We took a sightseeing bus up the coast to Amalfi and then another one up perilous winding roads to Ravello. Both towns are very pretty and more historic that Maiori. We looked round the Villa Rufolo in Ravello, which had incredible views of the coast (we could see our hotel) and a stage set up, hanging above the cliffs for concerts. The plastic seating cooked gently in the sunlight. The Villa dates back to the 13th Century though there have been many additions and subtractions since then. I enjoyed the art works dotted around the buildings and grounds with most of the statues involving disembodied heads resting on spikes or in bowls. We had lunch in a cafe on the square before quickly looking round the back streets where we chanced upon a shop promising "Wine and Drugs" which seemed a winning combo. We only briefly looked into the small store which seemed to have lots of wine, but be a bit short on drugs. though maybe those are hidden under the counter to stop them proprieters being arrested. I'd suggest that the big sign outside saying "Wine and Drugs" with an arrow pointing in the direction of the show, which might be a giveaway. I really hope they have done it just to lure in tourists and make them take photos of the humorous sign. It worked for us.
Back in Amalfi we visited the Cathedral, where satisfyingly as we walked in to buy a ticket the man in front of me turned round and said, "Richard Herring!" He didn't invite me on a boat ride though. It turns out I am much more famous on the Amalfi Coast than in London. I was able to turn to my wife and protest again about how my life is just not my own any more. My wife was highly amused by a man posing for a photo with a statue of Mary and the Christ child, comparing it to the kind of behaviour you'd expect at Madame Tussauds. He was smiling as if he was trying to trick people into thinking he was there with them in 0BC. You can read her funny blog about that if you like. I think she's a bit pathetic for blogging on holiday though.
We also saw the supposed tomb of St Andrew, one of the main ones from off of the disciples, which is pretty impressive. According to the commentary on the tour bus there is also a miraculous annual occurrence at the Cathedral when a solidified vial of the blood of (I think) St Pantaleone liquifies on a certain day and stays like that for a few weeks. The recorded voice on the bus said that science was unable to explain how this happened. I suspect that's because the Cathedral don't really allow any scientists in to examine the vial or the conditions which the miracle occurs in. But if they do and if the scientists still can't work out why this is happening on the same day every year then I will convert to Christianity right now, because that would be proof that it was genuinely magic. But if it turns out that there's a hidden priest with a bunsen burner under the table then I will be most upset. Imagine being the person responsible for perpetrating a fraud like that on a gullible people. It would be hard to claim you were an honourable or moral person.
And if it is genuine then they are preventing my soul being saved by not allowing the scientists in.
I also enjoyed a statue of an angel pointing at a horrific looking fish on the ground as someone kneels before the fish and the angel and a dog sniffs the fish. I don't know which Biblical story this refers to and you know what, I don't want to know. The image that has been concoted is so strange and surreal that I prefer to be left in the dark. The angel looks like its pointing at the fish and is a bit embarrassed. What can have been taking place?
All great fun so far on the Amalfi Coast, though powerfully tired!