

By the time we got on the 10.45 departure there were only 4 seats left – all of which were on the left side of the bus, The right side is the place to sit on the outward journey for the best views. Luckily, at Positano (which is where the best views of the coastline start) some people got off, so I pushed the husband into grave jumping action and we got to see more of what was going on.

It had looked overcast when we had breakfast that morning but seemed to be brightening up (in my little optimistic head) by the time we left the hotel. I’d checked the forecast and Positano looked to be getting better weather during the day than Amalfi, but I was confident (in my own naive manner) that we’d get away with it.

My little optimistic head was wrong; alas it wasn’t to be. I’d be lying if I said the weather made no difference, as visibility was reduced and everything looks better in the sunshine, but the coastline was beautiful nonetheless.

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast 2

Amalfi Coast 3

Amalfi Coast 4

Amalfi Coast 5

Amalfi Coast 6

Then came the rain. Full credit to the driver, who’s dexterity around the sharp bends and twisty turns made for a comfortable drive as we meandered our way along the coast.. I couldn’t have navigated it in a car, let alone a great big bus! Just look at them!

Amalfi Coast winding road

As we headed down towards Amalfi the weather took a distinct turn for the worse and the wind started to howl; leaving the harbour looking grey and uninviting rather than the pretty blue sea we’d imagined. The harbour itself was a myriad of buses and coaches, and people huddled under canopies to escape the weather – not the picturesque scene we expected and made for a rather gloomy destination.

We hadn’t planned to spend too long in Amalfi anyway, wanting to get back to Positano, but the weather made our decision easier and we stayed just long enough to snap a few pictures and christen our kagouls before jumping back on a dry bus.

The cathedral is a fabulous building.

I don’t want to do Amalfi a disservice, as I’m sure on a dry day it’s absolutely beautiful, but it’s not much fun squelching around and getting rain in your eyes while trying to sightsee (believe me, I tried). I would definitely give it another try next time I’m in Italy.

Frantically looking for the light at the end of the tunnel (literally!) I used the wifi on board the bus to check the weather forecast in Positano, which suggested the rain would definitely be stopping! Clinging to that hope we took the 45 minute drive back along the coastline, laughing and freaking out at some of the terrible driving on this crazy road!

I’d read that Positano was a must see for it’s prettiness and higgledy piggledy cliffside development. And so we got off the bus once again, into the rain, with the dogged determination to see what all the fuss was about.

Wearing my kagoul (again!) with an umbrella up (it was that wet) we set off down the hill. The rainwater was running down the gutter and the views across the bay were somewhat obscured by a myriad of tourist umbrellas but it was impossible not to fall in love with the tumble of pastel buildings, ceramic shops and restaurant terraces with gorgeous seaviews.

 

Positano 5

Positano 4

Positano 3

Positano 2

We followed the natural slope of the town down towards the harbour, pleased to note that the rain was easing.

We took refuge in a beachfront restaurant where we ate bruschetta, aubergine parmiagiana (me – boy was this good; one of the best meals of the holiday for me), spinach and ricotta ravioli with butter sauce (husband said this was delicious) and drank wine and beer.

Bruschetta La Cambusa restaurant

Aubergine Parmiagiana La Cambusa restaurant

Spinach and ricotta ravioli La Cambusa restaurant

After lunch the rain had stopped and we had a mooch on the beachfront. There are some great boat trips available including a trip to Grotto Smerelda which I’d love to see.I’d happily base myself in Positano next time in Italy. You can visit Capri by boat, as well as being a short drive back to Amalfi where there are bus trips to other villages along the coast like Raffaello and Maiori.

It’s just so pretty!

Positano painted tables

Positano painted tables 2

Positano walkway

Positano building

Positano flowers

Positano plants

Positano shrub

Positana Santa Maria Assunta

We jumped on the SITA bus back to Sorrento as it arrived just as we reached the bus stop, and it’s fair to say the driver was a lunatic! I was glad we hadn’t taken that bus all the way along!

It’s unfortunate that we did the drive on a rainy day, but it was either that or miss out (as it was our last full day) and I’d rather have seen it not it’s very best than not seen it at all.

Have you ever been to this part of Italy?

 

 

 

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Living in the moment and fear of missing out – the Italian edition

I’m back from Italy – boo!

But I had a great time – woo!

Want to hear something stupid though?

I spent a good chunk of the time wondering if I was enjoying it as much as I should.

Crazy, right?

Seriously. It was a stressful time for some of the time. Because I seem incapable of just loving what I’m doing instead of thinking about what I could/should be doing.

Like, on the third day, when the weather finally improved after two days of being stuck indoors, and the husband suggested it would be nice to chill out and soak up some sun. “What about Sorrento?” I wanted to scream! Instead I grimaced and threatened to stomp off to the room in a huff. Then I grudgingly agreed suggested a compromise of sunbathing in the morning and Sorrento after lunch. It worked out perfectly.

Like, when we were planning our Amalfi coast trip and the weather looked favourable on the Thursday instead of the Wednesday, but turned out crap and I wanted to eat my own head for not going the day before.

Like, when we got to Amalfi and, in spite of the fact we only intended a brief visit – instead arranging to head back to Positano – I sulked when we left because Amalfi looked prettier than I expected (even though it was raining torrentially). It turned out to be a very good decision as Positano was much prettier and more enjoyable, so the husband was right to stick to our guns (mutter, grumble, grudgingly agree to him being right).

Like, when we were in Sorrento, and I said it wasn’t as nice as Nice. Why do I even have to compare it? Why does it have to be better or worse? Why can’t it just be Sorrento?

Like when I was internally freaking out for not seeing every single inch and church and backstreet and statue and drop of sea at Sorrento, but it’s actually all ok because we enjoyed what we did.

Seriously!

It’s bloody exhausting.

On the way back from Amalfi (last but one day), after my unadmitted but totally busted by the husband strop, I had an epiphany. Well, perhaps not that dramatic. But I realised a few things. In no particular order.

a) I’m a knob

b) I expect too much

c) I’m hard work

Even husband said that I put unrealistic expectations on myself.

I don’t know if it’s because it was a mix of chilling and sightseeing, and I was worried we wouldn’t get the balance right. Generally, on short stay city breaks, I don’t have this problem.

Or maybe it was the fact that we took so long and deliberated so much before booking this break that I wanted it to be perfect, and it could never live up to my impossibly high standards.

Or maybe I just need a lobotomy, and to be god damn grateful that I’m lucky enough to travel.

You’d think, from all that, it wasn’t a great trip.

It was. It’s just a shame I didn’t truly appreciate it until towards the end.

I really need to chill the fuck out.

Or start holidaying on my own!

On the plus side, I’m only admitting this terrible terrible flaw about myself to a handful of people. It’s not like it’s out in public, right?

I’ll be posting more about the trip in the following week; if you can manage to stick around now I’ve revealed myself to be a temperamental headcase!

In the meantime, have some pics so you can see what a twonk I am!

Sorrento clock tower

St Francis of Assissi   Sorrento 6

Sorrento 5

Sorrento 2

Gelato and wine

Sorrento 3

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