Friday, December 27, 2013

Final Trips

After returning from Greece, we had about three weeks to do all the "last" things. I'd already done my final, overnight trip to Capri, the island that still fills my dreams and memories. And before our personal property pack out back in April (and before Greece), I was determined to boost my meager stock of demijohns, the glass jugs used to hold wine. The best way to get a demijohn is to find it free in a field or at a glass recycling point. I somehow convinced Nathan to spend a Saturday morning driving me throughout the Campania countryside in search of demijohns. Campania proved to us once again that she is a region full of mystery and surprise. We rounded a curve, drove out of the tree cover, and found ourselves overlooking a village we'd never seen before, complete with a castle. Oh, Campania, you vex me so.

Just before Greece, my friend and traveling companion of the last few years did a final, Amalfi Coast drive as well. We both loved Positano, and we each wanted to pick up a ceramic piece from Sosa, a store selling all white, pierced ceramics. The day threatened a storm, but the rain held off for our walk through town, lunch at the Art Cafe (my favorite - a small cafe on the edge of the seafront boardwalk that sells light fare - this is not the place to get a heaping plate of seafood pasta!), and a walk around the corner to a quiet, tucked away cove.

At this point, I'm not even sure how many photos of
this same Positano view I've posted; but it's so classic!

Vieste's gorgeous beach
With this same friend and her husband, who would be leaving Italy within days of our departure as well, we did one final, overnight trip. A return to Vieste, a seaside town on the Adriatic that we'd visited the previous summer. We'd loved it! I posted one photo of Vieste in my post about how much I loved the cleaner beaches located outside of Naples. Since we and our friends would be moving to the Pacific Northwest, we all wanted to maximize our sun and beach time. We'd all loved the Vieste beach, ambience, and our hotel, thus we decided on a revisit. This trip, we made a little time to walk around the Old Town, happening upon some sort of processional and celebration. These sorts of things are fairly common in Italy, so we enjoyed watching for a few moments, realizing our time for happening upon parades was at end, then continued on our way. The beach was a bit cold, and we had one day of rain, but we still enjoyed a nice, final getaway with our friends.
Vieste's Old Town

After we'd moved out of our house and into the hotel for our last few days, we decided on one last hike on the Amalfi Coast with a friend, walking from the mountain town of Ravello down to Amalfi (the town). I remember taking a lot of great pictures, but now, I can only find one. And it was taken from our bus ride back up the mountain. I'm going to blame it on the heat. My rough estimate is that it was 147 degrees that day. I remember lots of stopping towards the end and dreams of water. We did relax with a nice lunch in Amalfi town, then the guys went into Amalfi's absolutely fantastic Duomo (really, the Crypt is the main appeal) while I sat on the covered loggia outside the church to nurse Nora. I quickly realized that I must look like a beggar woman after our hot, sweaty hike, and with my nursing baby. I looked around in my bag for a cup to set out, just in case, but alas, came up empty. Instead, I just pulled out my Kindle to read while nursing and enjoyed sitting down. We then meandered down to the bus stop and found that we'd have about an hour's wait, so I spent my hour napping on the beach. That was a pretty good end to our last, Amalfi Coast visit...but then we got on our bus, and it was open-top. Riding an open-top bus along the coastline and up into the mountains made it even better. Although I suggested that perhaps we could have just ridden the bus round trip and skipped the quivering muscles and sweating. Something to remember if we ever get back there and think it's a good idea to hike the Amalfi coast in June.

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