Sunday, December 22, 2013

Naples, Italy - Amalfi Coast, Positano Part 1

Naples, Italy Part 1 (Amalfi Coast, Positano)

This is Part 1 of a 3-part blog post.
Part 2 - Sorrento
Part 3 - Pompeii

This was the last full day of our cruise (sob), tomorrow we reach Rome and we disembark from the Silhouette (sob sob!).  Still, we were excited to go to Naples and this would be a long day out.  There was a lot of ground to cover!  We would arrive at 7am, with all aboard time was 6:15pm.

View out of our starboard balcony at about 7:30am.  A good number of private vans waiting to pick up cruise ship passengers.  I didn't see the coaches for the ship tours, but they should be somewhere around.



Give yourselves plenty of time to get back to the ship, if you are not on a ship organized cruise tour.  The ship will NOT wait for you.


That's the Silhouette.  Goodbye for now, see you later.

In our private van for the day.

The first stop was to take photos.  There were fishermen out fishing.

And that, is Mount Vesuvius.  A scary mountain indeed.  She is best known for her eruption in AD 79.  She has a distinctive humpbacked shape.

We stopped by the roadside.  There were other private vans which stopped at the same place.


Today, Mt Vesuvius is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, because she is active and about 3,000,000 people live in close vicinity.  I'm not sure how many people would perish if AD 79 were to happen all over again.

There was this lorry selling fresh fruit near where we stopped.  Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in Italy.

Cliff!

Beautiful coastline.





Rather densely populated.

We were told that some locals would find their way down to isolated beaches.  We saw some empty cars parked by the roadside.



Setting up a stall by the roadside.  Probably selling fruits?  We left before the stall was set up.

We have reached Positano.  A very interesting history.  Made famous especially after John Steinbeck published his essay about Positano in Harper's Bazaar in May, 1953.

"Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone."

(See this blog post for his Steinbeck's essay.)

Our driver stopped at this petrol station which has a sheltered carpark.  He would give us an hour to explore the town. 


We started to make our way down the slopes and steps.  We were told that we could get to the beach.

The town was quiet, though this shop looked open.

The roads were very narrow indeed.

It was easy to walk though.

Looked like a church.

Narrow paths.


Fun to walk.

Many signs.  I think this place would be rather crowded during high season.

Comune di Positano

A much bigger church, compared to the one we saw earlier.  We didn't go in though.

Down the steps.  We were almost at the beach.

There we are.   Very quiet.

This restaurant was about to open.  But we did not stay for lunch.  Too much to do today.


Never seen anything like this.


Here is a better view.  You do wonder why they settled here.  It must have been to difficult to build their homes.  Yet, Positano has been settled since the medieval times, and was once very rich!

Taking a photo on the beach.



I think you have to be very fit to live here.  You will have to climb steps up and down, many times a day, to get to where you want to go.
  '
I think the beach is rather crowded in summer.  Not now.


We were on our way back to our van.  The walk up was definitely more tiring than the walk down!

Still, it was very good exercise.

Our next stop would be Sorrento.  Some pictures when we stopped for photos.


 


To be continued in Part 2 - Sorrento.....

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