Friday and Saturday we spent along the Amalfi Coast. Friday we stopped in the village of Amalfi, then moved to Sorrento (1) a few miles away in the afternoon and stayed the night. This gave us two full days to explore.
We dropped anchor by Amalfi in the morning. After Sally’s hours and hours of riding boats and buses yesterday and not feeling very good, she took a look at the tender bouncing up and down along side the Silver Muse and decided to sit the morning out while the rest of us went into Amalfi to look around. After the expected rough ride in on the tender, Zelda and Matteo went one way while most likely I went mine. The day started out grey, and the ground was still wet from rain.
Amalfi is a picturesque town built into the side of the mountains. There’s one main street running perpendicular to the waterfront with the usual collection of lady’s clothing and tourist gift shops.
While most of the people on the streets were tourists, most were not from our ship (we were the only ship in port). Amalfi is also major local transportation hub, with coastal ferries and buses making stops here at the terminal area. I saw lots of people with luggage getting on or off, or waiting, for buses and ferries. Amalfi is also major stop for tours of the Amalfi Coast, and there were a dozen or more large groups following someone holding a flag or umbrella in the air, the universal sign of a tour guide. I myself was very happy to be exploring on my own. There was a large group of hikers assembled in town. I later learned that they were likely making the hike from Amalfi to Positano.
Like many of the towns along the Amalfi Coast, Amalfi itself is vertical – it’s built into the side of the mountains and cliffs that make up the Coast. In fact, Amalfi is unique in my experience in having stairs that are actually streets. I climbed about 180 steps up one without reaching the top, passing about a dozen or more homes along the way – doors just coming off of the stairs (2).
After taking an espresso break by the main church, I headed back to the tender and the ship as we were pulling anchor at 1:00 for our trip to Sorrento, where we arrived at 4:00. In the interim I had lunch on the pool deck and relaxed a bit. While the day had started a bit dreary in Amalfi, it was mostly sunny during the cruise over. And in Sorrento, it was mostly overcast. During the trip along the coast, we encountered the Silver Spirit – the ship we cruised on with Rob and Laura two years ago. The two captains made a little celebration of it, with the Silver Spirit circling the Silver Muse as we sat motionless (3), passengers waving and yelling, and horns blowing.
Sorrento was not my idea of a pretty resort city. It’s crowded, busy and noisy. And the air smelled of auto exhaust fumes, although this may be just weather-induced. There was a pretty park by the sea, and also a nice cloister which was setup for a show of some sort. Nonetheless, I explored for about 2 hours, then walked down a long set of switchbacks to the port are to return to the ship.
(1) Sorrento is not actually on the Amalfi Coast, but is a popular hopping off point and is only a few miles across the peninsula.
(2) As I write this two days later, my quads are still sore from Amalfi and Sorrento.
(3) We were told that the other ship circled us so they could get a good look at our new ship. If you ask me, they look pretty much the same.