Monday, October 26, 2009

Italy Trip - Positano Day 7

Positano Coast

After Capri, we decided to take a ferry straight to Positano.  We did not arrive at Positano till the late afternoon because we spent one final day hanging out with the guests that came to the wedding.  This trip to Positano would have a big effect on the rest of our trip.  We had planned to spend several days on the Amalfi Coast before we made our way to Northern Italy but after Positano we decided to skip the rest of the coast.  More on that later in the post.

Part of the problem when we arrived was that we were already tired from a full day at Capri. Compounding the problem was that we had not booked a hotel in Positano when we arrived.  We decided at this point to kind of wing it and see what was around when we arrived.  This turned out to be both a blessing and a curse.  The ferry arrives at Positano in the harbor.  We got off the boat and looked around to a city that just goes straight up.  We were asked by several people if we were in need of a porter.  We thought this was kind of strange but it made sense shortly.

All the luggage we had on us prevented us from walking around too much because everywhere we went we were met with a staircase.  So I left my wife to watch the bags while I hunted for an available hotel.  I looked up down and around Positano for something that was in our price range.  Now one thing to know about Italy is that every hotel has a "star rating" associated with.  We had decided that we would focus on mostly three star hotels because we are not particularly picky when it comes to lodging and preferred to try and save some money on the trip.  Most of the hotels in Positano, at least around the port, were rated four stars.  Now I know what you are asking yourself, "What do the stars mean for Italian Hotels".  Well I'm here to tell you they mean almost nothing.  It turns out that these stars are some sort of quasi-government rating system but they have absolutely no consistent meaning from city to city.  A three star hotel could easily cost more money and be better furnished than a four star hotel in the same city.  Three star hotels could have more than $50 Euro difference if not more.   We of course would not learn this until later.

After a very long hike around Positano, I decided that we would stay at whatever hotel was the closest to where my wife was waiting.  I was exhausted and was in no mood to carry the bags all around.  So we went to the closest hotel and asked how much it was.  Despite being four star, it ended up being quite affordable and we just booked it for the night.  We grabbed a quick bite to eat on the beach, I had the veal and she had the cannelloni (both of which were excellent), and then returned to our room and passed out.  It was a good thing because we need all the energy we could muster the next day.

We decided that we were tired of small town Italy and were going to move on.  We had planned to take the first ferry out of Positano to Sorrento but it seems that the ferry was broken in the morning so we had to make the most of it in Positano for the time being.

There is a reason we did not see a lot of overweight people in Italy.  They walk everywhere.  Even more than that, there are a lot of stairs.  Nowhere exemplifies this more than Positano.  Below is a picture from near the top of Positano.

Postiano Top

I did not take a bus to take this picture.  I hiked all the stairs from the bottom to the top.  I am still not sure what possessed me and my wife to do this.  We just kept walking up and up.  We were looking for an outlet or a road that would eventually take us down, but none was to be found.  It seems there is only one direct way to get from the harbor to the main road and that is by taking the stairs.  After we discovered this, we decided to make our way back down.   On our way down we met a friend.

Positano Dog

Shortly after we started to descend we ran into this dog.  At first he seemed like any other normal dog but he ended up being extremely intelligent.  He would follow us wherever we went.  He would run ahead of us but if we did not follow he would run back to us and continue down the path we were taking.  On one part down a road we found we noticed that he kept running to the other side of the road.  He would run to the other side, see that we were not following him, and then run back.  He kept doing this over and over again, insisting that we follow.  It turns out he knew what he was talking about.  A few meters down the road and it was clear what he was trying to tell us.  There was a blind corner coming up.  He was basically trying to get us to the safe side of the road.

We did not have any food on us at the time to reward him for his efforts and by the time we did get food he ran off.  Still he created one of the more memorable parts of our trip.

We finally got on a ferry mid-afternoon that took us back to Sorrento where our trip would continue.

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