Amalfi Adventures: Underwater ruins, sulfur mines, thermal baths, and too much Limoncello

It’s wonderful that classes are typically Monday-Thursday so that we have a long weekend to travel. My weekend began with a study-based day trip to Baia on the Amalfi Coast. After a long morning drive, we loaded a boat for a tour of the underwater city ruins. Little did we know we would experience a hurricane while on board. That might be dramatic, but it was miserable. When it was our turn to view the ruins from the underwater windows, the weather prevented proper visibility. I was able to see one statue and a few roads. The city of Baia sunk over a period of 15 years, so the luxurious city was preserved without any bodies (that we know of).


     Afterwards, we headed to a castle also in Pozzuoli near Naples. I couldn’t understand much of the tour through my headphones unfortunately, but it wasn’t raining! We also got to see this beautiful sight.


      

We had lunch at a restaurant near the water. Europeans seriously need to work on their hydration skills as well as eating more protein.

Our afternoon was spent at the sulfur mines of Pozzuoli. Most people couldn’t handle the smell of the sulfur, but lucky me can’t smell anything with my sinuses, and the steam was actually very refreshing to open my sinuses! The perks are few and far between. I was also yelled at for climbing on the rocks by one of our chaperones. I had to do it for the (CHAARG) instagram!


      

We then took a ferry to Ischia. Thus began our unchaperoned weekend adventure.

After miraculously finding our way to Ring Hostel, we settled into this view.

The owner of the hostel, Lorenzo, was more than accommodating. He drove us to his family’s restaurant. His driving was something else. He fit 30 of us into his small van in 2 trips. We were stacked on top of each other as he drove maniacally through the small alleys of Ischia. It was absolutely terrifying yet hilarious at the same time.

On the way home, he hit a car. He was not phased.

I also dressed up for once.


  
We enjoyed yet another 4-hour meal as we entertained Lorenzo’s family. I tried a Bellini, a peach cocktail. They were right when they said Italian drinks are much stronger than in America! For dessert, the restaurant owner provided us all with free (double) limoncello shots on the house. Not everyone drank theirs because they were so strong, so guess who generously drink everyone else’s? The one who didn’t drink any wine (that’s me). It was a fabulous dinner, then we decided to stop by the clubs. One club was dead, and the other club was seriously hosting a baby shower. At midnight. There was blue cake and everything. Italians are something else.

Our antics continued at the hostel and the limoncello shots hit me very hard. Thankfully, I did not join a supposed rooftop party and went (almost) straight to bed.

My nickname at the hostel was Shaq because I was tall, or because I was taller than all of the boys.

After a surprisingly glorious sleep in surprisingly comfortable hostel bed, we enjoyed the best hostel breakfast ever. Since it seemed like a chilly day, we decided not to cliff dive or kayak and head to the hot springs. We enjoyed a beautiful day at Poseidon Gardens, a luxurious resort of thermal baths with an incredibly cheap entrance fee. There was 10 different pools of different temperatures. There was a process to bathing, but I treated it like a hot tub. We also had to wear really cool bathing caps. Sorry I never saved a picture..

After about 30 minutes in the pools and much exploring, I laid out the rest of the afternoon. I was too relaxed to care about sunscreen and consequently received a horrible sunburn. I kept laying and listening to the peaceful sounds of the outdoors, and every once in awhile I would open my eyes to remind myself I was currently basking in the sun on the third most beautiful island of the world. Surreal.


            

No pictures can capture the splendor of this place. Hands down the most wonderful place I’ve ever been.

I enjoyed a fresh seafood lunch, still salty from the sea. Also, raw seafood hurts your stomach. Lesson learned.



It was really interesting to see more German signs here than Italian. Whenever I try to answer in very limited Italian, I always begin to speak in German. Instead of si I’m always saying ja ja ja.
After, I enjoyed some fruit from the fresh stand. I asked for a banana, and the delightful old man proceeded to fill a bag of fruit for me.

After yet another weird bus ride back (Italians are so weird about buses), we made it back to the hostel to shower and freshen up.

We walked around the shops. I bought an adorable sunhat finally. I fell in love with a pair of earrings, but that is just another reason why I must return to Ischia one day. We ate dinner where I had potato gnocchi with fresh shrimp and artichoke.


For dessert we got gelato. I had Kinder (OMG) and some kind of brownie flavor.

Every place we’ve gone to in Ischia has taken pictures of us. If you look at Ischia on trip advisor, it will be the same group of girls in every picture.

Sunburnt and exhausted, we all went to bed early.

Leaving at 6:30am the next morning, we began a long journey back home. I also have pink eye in the other eye. After a bus to the port, ferry to Naples, walk through SKETCHY TRASHY Naples, train to Rome, Metro and bus to Balduina, and a walk back to JFRC, we made it back by 2:30pm. We had never been more excited to make it back to home sweet Roma.

I ate this whole bag of cookies during the train. No regrets.

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