Sunday, September 19, 2010

Catching the Wrong Bus Leads to Discoveries

Positano has only one road.  It is a narrow one way loop connecting to the Amalfi Coast Road at one end of town, winding through the middle of town and connecting back to the Amalfi Coast  Road again at the other end of town.  Small orange busses make a dizzying loop around town all day long. 

One day I spend the morning photographing and exploring the town and then seeing the bus pull up at midtown I hop on to ride back up and around to the upper part of town where my hotel is located.  I think I will buy lunch in the grocery store and eat on my balcony.

The bus goes up, but instead of circling back down into to town  where I want to go,  it turns up hill on a really tiny road.  I soon realize this must be how people get to the houses that seem to hang from the cliffs way up above Positano.    Soon the only passengers are locals accept for two Germans in serious hiking gear with their walking sticks.   Locals ring a bell and get off from time to time at a lone house or a clump of 3 or 4 buildings, the bus keeps climbing.  Almost an hour goes by, I am really getting hungry but we have passed no restaurants or grocery stores.  What have I gotten myself into?

Finally the bus comes to a parking lot on top of a cliff and stops.  “Nicola” the driver says, obviously end of the line.   I ask can I ride down now, “No next bus 1 hour”.

I seem to be on top of the world, the only sign of civilization is a tiny church steeple sticking up from below the parking lot and a wall with this map on it.

I must be at the tip of the arrow. The Germans disappear down a trail and as I follow them I see a welcome sign “Ristorante St. Cruz” .   Following the trail down past a tiny church I come to a clump of buildings and walk into a lovely restaurant.  Up here?  The waiter sits me by the windows with an incredible view.

Lunch is a delicious salad at half what I have paid in Positano.  A friendly couple from Sidney took this photo in front of the windows with the view.

Here’s the view.

I used the zoom lenses to try to see if anyone was home on this yacht.

The Ausies and I catch the bus down the hill and I snap photos of a few locals that get on by waving down the bus as it comes by their homes.  

Seeing people getting on carrying small dogs makes me wonder is this how they walk the dogs?  Their cliff hanging houses have no where to walk the dogs except on this narrow road so maybe they take them down to Positano for a walk?

This is interesting, a miniature village sculpted into the cliff along side the road.  I have seen a few of them, wish I knew the story behind their creation.

Positano has so many hotels and shops you have to really look to find buildings that actually have people living in them.  My accidental trip to Nicola afforded me a glimpse of homes perched above the hustle and bustle of the tourist filled town below and the rugged people that live there.


Marleen said...

Could the miniature villages actually be niches for people to put "saints" and other religious material in them to remind them to pray or like remember a family or friend.
Nicola sounds like a wonderful adventure and the views incredible.

Sandy Delehanty said...

These people are very religous so you may be on the right track with this idea. I definately got the feeling that it was about their religion and perhaps remembering those that had gone before.