My feet have barely hit the ground in Sorrento as I have only arrived late the day before. I’ve just glanced at a few shops and had a dinner but this morning the Amalfi Coast is calling.
The buses leave from out in front of the train station.
€8 for a 24 hour ticket. It is quite full and gets fuller as we sit and wait to leave. And then we are off.
I end up having to stand as I surrender my seat to someone that needs it more. I gaze out at the gorgeous vistas of ocean, cliffs, and picturesque white villages spilling down the hills as we corner, corner, corner around the winding road along the coast. The heat on the bus builds and the switch backs and turns continue. The bus has to come to a stop and lean on the horn at every blind corner. We then maneuver past the oncoming vehicles. Sometimes they back up to let us round, sometimes there is some horn blaring and shouting. Then on we go, winding, winding and gazing at the coves far below the road, and boats out just off the coast, tiny, far below. I open a window and the breeze is welcome.
The window is promptly slammed shut.
On we go and I’m really feeling a bit seedy by now. I open the window again and move my face near. This time an Italian woman stomps down the bus, and explains in loud Italian why the window will be shut again. The window is firmly shut and I get a glare. (If you are interested look up ‘Colpo d’Aria’ or in English ‘getting hit by a blast of air’, which is untranslatable really. It is a medical condition the Italians take seriously that doesn’t exist in our culture).
Thankfully not long after this I can sit close to the front as people have got off for Positano and seats are becoming free.
Just as I really begin to wonder if I will have to get off the bus and not make it any further due to serious nausea we arrive in Amalfi and I practically rush the door.
Amalfi is very pretty and has a rich history. Between 839 and 1200 it was an important maritime trading town. Silks, slaves, salt and grain was traded through here with a population peak of 80,000 at it’s height. A Tsunami in 1343 destroyed it’s port and part of the town. It never recovered commercially and is now reliant on being a tourist mecca with a population of around 5000. The Duomo bears my name: Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea and St Andrea is the town patron saint so I’m feeling special. As I stroll around the nausea starts to pass but I know what will cure my ailment.
Italians go to the beach, and lay in the sun and paddle but rarely seem to actually become submerged. The man in the photo is unusual.
I have my bathing suit and I get in the sea and wallow and kick and make my way without style the length of the beach and back again. It is my salvation as always.
I have been informed that it is Ravello I need to head for next. Ravello is very special. There is more to see. I sit and dry off and try to muster my drive to get back on the bus and adventure further. But I just can’t. As I travel back to Sorrento in the front row, looking straight ahead, not even being able to really enjoy the scenery, I know I am disappointed with myself for not seeing more. Maybe it will be a motivator for a return trip, one where I take a boat around the coast, or start from the Salerno end, or take travel sickness pills prior?