Sunday, 4 August 2013

To the island of Capri

After skyping our daughter, Jess, we left our hotel this morning, and headed to Sorrento's port.  We bought jet ferry tickets to the island of Capri, and sat down in a restaurant by the port for coffee.  

We like Sorrento.  For me, it's like Biarritz in France, high cliffs with terraces that overlook the beaches and summer holiday makers.  But it's bigger than Biarritz, and the sand on the beach here has a dark, muddy appearance, very possibly volcanic.  My Dad had told us we should take a bus trip down the Amalfi coast.  Very picturesque, he said.  Certainly, we've seen advertising for such trips.  But on this journey, we don't have time.

We queued for the jet ferry.  A lady had hats for sale, displayed on a table in the middle of the queue for the ferry.  One small pile of hats extended slightly off the edge of the table.  The lady yelled at me because my butt was touching the pile of hats.  I yelled back, and told her she should just move the table.

The boat trip out to the island of Capri took about 20 minutes.  Jean and I stood by the starboard side, letting the refreshing, cool sea winds batter our boiling bodies.  Across the Gulf of Naples, to our right, Mt Vesuvius stood in all its infamy.  The bright, blue waters of the Mediterranean surrounded us, while up ahead, the island of Capri, with its tall peaks, split-level town, and small but colourful marina, came ever closer.

We disembarked at Capri, specifically Marina Grande. It was 36 degrees.  We stood in the shade near a door to a building to get our bearings.  An old man yelled at us.  Something about we shouldn't stand in the doorway, or we were blocking the visibility of a sign.  My instinct was to be as non-compliant as possible, and to yell back, but Jean said 'let's move on'.

We found a cool cafe, Jean had a Granita, while I had a chocolate milkshake.  There are really cool vehicles here.  Some taxis are convertibles with a shade sail on top.  And another vehicle is half smart car, half ute.

After the drinks, we caught the funicular half way up the mountain to the actual town of Capri.  We spotted our hotel on Via Roma, then looked for lunch.  A couple of panini later, we strolled to our hotel and checked in.  A family-run hotel, the father was yelling at the mother, while another woman was conversing passionately with someone else, and they all seemed to be in a flap.  They weren't arguing; they were just being Italian.  From our window, we can see the dramatic rocky cliff face to the left.  It extends skyward by hundreds of metres; the top half is rock, the bottom half woodland, with the base touching the sea.  Just above the woodland, on the rocky cliff wall, we see what is possibly the highest road on the island, with tiny distant cars travelling upon it.  In front of us, we see another island on the horizon and a few sail boats in the foreground.

A little after settling in, we went down in the funicular again to the beach.  We had a great time living the life of European holiday makers, splashing and floating around in the sea.  This is another beach with pebbles, so your feet hurt a bit as you reach the water.  For a few moments, we sat in the water where the waves rush up the edge of the beach.  As the waves crashed against us, they dragged us over the large pebbles, and pulled us back over the pebbles several times, causing minor grazing injuries.  But it was the best fun.

On our way to Capri
Mt Vesuvius in the background
Marina Grande
A shot of the island
A tiled map of Capri:  we're on the northeast side.

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