Europe Week Five: Amalfi Coast
Ciao friends! Last weekend I spent so long intensely culling and editing photos I ended up with a headache. It was time to step back and take a break after feeling pretty burnt out from the travel/Instagram/blog/repeat routine. I also got super busy from school, so this post is going up a bit late; hope I didn't keep anyone waiting.
After finishing up our class trip to Campania, a couple of us got an Airbnb and booked a day cruise on the Amalfi Coast. It was a sunny and charming, a weekend well spent in an unbelievable paradise.
We arrived by car to Praiano, through one of the windiest and most breathtakingly scenic drives I've ever experienced. After arriving at our charming Airbnb house, we explored the town by foot, getting lost on its small winding streets. All the houses we passed on the cliff side were so unique, but fell into a perfect backdrop of cream houses, terracotta rooftops, and green vegetation with touches of pink bougainvillea accents that complemented the vast blue sea below. Praiano is full of restaurants, most of which have drivers who offer to shuttle you to and from dinner. (We dined by candlelight on a cliffside terrace...oh what a life.) Every local we encountered in town was so friendly and willing to help a couple of lost American tourists. This town stole my heart.
This was our Airbnb. Yes, the house has a name...my dream of living in one has come true! That first morning at dawn, I anxiously jumped out of bed onto the terrace to wait for the sun to rise over the Mediterranean Sea. It was quiet out there, but nature spoke wonders. The neighboring horse neighed and roosters crowed in the distance. Dark blue clouds glowed orange as the sun finally crept up over the horizon. The church bells in the distance rang faintly. And I melted into serenity.
We spent our only full day on the Amalfi Coast taking a day cruise to Capri. Known as the "island of dreams," Capri is a gem of an island in the Mediterranean Sea. We set sail in a small luxurious boat, bouncing up and down on the padded deck as the boat rode the incoming wakes. I held on and took in the wonderful breeze. A few water droplets splashed here and there, and we shrieked in excitement. Being on the water feeling the salt-laden breezes of the sea and watching the break of the waves on the steep precipitous rocks was so calming. Soon enough, my mind drifted into meditation mode. I couldn't stop thinking about how grateful and blessed I am.
After a couple of stops along the cliffs of the island at various grottos (with the most sparkling blue waters), our captain dropped the anchor and stopped for us to take a swim in the sea. Despite the extreme saltiness and chilly waters, I couldn't believe where I was. I was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea! Eeeeeep!
We finally docked at Capri after two hours on the water, and my first impression of the island was...Catalina Island. The cute shops, restaurants, cafes near the dock were full of visitors, reminding me of that beloved paradise off the coast of LA. We walked around town, shopped for souvenirs, ordered pizza, and enjoyed limoncellos. (Capri is famous for lemon everything!) Boy do I love the island life.
On our last day, before leaving the coast, we briefly stopped at Positano. Toting our luggage onto public buses (that ran on Italian time...aka extremely late), we arrived at the town of Positano, and spent some time walking down the streets, enjoying the little shops and beautiful scenery before catching our train back to Rome.
It was a fun weekend, vacationing so lavishly. There's no doubt I always enjoy a visit to the sea - just wish I could've stayed longer to enjoy everything it had to offer. Currently I'm writing this blog post sitting in bed, watching raindrops fall onto my balcony window. Looking through these photos I realize this trip officially marked the end of summer. Rainstorms and fall weather gradually dawned upon us past week in Rome, and I'm ready to stock up for winter. (Stocking up clothes, that is.) This SoCal native can't wait to finally experience a real autumn and winter in Europe!