Sunday, November 12, 2023

Positano or Bust

The Amalfi Coast must be one of the world’s most scenic coastal roads. We’d stayed in Positano with Kathy’s youngest brother, Greg, and sister-in-law, June, back in 2009, and visited briefly againwhen our cruise ship anchored nearby in 2012.

We wanted Tom and Ellyn to see it, and traveling by bus around the hairpin turns and switchbacks makes for a real thrill ride.

Armed with a schedule and directions from the hotel, we made our way to the bus station Saturday morning and lined up to buy a €10 24-hour pass. The woman at the counter gave us instructions on how to transfer at Amalfi to get to Ravello.

We lined up at the end of a very long queue that stretched around the edge of the road. We waited and then waited some more in the on-and-off light drizzle.

Rumors spread and were then confirmed. There was no bus to Amalfi until 4:00 PM. We continued to queue and watched buses come and go, some advertising our €10-pass on the side. Yes, it’s a great pass if you can actually use it.

If we could only go as far as Positano, we’d go as far as Positano. Besides, we’ve spent as much time in line for Disneyland rides that are no more thrilling.

Eventually, upwards of two hours later, we were lucky to board and to get seats on the right (ocean) side of the bus. Others were not so lucky.

The ride itself is as spectacular as the bus driver’s skills are impressive.

The moving clouds provided us with varying lighting effects.

We eventually saw Positano clinging to the hills, the only town built on a “vertical axis,” according to the artist Paul Klee.

And then we arrived at the Positano bus stop, getting off as various would-be passengers found out the bus to Amalfi wouldn’t appear for hours. There’s no doubt an Italian expression equivalent to the French “C’est comme ├ža” or our “That’s just the way it is.”

As for us, we wandered down the hill to take in the sights of Positano.

It was Armistice Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth, so it seemed appropriate to stop for a moment at the modest plaque commemorating the WWI and WWII dead of Positano.

Three of us rode the little municipal bus back up the steep hill.

Ellyn shamed the rest of us by jogging up the hill and waiting for us at the top. The next bus to Sorrento arrived promptly and we all obtained seats (Mirabulum, as the ancient Romans used to say) for the return ride to Sorrento.

A day of thrilling rides and spectacular views made the long wait worthwhile.


Peter said...

Your photos of the Amalfi coast are excellent.... such a spectacular coast line... only thing better than a bus ride is driving that crazy road on your own... definitely calls for lots of focus... enjoy your travels and keep the photos coming...

Kathy and Brian said...

It depends on your definition of “better.” We were happy just to ride!