Thursday, September 07, 2006
Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast, Italy)
One our way back from Greece (see posts 1, 2, and 3), we decided to take the short ferry (as in "the ferry that only takes 8 hours and doesn't get quite as far...". This is NOT the equivalent of a short bus...) from Iguomenitsa (Greece) to Bari (Italy). This meant that we were pretty much way down at the heel of the Italian boot and had to drive back. We did this deliberately, as we wanted to stop at a few places on the way back. The trip on the ferry was quite dreadful. It was windy as hell again (I am tempted to say "it was blowing bloody old boots" in honor of Neil - see the previous posts - but Ellen doesn't like me to use the "b-word", as she says it only works for the English...). When we went to Greece and thought is was a unique occurrence, it had somewhat of a "cool thing" to it, but on the way back, it was just plain annoying. I have second thoughts about the whole "sleeping on deck" thing...
The first leg of our trip back to Austria took us from Bari, which is located on the east coast of Italy, to Napoli ("Naples") on the west coast. We decided to take the scenic route along the Costiera Amalfitana (a.k.a. "Amalfi Coast" in English). This is one of those ruggedly beautiful pieces of coast that everyone who goes to Italy should visit. We drove to Salerno and then around the entire "finger". Almost but not quite all the way to the Isle of Capri. The coastal road is beautiful. Allow for enough time though, as the going is extremely slow. Also, the street is extremely narrow. I am used to Italian driving, but if you have never driven on a road that is hardly wide enough for one car, with oncoming traffic, cars passing, and scooters zipping in and out of traffic, then you are in for an adventure. We tried to take pictures of the traffic while driving, but during the hairier parts, we were fully occupied maneuvering. Here is a more relaxed shot:
This shot is taken from the passenger seat. So things got tight. (As a friend of mine says: "Italians are good at squeezing into tight places..."). When big buses or trucks came along, things got interesting. If this is not your idea of safe driving, you should let someone else handle that part.
We were not there for the driving excitement but for the beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, it is difficult to stop and take pictures, but we did get a few from a small town called Positano, which is built into the mountainside in a remarkable fashion:
Here's a closer shot:
It is a very cute place indeed. If you ever get a chance, make sure to set aside some time to stay there and soak in the scenery and atmosphere. It is very unique.
On this particular trip however, we didn't set aside much time for Positano. Instead, we just decided to take the scenic trip and leave it at that. The same afternoon, we arrived in Napoli. Or, to be more exact: In Pompei. But more about that in my next post...
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