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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Positano and the Amalfi Coast Highway

There were small glimmers of sunshine today so we walked to the bus station and caught a bus to Positano.
The ride along this highway is much talked about due to the fact that it is a winding road that hangs over a cliff edge that plunges to the sea far below. The views are spectacular and the turns legendary.
Because we were nearly the last people to board, there were no seats. Fortunately we could sit on the steps of the door in the middle of the bus and really, once we got going, sitting was not what we wanted to do. It was definitely a thrill ride and it took a lot of strength to hang on around the curves.
But alas, not even the beauty that spread out before us was enough to ward off the car sickness that I often get in a bus. So a bus coupled with the twists and turns of the road ensured that I would feel a certain amount of motion sickness. Half way through the ride I had broken out in a cold sweat and was breathing deeply, just hoping upon hope that I could hold it together until we arrived in Positano. Fortunately I was a able to and then we were all smiles.

While the views were something else, taking pictures became a near impossible task for me. Doug stepped in and got a few good ones but the real memories will be in our minds. I was very happy to get off the bus once we arrived in Positano and given how tough that ride was, we made the decision to forego going further down the road to Amalfi and Ravello, as lovely as those towns sound. The ride itself is not for the weak at heart or stomach.
The wind was up so it was a bit chilly. The town itself was very sleepy at this time of year and consisted mainly of high end women's clothing stores and restaurants and cafes. The rain was coming so we ducked into a nice little cafe and had a sandwich. Once the rain stopped, we continued on down to the beach.
It is really lovely and we enjoyed taking in the sights. One older gentleman decided to take a dip.
It was brave and crazy all at once! It was great listening to the sea crash against the shore.
The sound of the surf coming in and out is something that I never tire of.
We eventually climbed our way up to the main road and waited along with several others for the bus to arrive.
The view was great and at least the sun was out by then and we could enjoy it whilst waiting. 
A mere hour later, we crowded in, managed to find a seat and were on our way back to Sorrento. No good views as we were on the wrong side of the bus and the aisle was filled with people. Fortunately, the public bus is very cheap, but we realized that to really take in the coastline in a proper fashion, it's probably best to hire one's own car and driver. That said, I guess the traffic just gets ridiculous in the summer months so I feel we were pretty lucky to see as much as we did.
I have indulged in the afternoon habit of taking a siesta so when evening came around and it was time for dinner I was good and rested. We found our way to a lovely spot our hotel owner had recommended and we were not disappointed.
For a mere 15 euro we enjoyed a tasty and filling 3 course meal. Truth be told, it was way too much food and there is some gastro-discomfort for both of us tonight!
But it's Italy so indulging is allowed, right? I enjoyed some beautiful cannelloni as my primi, grilled sea bass as my secundi and this chocolatey bit of yumminess for dessert.
I could not finish the cake for obvious reasons. It was a delightful restaurant with many waiters running around tending to one's every need and a troubadour strumming some beautiful music on a guitar. It was a perfectly lovely evening out, the perfect Italian evening. We did skip the gelato today.
An evening stroll was definitely in order so we wandered the ever quaint streets of this lovely little town.
We discovered more Christmas decorations and marveled at how many people were still out.
There was also a steady stream of traffic leaving so it will be interesting to see what the city feels like when the work week begins. 
Today was such a lovely day with amazing views, new sights, adventurous bus rides and delicious food. Pretty much everything Italy has on offer on a daily basis.