Thursday, July 13, 2017

May 18th: Amalfi Coast Adventuring

Man, I wouldn't mind waking up to this view every day! We didn't have to be anywhere at a certain time that day, so we slept in a little bit and had breakfast at the hotel before hitting the road.

Ahh, Amalfi Coast traffic. It took almost an hour to drive the 13km to Amalfi, thanks to all of the tour buses that had the same idea. Super narrow roads, giant fancy tour buses going both ways, hairpin turns, and people on mopeds zipping through the middle of everything. Good times. I especially liked when the buses would end up nose to nose in some of the tight spots and the moped drivers would start directing traffic. Somehow everybody managed to get through, often with bare inches to spare.

The walking path out of the parking garage dropped us into a back alleyway, so we followed it to see where it took us. A bunch of steps later, we had a pretty sweet view of Amalfi. (Not pictured: the rows of lemon trees right below us. The lemons were huge! No wonder limoncello is so popular here.)

We followed the path back down and eventually reached the Duomo di Amalfi. There was a museum inside, so we decided to check it out.

One wall was covered in pieces of mosaics. They were really intricate and had some neat details.

There were some neat frescoes, too; I think some of these dated to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries/

We also wandered through the Basilica of the Crucifix...

...before entering the Crypt, which was absolutely gorgeous.

The relics of St. Andrew, the first disciple of Jesus, are here, and a dense liquid called 'manna' sweats out of the tomb and into a crystal ampule; this also happened in Patras and Constantinople before the relics were moved to Amalfi in 1208. Not that that is slightly creepy or anything. Nope.

We moved on to the Cathedral next. The ceiling was very intricate.

We wandered around the Cathedral for a few minutes...

...then went outside and walked down the front steps to enjoy the view. What you can't see are all of the other tourists jammed into the square in front of the Duomo; it was pretty packed. We checked out the view for a couple minutes, then walked down toward the water.

There were a lot of people down by the beach, too, but the views were fantastic.

We hung out by the beach for a little while, then started picking out way back through the shops. There were lots of souvenir shops selling Italian tiles and bottles of limoncello. We wound our way through all of the other tourists...

...and eventually found a place to sit down and grab some lunch. The restaurant was packed, but the food was tasty.

We made our way back to the car after lunch and drove back to Praiano. The drive there and the drive back were like night and day; there was almost nobody on the road when we drove back, and we were back in Praiano before we knew it. We made a short stop at the hotel, grabbed our beach things, then got a ride down to Marina di Praia.

It was definitely worth the trip; the beach was gorgeous!

We walked down to the water and plopped down on our towels. This was the view looking back toward the road.

The view looking out toward the water was pretty sweet, too. We hung out on the pebble beach for a little while. The water was chilly, but we did at least go in for a few minutes before retreating to our towels. We stopped at the little convenience store near the entrance, grabbed some strawberry popsicles, and ate them in the shade while a group of ladies, one of them topless, goofed off in the water off to the side.

We decided to walk back to the hotel instead of asking them to pick us up. There was a path off to the side that ran along the water, so we followed it for a while. The beach is hidden back behind the restaurant on the lower left side of the picture.

The path was really pretty but hit a dead end after a while, and we had to turn around and follow it almost the entire way back. We did eventually find our way back into town and back to the hotel.

The hotel pool was pretty chilly, too, but I couldn't pass up the chance to swim with a view like this. I hung out in the water for a few minutes, then we went back to the room.

Even with everything we did, we still had a little free time before our dinner reservation. Mark got us some whisky from the bar, and we hung out on the terrace for a little while as the sun set.

We had liked Kasai so much the night before that we went back there again. We were able to sit outside again, and everything was delicious.

We wound up stopping at the hotel's restaurant after dinner to grab one last limoncello on the Amalfi Coast. A cheese plate, some little desserts, and a drink later, we went back to our room, packed a bit, and went to bed. We had a fair amount of driving to do the next day!

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