December 26th - 30th 2013, Birthday surprise for Cynthia ... Positano / Italy ...

As Cynthia always wanted to visit the "I've seen it in the movie" - Positano, Thomas had a nice birthday surprise on the 25th of December: Pack your bags, we're flying tomorrow! So after just 1:45h flight from Frankfurt to Naples, we safely arrived, took our hirecar and drove to Positano!
 

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After arriving at our lovely hotel "Villa Gabrisa" right in the middle of "Vertical City", we found a birthday gift for Cynthia in the room: a little hand-painted ceramic plate! Very friendly people there and that night we went to a restaurant nearby and had our first "authentic" Italian meal ... and the wine of course was not missing ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next morning we were greated with reasonable weather, no rain, around 14° ... and this was the view from our balcony!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). As the weather forecast was a bit mixed that day, we decided to do a car tour to Ravello and Amalfi ... here at a stop just 3 kilometres away from Positano ... you see us with Positano in the background ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). At that stop, there was a really friendly fruit seller ... here with Cynthia and a huge lemon ... he sold us some really juicy sweet mandarins.
When he picked the mandarins, one fell to the ground ... Thomas tried to catch it ... his words "Alemannia catastrophe" ;-)))
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So first stop - after a lovely drive along the Amalfi coast - was Ravello ... here the main square with the Villa Rufolo in the background ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... which we visited in detail ... here the audio-video-centre of the building ;-)))
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Joke aside, a fantastic old villa ... and - again - with breathtaking views of the coast ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Very well maintained gardens, just beautiful!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). From there we took a longer walk (steps again) to the Villa Cimbrone ... just everywhere so picturesque ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here the two of us arrived at the villa ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and after another walk through the gardens we arrived at the "terrace of the infinite view" ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After a coffee in Ravello we drove to Amalfi, the weather cleared up and we parked the car at the harbour where we stopped to sit down and enjoy the mandarines ... and taking this photo of course!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here the city centre of Amalfi with a beautiful cathedral ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here's the view inside ... amazing!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We saw many of these signs in the villages ... every little business is mentioned ... a bit of information overflow ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We followed these signs in really tiny alleys ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... to find a little restaurant open ... had a little lunch and a glass of wine!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So we went back and had some pre-dinner drinks (red wine in this case) at the hotel. Excellent local wine selection they had ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). That night we went to the restaurant "Fornillo" ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... where we again had a really nice Italian meal!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Saturday was a fantastic day, sunshine, 16°, so we spent all day in Positano to walk around ... and we mean walk a lot!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). First challenge was to climb down all the way to the beach from the hotel ... but the 25 minutes were worth the effort!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here's the beach of Positano on that lovely day ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and a view from the beach onto Positano ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So slowly we walked up again ... through the little alleys with shops ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... up to a first viewpoint ... fantastic weather ... don't forget that it was the 28. of December!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). During a mental attack we decided to walk up to Montepetruso ... not knowing how far we had to climb ... so these type of stairs we had in front of us for around 1,5 hours!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). But this was the view we got! We then decided to get a bus downhill - which was an adventure in itself ... with the small and very windy roads!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Once back down, we enjoyed the sun at the beach and had a little lunch with drinks right there ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Sunday - weather forecast was not that sunny - we took the car to Ercolano, one of the excavation sites around Pompeji at the foot of Mount Vesuvio.
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). 2000 years conserved ... even skeltons ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We had a lovely guide "Carlo" who was close to a comedian ... really funny stories, but also good facts about the diggings ... here a bath ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). That was a shop with terracotta pots to store e. g. grains ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here one of the five main streets including a sewage system ... btw only about 25% of the city has been dug out yet, 75% is under the "new" city of Ercolano ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Well after driving back, our last night there had come ... and we decided to walk down to the beach again ... beautiful at night too ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... to have a fantastic fish dinner at "Chez Black 1949" ... On the way back we counted the steps up to the hotel ... and after arriving totally exhausted there, we ended up with a count of 505 (!) ... so we had to celebrate that with a bottle of Italian Champagne called Franciacorta...


So we have to say the Amalfi Coast is a lovely part of the world and the visit was worth it! We're sitting at Naples Airport right now, the battery of the laptop is empty and we're looking forward to New Year's Eve!