Roland Dürre
Thursday February 26th, 2009

RMD – My Travel Journal – Thursday

From Amalfi to Napoli

Upon waking up this morning, we opened our shutters. The lady at reception had promised an excellent “sea view” and this was definitely delivered. We had a wonderful view onto the harbour, coast and the Mediterranean Sea, accompanied by splendid sunshine and no more wind. In short: a biker’s dream. After breakfast, we pedalled away at good speed. After riding another 6 kilometres on our “dream street”, which was even nicer than yesterday, we made a sharp left turn. Shortly before Maiori, we went uphill, through Tramonti to Corbara. Our final destination was Pompei on the opposite side of the mountain.

The pass is 650 metres above sea level, which means it is about 100 metres higher than Munich. Cars were required to have snow chains on board (being cyclists, we did not have any on us), and the salt on the road over the pass had been strewn even more generously than in Ottobrunn (although there was no snow to be seen anywhere). We were rewarded for the uphill struggle by a beautiful decline down into the valley. On the way to Pompei, we got lost, but we still managed to arrive in Pompei at 2 p.m.. We spent two hours on the ancient streets of Pompei, wondering all the time how people might have lived there some 2,000 years ago. Living there certainly was no picnic in those days. I guess people had to be pretty tough. Especially if you had the bad luck to belong to the slave population, you probably had nothing to laugh about. Just think of all those gigantic cobbles for the roads. Someone had to bring them.
At 4 p.m. it was time to say good-bye to Pompei. We wanted to be back in our room in the Bella Capri (which we had made a reservation for by telephone) in good time. I have never seen anything like the way back from Pompei to Naples and then through Naples to the harbour, where the “Bella Capri” is situated. Bumper to bumper, chaotic conditions on the streets. It felt like India, and then there were cobbles almost all the way (easily 20 kilometres) to boot. It was so bad it came out the other end and turned good again. Shortly before 7 p.m., we arrived at the “Bella Capri”, took the bikes upstairs to the 6th floor, and went to dinner – which was again a dream. For the statistics: this last day, we rode about 70 kilometres, with lots of hilly terrain and plenty of cobbles.

Tomorrow, we go from Naples to Rome by train, and then, at 7 p.m. back to Munich in the sleeping compartment (arrival time in Munich: 6:30 a.m.). Another beautiful trip is over. The week was short, because we had to finish when we were just into the spirit. But as we all know: you should always end when the going is best. That is what we do. I can only warmly recommend trying the trip yourself! As Seneca says: The reason why we do not dare trying out things is not because they are difficult – they are difficult, because we never try. And a trip by bike from Rome to Naples and the surrounding country is absolutely not something difficult – take my word for it.

This is how I close my second travel journal. I look forward to my next trip.

RMD
(translated by EG)

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