Monday, 22 July 2013

The Perfect Road Trip!

"Sometimes it's the journey, sometimes it's the destination—and sometimes, it's both."

A Car. Four friends. Amalfi Coast. An Adventure.

When post-semester college vacations began, we knew what made it to the number one spot our to-do-list : Jump into Naina's swank BMW 3 series convertible and head out for a long drive that'd remain printed on our hearts for eons to come. And thus popped up the idea of zooming on the roads of Italy's famous Amalfi Coast. Naina, Vishal, Rahul & I stuffed our backpacks in a jiffy and hopped into the luxurious car. 
As many of you, who happen to have missed out on the globetrotter gene, might not know, The Amalfi Coast lies along the southern flanks of the Sorrento Peninsula, a cliff-edged promontory that wanders out from the mainland at the southern end of the Bay of Naples. The Costiera Amalfitana, or Amalfi Coast, is widely considered Italy's most scenic stretch of coastline, a landscape of towering bluffs, pastel-hued villages terraced into hillsides, precipitous cor-niche roads, luxuriant gardens, and expansive vistas over turquoise waters and green-swathed mountains. The roads along the Amalfi Coast are famously winding, narrow, and challenging to drive. Add in drop-dead views and daring Italian drivers, known for their behind-the-wheel bravado, and we knew for sure that this road trip would offer us one of the most exciting driving experiences of our lifetime. 

The core ingredients of a viaggio perfetto su strada ( "Perfect road trip" in Italian), I believe, are:
>Lots of food: Be it thrill, excitement, fear-Its only food that can conquer all. One doesn't keep track of the calorie intake when you're high on the fun quotient.

>Incessant Chitter-chatter: What fun if four people in a car sit grave like puppets. Constant blabbering mouths are what keeps the air alive and the driver awake.
>High Adventure Quotient: No matter what the consequences are, as long as your heart gives an assertion, take risks all the way. That is what adds the thrill and impulse to an otherwise planned and organised trip.

Our trip had it all. 
Food, which none of us missed out stuffing even though we might have missed out on a few of our regulars, plus Italy's irresistible pizza and pasta Italiano can have you licking your fingers all day; Top it with our stupid and pointless arguments that wouldn't allow a second of silence, except to breathe or when the landscape compelled us to gasp in awe, forget regular lingua franca, our craziness reached its peak when we conversed in parsel tongue even (call it the Harry Potter effect); Talking of adventure, we missed out on an essential-a map, which perfectly suggests the number of wrong turns we took here and there before we reached our destination, the locals nearly got familiar with our faces after we made infinite rounds around the same place asking for help with our route. 

We started off with Ravello, one of the most romantic and beautiful small towns in southern Italy. Perched on steep, terraced slopes—closer to the sky than the sea, it is a place blessed with lush gardens, quiet lanes, sleepy, sun-drenched corners, and a lofty setting. Naina and I, the girl duo posed for a couple of snapshots (you see, us girls can't resist being clicked) while the guys couldn't stop marveling at nature's beauty. Continuing westwards, the increasingly spectacular cor-niche road passes a marine cave of luminous emerald waters. We drove past it and towards our beginning point as we passed through the main city. The buzz of the city had psychedelic lighting, lasers cutting through the haze, fog generating a haze, the January chill making us shiver as we shook our heads in perfect synchronization to the music riding high on bass in the car, treble and thumping heartbeats. Us, our four frames barely visible in the dark, as the car finally came to a halt. We didn't wish to step off the car, the pleasant fragrance of the Ambi Pur compelling us to stay, we wanted the drive to last, for an eternity for it was what my dictionary defines as a perfect road trip.

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