Atrani perches on a viaduct, wide enough to be a small park. From the balustrade at the back of it you can see straight down to the town’s piazza. Around the piazza the houses cram, piled on each other, a dense mass threaded by passages and arches and many flights of steps — but no streets, except one. Walk through the nearby tunnel and you’ll emerge in another town, the larger and more famous, Amalfi!
Google map: bit.ly/Ik7oik
One of the most unforgettable scenes in film history is the opening of The French Lieutenant’s Woman where Charles Smithson first glimpses a mysterious cloaked woman. It’s 1867 and Sarah Woodruff is looking out to sea from the 13th century serpentine seawall known as the Cobb in Lyme Regis. Merryl Streep plays Sarah although a body double - a bearded man - was used in part of this scene.
The Cobb also figures in the BBC TV-film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Here the spirited Louisa Musgrove falls hard onto the cobblestones and is rendered unconscious.
Lyme Regis, www.lymeregis.org
Nearest station - Axminster, Devon
At the lodge at the Centro Ecologico Sian Ka'an we slept in a bed inside a tent set inside a thatch-roofed hut. Outside our cabin was a private patio and on our stoop was a hammock. The beach, with a few thatch umbrellas, is only twelve feet or so below, but to protect the vegetation on the dune you had to find the way to a wooden ladder. The lodge has no electricity except in the restaurant/reception area, though you can borrow a lamp after dark. There’s salt water in the taps and showers (but in Mexico you have to use bottled water anyway). Meals are on the roofdecks and from here we watched a vast sunset over the lagoon, followed by Venus and then the undimmed stars.
Centro Ecologico Sian Ka'an (CESiaK) Federal Road (307) Cancun-Tulum, #68 Tulum, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Tel: (52) 984-871-2499 info@CESiaK.org
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