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Just Back from 6 weeks in England, Paris and Italy

Just Back from 6 weeks in England, Paris and Italy

Old Aug 16th, 2003, 11:10 PM
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POSITANO
We got off at the last stop in Positano and with luggage in tow headed down Via Cristoforo Colombo to our hotel, the Savoia. Again this was in a great position , an easy walk down to the beach and in the middle of everything. A lovely, family owned hotel with friendly staff and a view from every room. We were here for 5 nights and were lucky enough to be upgraded to a suite. We had a terrace overlooking the ocean, a balcony overlooking the town and a window balcony right in front of the bed overlooking the hillside. Pure magic!!! Paul was in his element here, straight down to the (stony) beach and into the beautiful cool, clear water. We had a couple of evening picnics on the beach, buying our food and wine from the little deli just down from our hotel. The bunches of tiny tomatoes were delicious and you could eat them just like a bunch of grapes. We sat on the side of the beach where there were lots of Italian families and the most gorgeous brightly painted boats (both up on the rocks as well as in the water). The other end of the beach had sunlounges and umbrellas you could rent for the day, but we were never there for the whole day so we were content to sit amongst the kids playing soccer on the beach. There were small boats, big boats and ferries continually coming and going. You can go up the coast, down the coast, sightseeing, diving, snorkelling, to Capri, to the Grottos OR you can just sit and marvel at how stunning it all is. There are restaurants at little beaches further along the coast and they have boats that will pick ou up and bring you back to the wharf at Positano.

We ate at La Pergola (right on the beach) a couple of times for both lunch and dinner. We always lucked out with a table right at the front, and the food was not too bad, the staff were very friendly. La Guarracino is another restaurant we frequented - it is on the the edge of the pathway which leads around to Fornillo Beach. With a table by the railing you look straight down into the water way below and you can just see the beach at Fornillo.

Again, it was lovely just to wander and browse in the shops, take a break to have a birra or a coffee. We bought most of our momentos from our trip here, probably because we did slow down and actually relax while we were in Positano. Travelling is hard work!!!! Our daughter bought us ceramic house numbers when she was in Positano 2 years ago, so we bought the ceramic letter tiles to spell Campo di Fiori (how cheesy is that, we wracked our brains to come up with an Italian name!!!) which Paul has framed and hung by our front door along with the Cave Canem (beware of the dog) tile we bought at Pompeii. They look great. We also bought 4 (large) typically Italian tiles which go together to make up a pattern. These will eventually form a table top. Our favourite souvenirs were bought from an antique/second hand/junk shop just down from the bus stop. The first day we went in we saw two things we loved but had to think of the logistics of getting them home. Plus we didn?t want the old gentleman in the shop to think we were TOO keen. We went back a couple of days later. The Lions Head door knocker was still there and so too were the pair of old wall light fittings that I had fancied. These really were the little bit of Italy we wanted to take home!!!!! Well, it was hot and we were all starting to sweat as we tried to bargain a good price. The shopkeeper tried to tell us the glass on the light fittings was Murano glass (sure!) and that the door knocker was a genuine antique! After a bit of umming and aahring we decided we would pay his last price. I am sure we got ripped off, and he was trying to tell us he was not happy selling them so cheaply. All good natured and all part of his game but what a great story to go with our special souvenirs.
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Old Aug 16th, 2003, 11:49 PM
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Positano (continued)

We ventured to Pompeii one day, catching the bus to Sorrento and then the train to Pompeii. Again, how amazing to think that ALL of this has been excavated, and there is still more excavating to be done!!! There were not too many people, and it was very hot, but we seemed to be able to mostly walk on the shady sides of the streets. The fact that way!!!!! before Australia was even settled, the way of life was so structured, so sophisticated, their design and building achievements so incredible. It just blows my mind. A refreshing, icy, fresh lemon slushie as we walked back to the station for our return trip to Positano and we were once again shaking our heads saying I don?t believe how amazing that was!!!! The bus and train trips were also part of the experience - for instance there is a train station between Sorrento and Pompeii that is literally just steel scaffolding suspended high up above a steep gorge just by the railway line. A bit nerve-wracking if you happen to have a fear of heights.

We dragged ourselves away from Positano on yet another day to go to Amalfi. We caught the bus there and the ferry back. The trip was amazing both ways. On the way there, a truck was blocking half the road, so the traffic was inching its way through. At one point the rear view mirror on the bus caught on the drain pipe of a house we were passing, pulling the pipe off. The driver stopped the bus, got out to re-adjust his mirror and then continued on his way. Then, as if to make up for lost time we wizzed along that narrow winding road, with all the passengers hanging on and sliding from side to side on our seats. Just like a roller coaster ride!! Again, Amalfi was another place just too beautiful for words. Just amazing!
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 12:42 AM
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Positano (continued)

On Sunday afternoon we were sitting on our balcony having a vino while trying to decided where to go for dinner and we heard music. Church, marching type music. As it came closer we could see a procession of girls and boys dressed in white, followed by Preists walking under an ornate white canopy that was being carried along. People were standing by the side of the street watching. When they all got to the Piazza at the bottom of our street they all gathered around a white table that was covered in flowers and there was singing and prayers and so on. After the ceremony they then paraded back down the street towards the church. How their lives are so intertwined with their traditions and religion! It was so beautiful.

We loved Positano and really did NOT want to leave ...... and it was sad to think our holiday was almost over ..... depression was just about to set in !!!!!!! We lugged our luggage one more time up the hill (past our favourite antique shop) to the bus stop. We always arrive early when catching buses or trains and just as well we did this time - a bus pulled up just as we got there (DO NOT RELY ON BUS TIMETABLES if you have connecting trains you want to catch. Also if the buses are full they will not stop). Also the traffic through Sorrento was horrendous and it took us forever to get to the Train Station. A tip that may be helpful: the bus stops at Meta train station about 15-20 minutes before it gets to Sorrento. Meta is then about the third train stop from Sorrento on the way to Naples. SO..... if you look like you are going to miss your train from Sorrento, by getting off at Meta you can gain at least 20 minutes!!!!! Well, we had no problems and after a short wait at Naples Station we were once again on the Eurostar, back to Roma.
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 12:51 AM
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HelenJ, this is such a lovely and inspiring report. Please keep the details coming!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 08:23 PM
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ttt

Very old report - I have just been re-living my very first European trip (& only trip report I have done).

I now wish I had taken the time to do a report for each trip.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 11:27 PM
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lovely
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Old Jun 23rd, 2014, 09:51 AM
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HelenJ: I would love to read your "other than London" trip report but can't seem to find it on this site. Could you point me in the right direction?? Thanks.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2014, 07:54 PM
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Thanks Bilbo.
Hi chacha - This is the only report I have done, though if you scroll down past the London section you will see details on Sth West England, Paris and then Italy.

Cheers
HelenJ
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Old Jun 23rd, 2014, 09:39 PM
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Thanks for reviving this report!!
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