My travel companion Ms. B, and I landed in Naples airport on a humid afternoon with a long and unbeknown to us, convoluted trip ahead of us. We had challenges you see. Not only did the trip from Naples to Positano involve various planes, trains and automobiles, but in true family form I was H-u-n-g-o-v-e-r. Yes, with a Capital H. I had been out partying until 1am in my old Cambridge stomping ground and then I couldn’t sleep because I was paranoid about missing my flight. Polish vodka + old friends + early morning flight = Travel nightmare!
Something to remember when visiting Naples, well actually – strike that, make it ALL of Italy is that the male population are not backwards in coming forward. You could have heard a pin drop and the necks cracking as we collected our luggage and made our way to the bus. I hurriedly explained to the incredulous Ms. B that we were not about to get mugged by the group of mafia looking types that followed us, but they were simply staring because we were WOMEN. You know.. because Italy doesn’t have any women – right?
After navigating the connections that took us to the dizzying heights of Positano we disembarked the bus with a sigh of relief. I should have known that Italian bus drivers could drive one handed along sky high cliffs, while arguing with a passenger in addition to talking on his mobile phone. Believe me, my friend, The Hangover (yes, at that stage it was still with a Capital H) was tagging along in full force.
There’s always a problem with taking the bus in Italy. Knowing which stop to get off at – we knew we were in Positano… we could even see our hotel… but what separated us from it was about 1000 steps down to it (who knew we should have waited another stop?). So off we trudged. In the rain. With our suitcases. And a new friend who became a fixture in our Positano stay. Randy the dog (I will leave it up to you to deduce how he came to earn his name.. along with his girlfriend…. Mandy).
A pizza, a few glasses of Chianti and a generous serving of gelato in one of the seaside restaurants soon set things straight (and farewelled the Hangover – Hurrah for small mercies!).
I had one thought as we watched the sun slip into the sea…
Italy….. I really, truly, unashamedly love you.