My Amalfi Coast Birthday Part 2Amalficoast
Celebrating My Birthday on the Amalfi Coast Part 2
Apparently, the alarm clock on my phone was still on eastern standard time. I woke up at 9 am which was way later than I was supposed to. Hotel Europa offered an 8:30am breakfast that I sadly did not get to enjoy. Most unfortunate was the fact that I did not get to basque in the abundant sunlight the terrace of my room offered before checking out.
I checked out at around 9:30am and made the 15 minute walk to the waterfront to catch my ferry to Amalfi. (It is probably a lot faster for those without physical impairments and luggage to carry like I had). My ferry was punctual and had just begun boarding. I had booked it ahead of time on Travelmar and it only cost about 5 euros each way. The ride to Amalfi was so fast! Maybe about 15 minutes total. I sat outside in the front of the ferry for sea air and amazing views. Touching down in Amalfi, I decided to postpone breakfast because the views of the coastal city had become my top priority. I set out to the center and just kept walking up; taking in the smell of baked goods and freshly squeezed lemonade from the massive Sorrento lemons. There were so many people here from all over the world. To my disappointment I only met one African American couple. (My people get your passports!)
With the sun beaming and my legs about to give out, I took the journey back down the hill and decided to have some drinks and an appetizer. Hearty-sized baguettes with a generous serving of lemon cream and smoked salmon would definitely hold me over until Positano. It was around 11am but I still opted for a spritz followed by a Sauvignon Blanc because happy hour is every hour on vacation!
My ferry to Positano arrived promptly at 12:30pm and the ride to Positano was a short ten minutes. Positano is definitely where the party’s at! I was greeted with music from the many bars that dot the beach. I walked further inland (which is basically like walking uphill) to get some amazing views of the port. Every view from any angle of Positano is simply amazing. The colorful buildings that occupy this coast hypnotize you. It’s romantic in a way; different from anything that I’ve ever experienced. I wandered around like a kid in a candy store before I stopped to take in the sun at one of the outdoor restaurants. I enjoyed another appetizer of prosciutto, melon and buffalo cheese—yup from buffalo’s milk. One thing I discovered about myself is that I’m very talkative with strangers when I’m out of the country. I made friends of all ages everywhere I went; in cafes, on lines…helps pass the time when you’re traveling solo.
It was around 4:15pm and I decided to be the first in line for FRANCO’S BAR— an amazing outside bar connected to the very luxe Le Sirenuse hotel with THE best sunset views and cocktails. I made some friends on the line who joined me for drinks and conversation. The space was inviting; gleaming white floors, pops of color, and free-standing lemon trees made it look like a modern day wonderland.
The sunset views accompanied by interesting cocktails as even more interesting conversations was the prelude to a spectacular birthday dinner. I had a “Green Eyes” cocktail—which features a picture of the Amalfi Coast on the top. It was an interesting blend of tequila and Sant Germain. My favorite cocktail however, was the “Purple Haze”— an infusion of pea-tea gin, red grapes, lime, mint, and soda. The fresh pop of lavender made me fall in love 🙂
I had a 7:30pm reservation for Aldo’s Champagne Bar and Seafood Grill— another restaurant connected to Le Sirenuse. Coincidentally, so did my new friends Masha and her husband Obi. They invited me to join their table where we chatted for hours and I enjoyed the most succulent grilled blue lobster under the dim lighting.
The time had flown by, the sun had set and it was well into the evening. I knew I had a long ride to Nocelle so the host at Le Sirenuse was gracious enough to call me a taxi to Nocelle. I took the ride to the mountaintop retreat for 35 euros. The views from Nocelle are amazing but be prepared to climb A LOT of stairs. It’s seriously not for the weak lol. I actually booked the stay with my host Giuseppe on the Couch Surfing app. He runs a bed and breakfast with amazing views and happened to have a spare room that night. VILLA CASOLA B&B is definitely a hidden gem in Nocelle. We stayed up with his two sweet dogs late into the night on his terrace and just talked about our lives. I only got two hours of sleep as I had to arrange a taxi to Positano beach for 5:30am,which was a task in itself. If I could have done things differently I would have prearranged that ride as taxis don’t run 24 hours like here in the city and had to call around several places before waking some poor soul from their sleep.
I reached the beach by 6am. The sun was not out yet but I could see the pink hues on the horizon. The air was very cool and I waited on the beach for my sea chariot to arrive. It was interesting to see workers baking, cooking and preparing for the day. Even the old man on the very tiny rowboat was something unique.
Finally my chariot arrived. The boat was so comfortable in an amazingly intimate setting, even with three other people. I made another friend named Alice and we became each other’s official photographers out on the sea. The views of Positano on the water when the sun is rising will take your breath away! Everything is still and quiet….no car alarms, no yelling, just the ultimate peace. It was so serene, enjoying my hot cup of Italian coffee and pastries. Nothing could ever compare. I booked this beautiful tour with CRAPOLLA CHARTERS on Airbnb for $60.
We got back to the beach at around 8:30AM. Since we still had the beach to ourselves Alice and I got some chairs and literally fell asleep on the beach, enjoying the breeze until the bars opened. We enjoyed conversation over daiquiris while soaking our feet in the water before I purchased a 15 euro ticket to Sorrento.
I’m Sorrento I enjoyed a scenic walk to GIARDINI DI CATALDO where I walked the lemon grove and sampled limoncello and tiramisu gelato. Limoncello tastes like a strong lemon flavored vodka shot. I then took the Circumvesuviana express train to Naples for 17 euros where I checked into my hostel and enjoyed another amazing seafood dinner at Trattoria Toledo. The octopus salad and grilled bass did not disappoint. 24 euros for everything—wine included.
I ended the night with complimentary drinks and a “Happy Birthday” song from my hostel mates.