Christ & his Apostles

This morning I had forgotten to put the alarm on but, luckily, I woke up anyway. Straight after breakfast we made our way to the bus stop to try our luck at catching a bus to Amalfi. After a few minutes we learned from someone else in the queue that the bus had left seven minutes early! The next bus was due in thirty minutes so we waited and waited… A bus eventually turned up thirty minutes late, by which time we had been waiting for an hour and were just about to give up.

The busy journey along the narrow and winding roads with hairpin bends and a sheer drop on one side was reminiscent of a roller coaster ride. We found out why the buses struggle to keep to schedule, there is a particularly narrow stretch of road only wide enough for one bus at a time. This is controlled by traffic lights with an extremely long delay. At one point in our journey a van decided to park on the wrong side of the road blocking the pathway of our bus and also the traffic in the direction the bus was travelling. The van had left the bus driver with no room position the bus properly in the road so as to to easily make room for another bus and two lorries to pass by. It was a tight squeeze and, amusingly, the driver of one of the lorries waved at the bus passengers as they passed nose to nose. A bus travelling in the other direction stopped to let our bus, and the queue of traffic built up behind it, through. By the time we arrived in Amalfi the bus driver had become rather annoyed at the bad behaviour of the van driver that had parked up.

Apostle Saint Andrew

In Amalfi, we weren’t keen on the town. It was too busy and touristy for our liking and there were lots of crocodile lines of people following tour guides.  We walked up the main street and stopped for a quick drink before making our way to the Cathedral. The Cathedral, dedicated to the Apostle Saint Andrew, is approached by a steep flight of steps leading up to the image of the Apostle and above that an image of Christ and the Twelve Apostles. The building itself is imposing and dominates the Piazza del Duomo where it is situated.

Crucifix

A museum housed in what was the original Cathedral contains interesting artifacts and relics including a large 14th century Crucifix suspended from the ceiling and which I found quite moving. Before descending into the crypt we viewed the cloister, at which point my camera decided to play up. It was showing a black screen and I thought I had inadvertently “pressed a button”. I fiddled with it for a while and it started working again.

Relics of the Apostle Saint Andrew

We went down into the crypt which holds the Holy Relics of the body of Saint Andrew which were brought to Amalfi during the Fourth Crusade. Beneath the main altar is a crystal ampoule from which on the Saints feast day and sometimes on other occasions, a substance called ‘Manna’ is collected. This is a dense liquid which sweats out from the tomb of the Apostle. The current cathedral is baroque in style and painted inside with dark gaudy colours giving it an oppressive feel. Inside the Cathedral my camera packed up completely and I had to resort to the camera facility on my mobile phone!

Amalfi Cathedral

We had lunch in the Piazza del Duomo looking up at the Cathedral. Whilst waiting for the food to arrive I inspected my camera and found that the shutter had stuck closed meaning there was nothing to be done with it until we returned home. Our waitress advised of a place she thought sold cameras, but the shop she mentioned sold only disposable cameras. We were directed to another shop a few doors away but they didn’t sell cameras either, just photo printing services, and we were advised to try in Positano or Salerno.

Ravello Square

After this adventure we returned to the bus stop to catch a bus back to Ravello. It arrived a little late but when it arrived we found we had the same driver as on our previous journey and his good humour had returned. Back in Ravello we booked an evening meal in the Garden Restaurant before making our way to the square to take up a now familiar position in one of the cafes. Back at the hotel Mr C phoned up the Citalia company rep and asked where the best place to purchase a new camera would be. She suggested Salerno which she described as a small authentic Italian town and a lot nicer than Amalfi which she described as touristy. Little did she know that Amalfi is where we had been earlier. She further advised that if we did visit Salerno we should visit the Cathedral.

Our next day’s travel plans now sorted, Mr C went to the hotel reception to report that the shower screen was broken making it difficult to open and close. In due course the maid turned up with a maintenance man. What ensued was much banging and clattering and a loud telephone exchange in Italian between the maid and a man on the other end of the phone. After a while the maid said “one moment” and the two of them left the room. A short while later the phone in the room rang. It was the hotel reception advising that the shower could not be fixed today,  and asking if we wanted to change rooms? We chose not to take them up in this offer as the shower problem was only a minor detail.

Prosecco on the Balcony

A few minutes later the phone rang again… It was hotel reception to advise that they were going to send the maid round with something to help with the shower problem! We were a bit bemused by this and I had almost forgotten about it when, about 10 minutes later, there was a knock on the door. I opened the door expecting the maid but instead there was a young man standing there with a bottle of prosecco on ice and a couple of glasses!! He advised that reception had sent this with their compliments and asked if he could come into the room. He then proceeded to the balcony terrace and placed the tray on the table, much to Mr C’s surprise – he was sitting at the table reading a book. The waiter helpfully suggested that perhaps we should enjoy it as an aperitif before dinner. This sounded like a good plan so we sipped prosecco in the warm evening air as the sun went down before making our way to the restaurant for our evening meal.

We were served by a pleasant young man who helped us with our choices, however when the main meal arrived we realised that we should have ordered salad or vegetables to go with the dishes we had ordered so although the food was nice we were both slightly disappointed by our mistake. After our waiter had removed our main course plates from the table he refused to make eye contact and did not come back with the dessert menu leaving Mr C to flag another waiter down. Our original waiter came to take the order but his demeanor had changed to being aggressive and abrupt. I am not sure what we had done to upset him (maybe it wasn’t us) but it did put a slighter dampner on the evening.

Pathway to Hotel Giordano

6 Comments CherryPie on Oct 25th 2017

6 Responses to “Ravello – Day Six”

  1. The Yum List says:

    Up and downs at this place it sounds. Prosecco was a lovely suggestion to ease the shower problem but grumpy waiters… no thank you. It just shows how important service it. You can have a great (or not so great) product but good (or bad) service can make all the difference.

    • CherryPie says:

      The grumpy waiter was the only bad experience we had on our holiday.

      The flexible bus time table took a bit of getting used to, but it was not a bad experience (apart from one episode yet to be revealed ;-) )

  2. James Higham says:

    “In Amalfi, we weren’t keen on the town. It was too busy and touristy for our liking and there were lots of crocodile lines of people following tour guides. ”

    That’s put me off travelling these days, aside from the expense and being cattle at the airport. Driving in Europe? Don’t know how that is in 2017.

  3. shabana says:

    Hope you did not encounter the same driver again.

    once we were travelling fro Murree hill station and taxi driver was really bad and seemed in rush as was driving so fast.
    it was annoying and scary at the same time.
    at the end of the journey i said to him that he was not a good and sensible driver .
    he apologized and said he had to be somewhere at time .
    but it was not justified that he could put our life in danger

    Marvelous church Cherie! that you choose over crowded city

    • CherryPie says:

      This driver was quite a good driver it was the van driver that caused the problem. We did have one bad experience with a driver but I haven’t written that account yet!

      The churches in that area are all rather special, I particularly liked the Cathedral in Salerno.

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