Monday, October 14, 2013

October 13, 2013 The Almafi Coast

We woke to beautiful sunshine and the harbor was full of tourists taking advantage of the good weather.  And all day long we saw clothes hanging outside even though it was Sunday; they’ve had a week of rain and are definitely taking advantage of the sunshine today to dry their clothes. 
By 9:30 am we were ready to go up the hill for a ten o’clock Mass at St. Francesco Church.  We called the girls and discovered that Jane decided to go to Almafi and Ravello by herself.  I couldn’t pass the opportunity so decided to go with her.  Mary gave me a “vacation pass” on Mass as she felt that Jane should have someone with her. 
Went up the hill by elevator and dropped Mary at the church.  She has the Italian phone and I have the French phone.  Not sure of the time left on the French phone but so far it is still working.  I actually called her three times during the day and had a very clear connection. 
Jane helped Bonnie get the laundry to the Laundromat and then met me at Fauno Bar and we walked to the train station.  We purchased tickets for the 10:30 am bus but were not surprised when it filled long before we reached the front of the line.  So we waited again; with much better chances of a seat, until the 11:00 am bus.  That one was only going to Positano so we stayed in line; inching up ever so slightly, until the bus at 11:10 am that was going to Almafi.  We went up and over the mountain through Sant’ Agata and down to Positano where we made a quick stop and then continued with even more people standing in the center aisle. 
The bus careened around the sharp curves along narrow roads with edges that dropped to nothing but the Gulf of Salerno far below.   It was a wild ride with many oohs and ahhs from the people who’d not seen the spectacular coastline before.   We were in the back of the bus; a new experience and it was even wilder than I remembered from past years.
We arrived in Almafi just before one o’clock.   Found the ticket booth and purchased a fast boat return ticket scheduled for 4:35 pm.   Also purchased Hop On & Off tickets for a ride to Ravello and a known return time; not always guaranteed with the city bus.  It took us about forty-five minutes to go up the short trip to Ravello; high on the cliffs above Almafi.  The return trip was only twenty minutes.  The difference; traffic!   We had lots of stops for cars on the narrow road.  This was an open top bus, but not a two story; the sun was hot and the views were fabulous.  I changed batteries on my camera but that one also stopped long before we were home.  I had about four hundred photos before I started to delete half of them as I was snapping away without really being able to see what I was taking.  Lots of trees and blurs resulted but I also managed to get about one hundred great shots for the slideshow!
We reached Ravello, known around the world from their musical festivals that happen on a stage built out over the edge of nothing with the view of the Gulf of Salerno far below as a backdrop.   We enjoyed a late lunch of cake and cappuccino in the square and then began our visit.  We had nearly two hours to explore.   Two of our favorite finds:  a cocky red rooster and a very lazy Tabby cat that never moved more than his head no matter how close the people were on his stairs. 
Too soon it was time to go back to the bus stop for our ride to Almafi.  There we had time to walk up the street to the church and explore a few of the side street up to the Almafi Hotel where Jim and I stayed for a few days so many years ago on our first visit to the Almafi Coast.  Then it was back to the Portal Entry, a stop for gelato, and out to the dock for our boat.
The ride was on a Jet Boat so it was fast and furious with the salt wind blowing in our face all the way.  I used my cell phone to take the last photos of the day:  Positano (at our stop), Capri, Vesuvius and our home port of Marina Piccola as we docked.   Mary was waiting for us when we arrived.  No one had heard from Bonnie all day.  Mary had one missed called on the cell phone but no number.  Jane had called the hotel several times during the day.  Bonnie does not have a cell phone that works.  I checked my emails quickly; no emails from Bonnie. 
We decided to go up on the elevator to the favorite restaurant:  Fauno Bar.   No Bonnie.  We were discussing what to do: Jane was going to walk to their hotel and back while we waited.   Suddenly, there she was! 
She’d been trying to call Mary during the day without success she said.  She’d done all the laundry, packed her suitcase and gone to church services.  She looked rested and that was what she wanted to do today.   Mary had gone to church, shopped a bit, sat on the beach to post and also rested and relaxed; exactly what she wanted to do.  So, it was a very good day for everyone.  We had a lovely dinner together at Fauno Bar and then Mary and I walked down to the apartment for our last evening. 
We rushed over to the B&B for a half hour of Wi-Fi time; we only had until 9 pm when the lobby closed.  But I managed to get yesterday posted and make a few phone calls.
Home to charge batteries and sort photos on my computer to delete all the bad photos of the day taken in the bright sunshine.  To bed about 11 pm and then about 1 am I was up with the boys having a good time on the next balcony.   Couldn’t do much so put the earplugs in and went back to bed.
Today is moving day and I probably won’t post this until we arrive in Rome late this afternoon.  We don’t leave Naples until 3:15 pm.  But, we do have assigned seats all together for the trip to Rome.  We will be dragging luggage with us here in Sorrento for about two hours before we get on the little train to Naples.  It’s been a great week and we’re all looking forward to Rome.  Hope you enjoy the slideshow: 

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