Naples - Gateway to the stunning coastline of Amalfi, our adventure today. Stretching from Sorrento to Salerno, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most stunning coastal drives in the world. Due to a road closure between Naples and Sorrento, we travel to the gorgeous coast of Amalfi by hydrofoil passing the Island of Capri. Spend a couple of hours at Sorrento which offers lovely views of the Bay of Naples. Lemon trees and flowers line the streets with many boutiques and sidewalk cafes. Once on board the coach excitement starts as we proceeded along the narrow, winding roads of the Amalfi Coast. Our guide has a cheeky sense of humour, needed as there were a few nervous passengers on board. If sitting on the left hand side of the coach you were close beside a steep cliff face and could see approaching traffic, on the right side you looked down a sheer drop. I chose the left!! There were many mamma mia's and gesticulating from the driver as he cleverly negotiated the road. Except for designated areas no one can park along the road and if caught you face a 60 euro fine.
A photo stop looking down at the village of Positano, a colourful port dotted with fishing boats and pastel stone and concrete houses clinging to the cliffs.Through the gorges of the Furore Valley and across the rocky slopes of the Lateran Mountains. Pass many ceramic factories showing their wares on the roadside. There are also stalls situated on the bends of the winding road selling lemons. Lunch and wine was served at the Grand Hotel Tritone situated on a steep cliff. You had a choice of walking down the five levels to the restaurant and salt water swimming pool or using a lift which also takes you further down to a private beach area. The interior of the hotel was heavily decorated with walls and floors in mosaic tiles and the tables laid out with the best linen. Purple bougainvilleas and blue limbago are everywhere. Enjoyed a delicious Italian lunch in the open air restaurant with spectacular views.
I am fascinated with the houses, the olive and lemon trees, grape and raspberry vines wound all around the hillsides. Everything would have to be done by hand due to the steep incline. I notice that the electric cables are strung along and in-between buildings. We wouldn't get away with that in NZ. Enjoyed an icecream at Amalfi known as the romantic town situated at the mouth of a deep gorge. I now understand why so many artists come to this beautiful place. The coast tour took three hours - such an exciting adventure! Back to Naples and the Dawn Princess which was late departing due to a passenger being unwell.
Next day - at sea
Everyone was looking forward to a sleep in today but unfortunately at 5am a seriously ill passenger had to be offloaded to hospital at the port of Sicily, so it was a rather rude awakening as the ship berthed at this unexpected port. People were grizzling (a common occurrence) at having to wait around for departure to Athens because this delay would mean the arrival time and excursions would be affected. What about the poor ill passenger I say!!!