Thursday, September 15, 2016

1375 steps

Positano Italy is built on very steep terrain that sharply drops into the Mediterranean Sea.

the pictures below give you some idea. 


a wonderfully laid back relaxed community of about 4,000 year round residents.  as of the beginning of November the town pretty much shuts down for the winter and reopens in April. 

during the summer and the shoulder months of the year it is a playground for many as its allure seems to know no end.

however, the history of Positano is very much different than today's playground for the well to do and others who seek out a break from the day to day fast moving world that we live in. Positano has been through times when it was poor, and times when it was well off.
what does one do in Positano.  relax. 
there is no movie theater, no soccer field, no gyms to work out in, no golf courses, no pickleball courts, no performing arts theater, no concert hall. 

all there is to do is hang out.  take in the spectacular views of the Mediterranean  Amalfi  coastline.  spread out on the pebbly, non sandy beaches.  take an occasional dip in the refreshing blue waters of the Mediterranean.  eat.  eat and eat.  most of the restaurants and eateries have fantastic views.  and there is some shopping.  they are known for their clothing, especially linen clothing.  also ceramics and made to fit sandals are popular. 
there is only one street in town, and that is a very windy, circuitous, one way only, narrow route that has numerous switchbacks and hairpin turns.   it also serves as the path for many walkers.  yet, there are no sidewalks.  so the narrow road is shared by foot traffic and auto traffic.  

the biggest challenge in Positano is getting to and from where ever you are to where ever you want to go.  the only real option is to walk.  taking a car makes no sense.  not only is the one road crazy but there is no place to park.  some of the locals use vespa scooters. 
yet, even walking presents a challenge in Positano.  the topography is almost straight up and down.  the homes and hotels are built into the sides of the cliffs that drop into the sea. 

the answer is STAIRS.  yes, there are stairs everywhere.  stairs with steps.  with many steps. 
my guess is that the number of steps from the beach to the top of the town is over 3,000.  what I can tell you is the number of steps from the beach, which is the center part of the town, to where we are staying  is 1,375.   that is the equivalent of climbing at least 30 stories. 

what makes this number so sure in my mind is that any time that you want to do anything -- say, go to the beach, go shopping, eat a meal -- you must walk down or up to get there.  
these stairs are all made of stone.  they weave in between homes and structures.  they sometimes have hand rails, sometimes don't.

the stone steps are uneven.  some rise 6 inches, others rise 11 inches.  you have to pay attention to every step. .
to give you an idea of what this can mean in a day.  yesterday we kept track of the steps that we took. 

let me set the stage for you.  we did "nothing" yesterday.   all we did was go to the beach, eat some lunch, lay out on the beach, come back to our apartment, take a two hour walking tour, eat dinner and return to our apartment for sleep. 
and yet, we walked 15,679 steps!!  we climbed the equivalent of 46 stories or floors.  we walked (or more accurately, stepped) over 8 miles. 

and almost every step is either a step up or a step down.  hardly any are on flat surfaces.

believe me, our legs at the end of the day were very much aware of these statistics.  they were screaming at us. 

so, the irony is that to stay in Positano, this laid back relaxing community by the sea and to partake in the relaxed environment and ambiance, one has to step up or step down at least 1,375 steps every time one leaves or returns to the apartment.
I am very aware that there will be some of you reading this that will not be shedding tears for PJ, Tom and myself as we try to "negotiate" Positano.  

however, I wanted to make sure that you were aware that we are putting out at least a modicum of effort to be able to enjoy the Positano, Amalfi coast experience.

one thing is for sure.  we are getting our steps in every day.


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