Friday, May 26, 2017

254. Amalfi ...

Choosing a day when the weather forecaster said " light cloud cover " - I decided on an early start to spend the day doing the tourist thing on board the jet boats tripping out into the Gulf of Naples and along the Amalfi Coast ... however no sooner was I on board, than the sky darkened and the mist rolled in and the clouds began their light drizzle ...


 
  Right on time and loaded up with eager travelers cameras-a-clicking
we left the dock and cloud-shrouded Vesuvius behind 
and headed out into the Gulf ...


Half-an-hour later we pulled into Sorrento 
on the other side of the Bay to Naples ...

 ... just time for a quick shot of caffeine and a sweet treat
before the boarding call for the next ferry ...



 
 ... then it was around the mist covered headland 
towards our next port-o-call, Positano ...

 
 



 

Here it was a longer stop of just enough time to explore a bit of the town before heading off on another ferry for the final leg of the water trip to the town of Amalfi ...

The dull day and low mist cover and the rocking of the boat didn't help with the photography - but I must say, the printers of the tourist brochures have done a great job photo-shopping the colours of the town - even so, it is a very pretty sight ...

Then it was a zoom along the amazing coast ...


 






 ... and finally arriving at the town of Amalfi - 
and just as we arrived the mist lifted and the sun came out ... !!!
 

 ... just look at all those tourist buses lined up 
gives you an idea of tourist central Amalfi ...
 
 Duomo di Amalfi and a million bodies ...


A short walk away from the eateries and the hordes 
and up into the hills is the main object of my visit - the Museo della Carta ...


This quaint working museum is the original paper-making factory dating back to the early 13th century - and still operational up into the 1950s. It is ( so the guide tells us ... ) the oldest paper-making factory in Europe ( and presumably the Western world ... ) ...

The factory which was powered by water from an underground stream is under the building pictured. It was an interesting tour to learn how the ancients made fine paper from discarded cotton fabrics and to see the equipment used way back then - pretty much the same principals still used by hand-makers of paper today ...

ancient paper press ...

 cotton paper drying on felts ...

 dried flowers in paper ...

hand made books ...

After that, it was a walk through the crowded streets to find lunch ...

 ... a nice peaceful swoon away from crowded Naples ...

 ... not too many bathers - 
water's still a bit cool for all but the hardiest ...


... and finally onto a municipal bus for an hour-long hair-raising trip along the winding coastal roads to the city of Salerno and my train back to Naples ... so after three train, three ferry and one bus rides and after 9 hours on the go, it was back home for the weary wanderer ...