Saturday, April 12, 2008

Day 2--Capri (morning)

Fresh off a good nights sleep with some steady rain on the window, I was up and out on my second day. Like most Italian towns, they dont come alive until around 10am. I intended to take a boat trip around the island and stop at the blue grotto. Now, the guidebooks tell you its best to do this in the afternoon, but both boat companies told me the waters were too choppy in the afternoon and they dont run then. Thus, I took the 1030am boat tour!

Our boat had seating for at least 100 but there was only about 25--again an indication that I was there in low season and had planned that right! Our driver was Franco--born and raised in Capri. We stopped at the white grotto (white cave) and green grotto (beautiful green water) and then through the Faraglioni rocks. The one in the middle has an arch built through it from the water erosion. And again, the Italians are not short on reasons to love--they have a tradition that when you pass through the arch in the boat you are to kiss your lover or friend or whatever! They do call Capri the Isle of Love!

Through the arch we went and around the island to small harbour on the other side and then to the blue grotto. This was something that I didnt quite understand from reading the guidebooks. You have to get off your big boat into a very small row boat that seats one comfortably (although they put at least 4 of you in it) and then row over to another boat to pay to get in the cave and then wait your turn. We were 'lucky' enough to arrive just after a very large number of Japanese day trippers came, so our wait was like 30 minutes. After paying, you are rowed up to the cave entrance (about 3 feet around) and told to lie down in the boat! The driver grabs a chain, waits for the waves to be at their lowest point and pulls the boat into the cave where you can sit up again. Timing is everything obviously!

But all that (including getting green around the gills again from rocking in the small boat for 30 minutes) is well worth it once inside. That kind of color cant be recreated nor can my camera give justice to it. Its the same water as everywhere else, but the refraction of light from that tiny entrance paints a brilliant blue hue inside the cave water. Stunning.

Waiting our turn again to get out in the same fashion and then back to the big boat, we arrive all a bit wet and cramped but happy. The boat tour continues on and before we know it, we are back to the main harbour just in time for lunch. I ordered a Caprese pizza which came to me with the bread being warm and cooked and the toppings cold. But those small tomatoes on the inside of the pizza were to die for--the flavor was incredible.

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