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  • Angela Louie and Allan de la Plante

The Amazing Azure of the Amalfi Coast

We got to our next hotel, a resort in a beautiful setting with a pool and our own terrace. More importantly, it had good upload speed! It felt great to sit out on the terrace with our laptop and glass of Chianti from Tuscany. Time to chill before our adventure on the Amalfi Coast the next day.

Great wi-fi aside, there were a few things that weren’t quite as they seemed. While everything looked very peaceful, there were many noises. A clonking noise from the far side of the mountain was one I couldn’t place, probably because there aren’t many donkeys in Burnaby. The church bells luckily were not right beside our window but they did play Flow Softly Sweet Often, a melody that Allan remembered from childhood church days. Little children were shrieking and laughing around the deck at midnight (who owns these children?), plumbing groaned every time a toilet flushed or a tap turned on, and a man coughed in the next room so loudly, I thought he was in bed with us.

The other thing about our hotel was that it was on the side of a mountain (this is getting to be a habit) and the roads were narrow. (What’s new?) What looked like pedestrian alleys were actually streets. What looked like it might fit one car was actually meant for 2-way traffic. Martha liked taking us up these kinds of alleyways. We followed her as far as we could until we came upon an alley…er street that wasn’t wide enough for the car. Martha, Martha, Martha. Tsk. Tsk.

The Amalfi Coast was beautiful. The view from the mountain roads just getting to the coast was beautiful. All of the mountain and coast roads were switchbacks barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass and drivers were quite cavalier about going through them at a pretty fast clip. Allan was having a great time. I had to remind myself to breathe every couple of minutes. It felt like we would either collide with the car coming up the switchback or the wall between a free ride and us to the Mediterranean Sea.

Aside from this, it was a fabulous drive. The water was an amazing azure blue. I could imagine having our own sailboat moored in one of the coves. The beaches were as always, filled with people. After a couple of hours of driving, we finally found a place to park in Salerno and I stopped hyperventilating long enough to enjoy a nice lunch on a beachside patio.

At dinner we drove up the mountain road to a small little village in Pimonte. It looked like a sleepy little town in the day but on Saturday night, it was a hopping place. It reminded Allan of American Graffiti. There were teenaged girls walking up the street, teenaged boys hanging out on the corner, old Italian men sitting at the local patio tables and a whole line-up of cars coming and going through the narrow mountain road. Who would’ve known? And the pizza? The local pizza for two cost 4 euros. Nice. From the mountain to the coast and back. What a ride!

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