Vesuvius Fail

Vesuvius crater walk

This is my one picture from the walk up and around the crater of Mount Vesuvius. It was cold and the fog swept in thick and fast, after what had been a lovely, sunny morning. Two minutes after this picture was taken, you couldn’t see the Bay of Naples when you looked out. The wind blew hard and I thought I was going to fly off the path. I hadn’t brought gloves and my fingers were painful … although once inside the crater, I could warm my palms over the smoke holes. Still, it has to be said that I didn’t enjoy it very much and I spent the entire time wishing I hadn’t chosen the privileged optional walk in.

And wouldn’t you know it … the fog lifted upon our descent from the crater !

~ Spotted Cow


Positano. View from the sea

It was some version of this image that made me choose my trip to the Amalfi Coast. It’s the town of Positano, sitting on a cliff-side. I saw it while browsing holiday sites and decided that this was where I wanted to go. I’ve done this before, i.e. choosing a holiday from a magazine picture, which is how I went on the Trans-Siberian Railway and to Cappadocia in Turkey.

Positano is very picturesque. On the holiday, I had the luxury of approaching it from the sea – by ferry – and from the mountain tops at the end of the Path of the Gods trek. Hence, I have my own multiple versions of this picture, from a great many angles. And besides, descending into Positano after the walk, was thoroughly refreshing, especially as the old knees had had a good workout. A cold beer on the seafront was my first destination.

~ Spotted Cow

Positano. View from the mountain

Painter on the beach


The Enchanted Forest

Walls in the forest

We walked the Valle delle Ferriere route when we walked from Amalfi up to Ravello. The way winds through some lush forests, with rivers and waterfalls, and old paper mills and ironworks (hence its name). It was lovely and peaceful, and a refreshing difference to the cliffs and sea that tourists mostly associate with the Amalfi Coast. It rained for some of that day but we had wet weather gear, and instead of getting us down, it added to the enchantment of the forest.

~ Spotted Cow


Old paper mill


Lemon country

Size of the lemons !

The Amalfi Coast is undoubtedly lemon country. We walked through lemon groves everyday, and limoncello bottles lined the shelves of every tourist shop. Admittedly, I’ve never got over the limoncello’s cough syrup taste, but I don’t dislike it so much as to refuse an aperitif.

Several times, at the street stalls, I came across what looked like giant, genetically modified lemons with a very gnarly rind. I never found out what they were called, although they’re obviously from the same family. The monster lemons are impressive when stacked up next to their conventional cousins.

~ Spotted Cow


Lemon groves

The Dairy Maid

The Dairy Maid

On one of the days during the Amalfi Coast trip, we visited a dairy where they made the cheese by hand. It was a remarkably simple and clean, big, white room, lacking in fancy machinery, where the cheesemaker demonstrated his trade. Unfortunately, I can’t describe much because I ended up at the back of the standing group and couldn’t see for the most part. I did, however, get pushed to the front to watch him knead and twist the curd.

There was a  small counter shop in the front of house and I bought one of the funny shaped cheeses hanging on the rod. The cheese is called caciocavallo, and in the local area they use it on pizza. The dairy maid was very accommodating and let me take her picture.

~ Spotted Cow

The Cheesemaker

Kneading curd

Ravello. Villa Rufolo

Arches at Villa Rufolo

We walked from Amalfi up to the town of Ravello, through the lemon groves and forest. It was lovely and lush, although we did get rained on in various phases! Nevertheless, the sun came out when we arrived at the top and we visited the Villa Rufolo. We had been set a photo competition to take the photo on the front of the tourist brochure. It was a mad scurry around the gardens, interspersed with “wows” when anyone came to the sea view from a different angle. I can safely guarantee that pretty much everyone will get the picture postcard shot.

~ Spotted Cow

Amazing views

Tourists in the garden



Hairy heights

Bridge spanning cliffs

We did a lot of walking on the mountain top cliff edges along the Amalfi Coast, which meant that there were a lot of lookouts from great heights. This bridge picture makes me think of The Italian Job movie and I almost expected to see car chase with Minis revving along the roads.

Some other high-up vistas below. I think I took photos of Amalfi from just about every perspective possible!

~ Spotted Cow

House through the trees

Amalfi view from up high

View from a great height


Waiting for the bus

Lamp post

Ten minutes till the bus turned into another 10 minutes and yet another 10, because it was stuck somewhere in Sunday traffic on the winding road into Amalfi.  This looks like an intentional picture of people waiting for the said bus. But in reality, what I saw was the evening light filter into the street lamp and it contrasted sharply with the misty hillside. Hence, in fact, the people were merely useful props to make up the picture composition.

~ Spotted Cow

Glimpses of Amalfi

Birdseye view of Amalfi

I was on an Exodus walking holiday on the Amalfi Coast last week, and I’ve come back with hundreds of photos of towns perched on rocky outcrops. The weather was variable in the first half of the week, with intermittent phases of sun, cloud and rain, but it got better. And the views are glorious.

There was lots of up & down walking. Lots of steps. Lots. Especially on the first day walking down from Bomerano to Amalfi, when you’ll curse them all the way down. But get to the end and you can have your cocktail and flop on the beach.

~ Spotted Cow

Amalfi through the archway

Sunloungers on the beach

Weekly Photo Challenge: Admiration

Lookout point

I’ve just come back from a week-long walking holiday on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. The weather was variable, but the views were beautiful when they weren’t shrouded in mist (more about that another time). On the last full day, we walked the Path of The Gods, which runs along the cliff edge from Bomerano to Nocelle for about 8km. The views are jaw-dropping. As you can see from the picture, the lookout points are immensely popular photo stops. The admiration is shared by all … although admittedly, the dog seems somewhat unimpressed.

I’ll post more pictures in the coming weeks. The Post-Holiday Unpacking Fairy hasn’t turned up, and I have to deal with the small mountains of laundry on the floor.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Admiration

~ Spotted Cow