From our apartment overlooking the sea, David and I walk half a block to the steps leading down to another street of shops and alleyways in this cliff side town. Just down this street is a cleft in the earth where what appears to be a castle covered with vines sits, home only to the birds that soar through the canyon. A little waterfall plays over a bank and the stream winds through this Eden of ferns and trees. There are no paths leading to the cleft. No one goes there. It can only be seen from above, tantalizing everyone who passes with the promise of a Shangri-La* that can only be seen, never experienced.
This is a place of cliffs that march to the sea, of narrow winding streets, and a sea that beckons. We have listened to its Siren Song and been willing captives.
We will be sad to leave this enchanting place tomorrow.
*The cleft in the earth, with its own ecosystem, was caused, so the experts tell me, by the Phlegrean Fields earthquake in the 1800s. They say the ruins are a former paper mill and that more accessible parts of the cleft, closer to the marina, allow a road to double back on itself between the cliffs. Note the three vehicles in the photo.
The experts can believe what they like. I know what David and I saw every day when we walked to town--a castle in a private Garden of Eden.