19.02.2009 - 19.02.2009 8 °C
After late evening train ride back to Messina, I had a very late night check-in there for B&T ferries to Salerno, departure time 1.30 am! Despite the inconvenient travel time, B&T offers a brandnew and very clean ship, occupied mostly by truckers at this time of the year. Upon arrival in the morning one has an excellent view of the coast of Amalfi stretching westwards from the city of Salerno. Check-out procedures in Salerno are not made for pedestrians; elsewhere in Europe walking in the harbour area is strictly forbidden, but here there is no other way to exit the port and enter the city.
The coast of Amalfi is even more impressive on a bus ride (Salerno-Amalfi, ca. one hour). The ticket is only 1.90€ and it is worth the price, unless you have a sensitive stomach. On endless serpentines the bus driver honks its way through the narrow curves high over the sea and if you don't dare to look down to the sea, look up to the towering cliffs with suspending stalactites and the beautiful citrus orchards on very narrow terraces. Easy to understand that Amalfi easily defended its independence from Salerno and Naples for many centuries and in due to its inaccessibility from the landward side based its power and prosperity on sea trade. The Amalfian seafarers by the way invented the magnetic compass needle!
Watch the route from Amalfi to Salerno along Maiori, Minori and Vietri here: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=131283 If you decide to watch my track recording in Google Earth, there is no need to exaggerate the profile elevation. Even without you get more than an idea of this spectacular 3D landscape.
Salerno has a lot of things to offer, not least a very recent and stylishly refurbished youth hostel in a 17th century building in the middle of town.
Sun dial opposite the cathedral in Amalfi