Isle of Capri
Trip Start Mar 29, 2006
232Trip End Feb 28, 2007
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
I was very careful with what I ate at breakfast.
We piled on to the bus for the short trip into town to view the showrooms of an inlaid wood factory. A display of highly polished timber masterpieces. No factory as such. All probably made elsewhere. All far too expensive for our tastes. We had some time to ourselves so walked down towards the town into the narrow streets and discovered a large range of cameo jewellery and a liquor store selling whiskey at less than duty free. But, I asked myself, what was in the bottle. [The genuine article I am pleased to report].
Back to the wood place by 11.30 whereupon we hopped on to smaller buses which took us down to the harbour where we were to catch a ferry to the Isle of Capri
The ferry was a 'jet cat' and it took about 20 minutes to get to the Isle.
Anne went on the optional boat trip around the island to look at caves, rocky islands and the coastline in general. I was given my funicular tickets and after browsing the harbour shops and buying a map I boarded that mountain railway which chugged up the side of the hill to the town on top of the pass high above the sea.
I turned out of the main square into a maze of narrow streets lined with 'frock shops' et al. Every design house seemed to be represented here including the jewellery, horologer, perfumeries and foot ware for the elite. No doubt once upon a time it would have been milliners row. Shame that hats are out of fashion. It just had to be the most expensive shopping arcade I have ever set foot upon.
I was hungry but the last thing available in this street was food...at my prices anyway...so I turned off that particular street and set forth towards what I thought might be more interesting territory towards the southern coast
I returned the way I had come passing an open window where students were being given a lesson in who knows what. I followed a sign to the museum and stumbled into the knave of a church. It was bare except for an altar and there were workmen inside. The walls and ceiling were covered in half restored frescos. Many of the images had been lost completely and no doubt the administrators must be struggling with the choice of leaving it as is or completing restoring, ie. repainting the walls and ceilings which would then become a tourist haven comparable to the Sistine...maybe not. But I was very impressed at this out of the way piece of heaven. Only two other couples passed by and I graciously pointed them in the direction of the lookouts. On the way out I was asked a couple of times if there was anything of worth down that track to which I responded with a wave in the direction and a rolling of the eyes. Except for one larger group of noisy Americans whom I directed in the opposite direction much to my glee.
I walked back through those narrow passageways to the main square. I bought myself a ham and cheese toasted panini and sat on some steps, ate and watched the world go by. My bowels were holding out quite well which was just as well. Although I had pinpointed the toilets I did not relish using them after ten thousand others that day. I had a lot of time to waste now so I bought myself an ice cream and sat down at every opportunity. I took some lanes that led east until I found a hotel seat on which to snooze. Some of our group made an appearance along the street so I knew Anne was back somewhere.
According to Anne her excursion started off on a boat with hard wooden seats into which about 30 of the group jumped in and sat like sardines for the duration of their tour around the island. It was quite choppy but the powerful boat made good headway but at the risk of everyone getting a soaking from time to time. They floated in and out and around the various grottoes or caves on the southern side of Capri. Nothing spectacular, reported Anne, as they were steered between the rocky islands and their cavernous arches and viewed the headlands where the Emperor Tiberious is said to have thrown off his slaves and his women to their death when he had finished with them.
The modern day princes and consorts were seen frolicking off the Marina Piccola where the seriously rich live away from the crowds at Marina Grande where the tourists came in.
Upon their return they boarded mini buses for a hair raising ride up the edge of the escarpment to Anacapri. Anne and P sat together on the off side of the bus so that they did not have to look down over the side of the mountain. According to Anne it was not just scary it was bloody scary.
At the top they were introduced to a local guide who proceeded to explain some of the history of the place and accompany them to lunch. It was a prearranged lunch but Anne, P & B decided otherwise and settled for a street café in which P had a salad, B had a hamburger and Anne had a panini. The food however took ages to arrive at their table.
The girls did some window shopping while B went off photographing and to buy some stamps. Back down on the Capri level B realised that he did not have his camera on him. The girls persuaded him to take a taxi back to where he had last been at the tabac in Anacapri and fortunately it was still there exactly where he had put it.
This is where I re-entered the story because I met these two distressed girls in the main square as they were awaiting B's return. We were all dreading that he would come back empty-handed but he did not and there were smiles all round.
On our return to the Marina, via the funicular, we had a 30 minute wait for the last ferry which annoyingly was half full of loud mouthed, card playing workmen sprawled everywhere. We were lucky to get a seat. In Sorrento we boarded the mini buses again which took us back to the main square where we rejoined Marco who led us through some narrow streets to an open air restaurant which backed on to a walled garden of cypress trees and cages full of animals...birds and rabbits mainly...of which the restaurateur was very proud. The conditions however were disgusting and I recommended that no-one bother to go look. We were served the usual four courses which I foolishly ate feeling that since I had survived my day out in Capri I was immune to any more oily dishes but I was wrong. I had a most uncomfortable night.
Anne and I raced off without taking coffee to buy a cameo ring we had seen earlier and a bottle of Laphroiag. Back to the same hotel where we managed to get on the internet to read our mail and we paid Marco for all our optional tours we had had or were about to.