“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

July 17, 2016

Day 5 - Amalfi Coast

 10th July

My highlight from today was definitely floating along the rocky beach of the Mediterranean in the little coastal village called "Erchie". Isn't the name so cute? :x

To begin the day, we had a hearty Italian buffet breakfast. You know what they say about the correlation between good breakfast and a good day? ;)

Mum and dad enjoying the breakfast at the hotel
I never knew that I loved apricots so much! Love at first sight :D 
After finishing, and unashamedly eating way too much, we packed our suitcases again and headed to the central station. At the central station (all central stations are soo busy!!) we got a taxi to the airport, where we picked up a hire car for the next two days.

The taxi driver from central station to the airport was very friendly, and offered us great advice for our time down south. He assumed that we were going to the Amalfi Coast (which was correct), and then he told us of some awesome places to go, which we had not planned on going to :) He kept repeating: "It is easy, you will be fine.", when dad was asking about driving and how to get to places. Let's hope so! He was very relaxed ;)

Taking the taxi from the central station to the airport, where we picked up our hire car
Getting used to our new car 
Unfortunately, we had a difficult dilemma to resolve. And, note-to-self, the car (especially while driving) is not the best place to resolve dilemmas.

Just before I go any further I would like to give some background knowledge on our travel plans. Harri had planned for Naples, and his job had been done by this point, and I planned what to do in the Amalfi Coast, which is where our next hotel is located. So, it was my day now to plan for

Okay, back to the dilemma. So, the dilemma was that Harri wanted to go to Pompei, which we passed on the way to our next hotel, while none of us where really fussed on going, and I had already planned on not going so that we could spend more time at the Amalfi Coast. Harri was very adamant on going, so we (from Mum and Harri's insistence) turned off from the highway to go to Pompei. Mum said we could just take the turn-off, see if we like Pompei or not, and then decide what we want to do (i.e. go back on the highway to the Amalfi Coast, as we had absolutely no time to spend at Pompei, and anyway we had no money either to spend on an hour venture through the ruined city where you really need a full day). As you can see, I didn't really want to even turn-off to to Pompei, and dad really had no time to think about it (but I am sure he didn't want to either). So, this ended up being an hour detour, because when we decided to not go to Pompei (when Harri finally saw that is simply was not possible to go there it in my the schedule), we had to take all these small roads just to get back on the highway. Oh dear ;) The joys of democracy!

After this, we really did not have far to go at all to hotel, but we all needed to stop off at services to go to the bathroom. Hence, another detour.

30 minutes later we arrived at Cava (pronounced Kaava) de' Tirreno, which was the larger town near to where our hotel was located. Our hotel was located in a mediaeval village, which was up the mountain, so our navigator told us that we needed to begin climbing. Definitely a new experience in the narrow roads!! I think it was along this journey that mum was convinced our navigator (which we call "Nav Nav" because of the brand) was taking us in the wrong direction ;)

However, Nav Nav did take us to the hotel, and so mum had to apologise to Nav Nav ;) haha. Mum was quite nervous about having to drive down and up again that afternoon though.

Harri outside the Scapolatiello Hotel. As you can see here, the silver car is coming out of the narrow road that takes you up and down the mountain. Very narrow!!

As we were starving after our journey, and the extended time we were in the car stopping and starting to get up narrow roads, we had a lovely light lunch at the garden terrace cafe at the hotel. I ordered a lovely dish of tomato and buffalo mozzarella, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The buffalo mozzarella is a prized possession from the Campania region (which includes Naples and all the other regions we will be spending time in at the Amalfi Coast). When the waiter placed the plate infront of me I was surprised to see eggs on my salad, but on further investigation I discovered that these eggs were actually the mozzarella!! I am happy to tell you that it did not taste like egg at all, and rather tasted like a cloud, which I guess you could say an egg white might taste like :) In fact, I am just guessing what a cloud would taste like ... haha.

The lovely view we were looking out on while eating lunch

After lunch we had a quick siesta, and headed down the mountain to the beach through the windy roads.

Heading down the mountain

Driving along the coast, where people are walking, motorbikes are zigzagging and small 'fiat' cars speed past. 

The lovely view of the Mediterranean coast from the road high on the mountain

Mum started feeling quite nervous while dad was driving, because the road was extremely windy, the roads were super narrow, and there were so many cars that constant concentrate was needed to swerve out of the way of some of the bigger cars. However, Dad said he enjoyed the driving, and Harri and I were happy snapping videos and pictures of the chaos and amazingly staggering views of the coast :D

I wanted us to go swimming at one of the towns, and so we parked (as soon as we gained the courage to just stop and park on the side of the road), and walked down the mountain.

Stopping on the Amalfi coast at a small coastal town called Erchie
A selfie I took near where we parked our car

The lovely view of the coast before beginning to go down the mountain. Here you can see how high the road is from the sea

The road was very high on the mountain, so we had to walk right down to the sea at the bottom of the mountain along these zigzagging roads and stairs
We happened upon a wedding in the local church. Mum said that the arrangement of pale pink roses and baby's breath was exactly like her wedding flowers :) Sha said that the Italian weddings were "very tasteful" :D 
We finally reached the bottom of the mountain!! Here dad and I are swimming in the crystal clear waters among the rocks and boats.
The beach was amazing with its crystal clear waters, and its rocky edges. The difference between these beaches here and Australia is that instead of sandy beaches (in Australia) there are small pebbles here that are very massaging on my feet ;) haha.

It was lovely just lying back on the water, listening to the ocean, and gazing up at the blue sky! Or then gazing up at the mountain that we were driving long before.

After a lovely 20 minutes of swimming, my kind of relaxing!, while mum was reclining on a seaside chair, which mum describes: 'aww, it was lovely', we headed up the mountain.

We had to take this picture of our parked car before we left so that we would know where to go if we lost it, which we fortunately did not have to use ;)

Our next destination was Maiori, where we had dinner and I had dessert
My gorgeous lemon panacotta
The sun setting over Maiori

Lights slowly switching on
Getting darker

Getting darker. I think here we are looking over Salerno
Our trip getting back to the hotel was in darkness, and so that made the driving all that more difficult. I would think, anyway, because I have never driven ... 

We then arrived back at the hotel late, discovered our shower was broken, had a water-fall of a shower, and wen to bed.

That was pretty much it ;) 

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