Italian Adventure – Capri

An early morning start may not have been appreciated by a few, but everyone was assembled and ready to explore the island of Capri. I was particularly surprised to see Ereni was absolutely on the ball, she was bright and cheery even after the late night before.

We walked down a winding path to the private beach at the campsite.
It was incredibly tempting to just jump in the crystal clear water at the private (rocky) beach while we were waiting for the boat. Actually there were people that were swimming that were not part of the tour and, although a little jealous, I knew we had a different adventure to embark on.

Once the boat arrived we boarded and quickly found a seat on the boat. Perhaps some didn’t think through their choice because once we departed, the rough sea encouraged some that were sitting on the front of the boat to find shelter towards the back. Even then the rough ride of the boat was just too much for some people that struggled to keep breakfast down. Although the ride was a little rough, the clear blue sky made for a gorgeous view.

Ereni began her introduction to the Island of Capri over the microphone. We were welcomed by a bronze statue of a young boy with his waving arm out stretched. As Ereni talked about the island and the sights, the captain positioned the boat in a way that allowed everyone on the boat to see whatever it was that Ereni was describing. One thing that impressed me in particular was the the view of the cliffs, there was even what appeared to be a massive concave rock formation and someone decided it would be wise to build a house above it. If ever I was to become an evil genius or super villain, right here would be where I would have my lair. The view of the place was just stunning.

Our exploration of the island began at Marina Piccola. This beautiful tiny port with its little rock beach was just breathtaking. This was exactly what I think of when I think Holiday. Bright sunshine, crystal clear water, great company and endless opportunity to explore. The port is nestled below brilliant cliff faces and the tightest windy road I’ve ever seen. Even the buses that travel along this road are a third the size of a normal bus.

Three of us from the group began our exploration of Capri by climbing a steep set of stairs to the bus stop. While aboard the squishy bus, it became quickly apparent just how tight and windy this road really was. Two of these buses can pass side by side but there is merely centimetres between them when they do. Add to that the fact that the roads are often on the cliffs edge, you cant help but feel uneasy about being on this road. However it is the only route up the hill.

We got to the town of Capri which had a wonderful view of Marina Grande’ and strip of shops. I took this opportunity to go into the Ferrari store and buy a new pair of sunglasses. I thought that a small splurge was okay since I had been quite well behaved with my spending thus far. I would have to make sure that I don’t allow these to come to the same fate as the previous pair in Czeski Kromlov.

Once we had our fill of trinkets and the like we caught another bus further up the hill to Anacapri. Our sole aim here was to venture to the top of Mt. Solaro. To do that we had to catch a chair lift from Anacapri to the top for one of the most amazing views I had yet experienced. I could see all the way back to Sorrento. The brilliant blue of the water was incredible, with a clear view all the way to the horizon. At the foot of the cliff were masses of boats and all of this was just breathtaking. There is a bar at the top, but be prepared to pay top dollar for drinks. Just be sure to take a camera with you because this will be a view you will want to come back to.

We made our way down the chairlift, passing by other people in our group, all the while taking in the splendid view with our toes almost touching the treetops. The bus was somewhat cramped on the way up with standing room only so We figured we would go down in style… Open top taxi here we come. The only way I can describe this car is like an open top, stretched, Barina. The ride down was just as exciting (Or Harrowing depending on your perspective) as it was on the way up. The car squeezing its way down to Capri.

We decided to walk down to Marina Piccola along the Via Krupp which is an amazing pathway of switchbacks. After passing the shops and cafes and picking up some Gelato, we continued down the Via Krupp. The View here is incredible, the sun beaming across the water, boats vying for position on the clear blue water. You could see the shadows of the boats metres below the surface of the water. If you enjoy a good walk and you find yourself in Capri, I urge you to do this walk. Its not too long but probably better to go downhill from Capri to Marina Piccola.

So hot and hungry we arrive back at Marina Piccola, I went to a restaurant overlooking the beach, being close to both the meeting point and the beach it seemed like the perfect place to have lunch. I’d had more Italian panini, Pizza and pasta than I could bare and I was excited to see some sort of western cuisine on the menu. “Hot Dog and Fries” Win! Already salivating at the thought of soft bread and frankfurter and chips on the side, I ordered. What I got was far from the meal I was expecting. Italian sausage, sliced in half and put on yet another rock hard panini. What about the side of fries? Well they were on the roll as well. Major Disapointment! (sounds like a super villain right?) I ate what I could and had now learned something. When in Italy, Only order Italian food!

Once my food settled, I figured I would give in to the unwavering need to cool down in the crystal clear water. I dropped my bag with the others in the group I was traveling with and headed for the water. I have used the word beach several times now bit I have to clarify that this was no golden sandy beach. It was a rock beach, you can barely walk on a rock beach. Sure you don’t get sand in your gear but you have to do this balancing act as you make your way to the water. It was so hot and bright that I decided to leave my sunglasses on, they were tight to wear so I wasn’t too concerned that they may fall off. and I was just going for a bit of a swim.

The water was perfect, just cool enough to relax in. I had already forgotten about my panini-dog debacle and just enjoyed the atmosphere. I was in southern Italy under a perfect blue sky in crystal clear water surrounded by cliffs. I was distracted from moment of serenity by a big splash. A young boy had just jumped into the water from a nearby rock formation that stood about 8 feet out of the water. It’s at this point that through the mind of any guy still in contact with his youth that one thinks… Sweet, I can do that! I swam over to the rock and began to hoist myself out of the water. I successfully navigated the jagged surface to the top of the formation where I took up stance, and leaped from the rock. As I splashed into the water a sense of panic came over me as the glasses that I had only just purchased gently left my face. Luckily the clear water mad it easy to find them gently sinking toward the sea floor. I quickly grabbed them and realized that I could see quite a distance under water. Perhaps If I was to return I would don a pair of goggles and explore the depths. For now though. My swimming was done.

An espresso and sunshine were next on the to-do list before departing again on the boat we arrived on. We continued our tour on the boat of the rest of the island and unfortunately could not swim in the blue grotto due to the rough sea. I thoroughly enjoyed Capri, I would do it again in a heart beat. Perhaps without the “panini-dog”.

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