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Sorrento to the Amalfi Coast

Sharing the Mediterranean with the rich and famous

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In the morning, after cappuccino and pastry, we took the bus down to the port and dock 6. A burly man with CREW writing on the back of his blue polo shirt immediately asked, “Positano, Amalfi,” but his accent was heavy. We probably looked a bit unintelligent, so he repeated. He pulled down his aviator sunglasses to start at us, still trying to determine what he was asking. Then it hit us. “Yes, Positano.” “Six, you go stand at the number six.”

Since we were twenty minutes early, Cindy and Sally went off the toilet while I watched. Some people completely ignored the guy calling out “Positano, Amalfi,” some said yes, and some just stood bewildered. “Capri is that way. You walk to number 5.” Sometimes, they still stood there, puzzling.
Our boat was large. We sat inside at a table shared with another couple. We watched the coast pass by, cliffs, ravines, landscape similar to the Highlands of Scotland except for the occasional brightly painted house. On our right was the Capri. After that, we passed a small island once owned by the ballet dancer Nureyev.
Finally, we reached Positano, a haunt of the rich and famous. I was still not sure about the decision to spend all our time here and not divide it with the town of Amalfi or to spend all our time in Amalfi. What did we know?

Positano bay was busy, tour boats, small craft, and kayaks. The sky was blue and the sun warm but not unbearable. The city stretched up the cliffside, a jumble of stair-stepped buildings zig-zagging their way. About halfway up the cliff was a narrow road with cars and buses threading their way.
At the lower level, the beach was divided, first the tiny public beach, then a roped-off area in front of a cafe. After that, another roped area. The ropes went from the stone boardwalk across the sand and hundreds of feet into the water, private territory, 30 euros to enter. The further we walked down the boardwalk, the more exclusive it became until we finally ended at the hotel entrance.
We backtracked and headed up an alleyway., zigging and zagging our way up the stairs and alleys lined with shops, higher and higher. The place was crowded but not packed. We finally stopped for a delicious lunch. After lunch, we walked higher, along the road which hung over the cliff and the houses below. At every turn, there were houses above and houses below. The sidewalk had a railing and every so often an iron bench. It seemed that every girl that came to Positano thought she was a model. They posed with the sea and the houses as a backdrop, fluffing their hair, licking their lips, adjusting their blouse as some boy in a t-shirt and baseball cap held a camera or phone. We took photos too, but they were not the same.
We turned around, wandered down the hill, shopped a little for limoncello cups, and then finally began making our way back down to the docks. We stopped for lemon ice served from a cart. Cindy wanted to stay right and have a second.
I haven’t mentioned limoncello, the local liquor, after-dinner drink made from lemons and vodka with some sugar. It can be made at home if you have excellent lemons, like the lemons growing here, between houses, in courtyards, along the roads. Limoncello, lemon ice, and lemons wedges with our food were rich and flavorful.

We returned to the boardwalk, then took our shoes off to walk across the sand, at the public beach, of course, and put our feet in the Mediterranean. The sand here is dark, maybe volcanic sand, and there are round pebbles in areas. Cindy immediately began looking for sea glass which was fairly easy to find.
The crew at the dock, loading several tour boats, hustled us onto a different boat, not even the same company, but everyone assured us it was correct. Sally was not reassured. “But this is not even the same company.” I assure her travel was like this, trusting people. It usually works until it doesn’t.

Back in Positano, we took the bus up the cliffside. We returned to the restaurant from our first night and another excellent meal.
It was a good day, and our choice of Positano was good. We had enough time to actually enjoy the town a little.

Posted by Deuxenvacances 16:47 Archived in Italy

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