Up and at ’em today, with a full days boat trip along the Amalfi coast to Capri. No time for coffee, as we rush around trying to find an ATM that both worked, and didn’t take 5 minutes to process. Success, and off on our 36 foot cruiser with 8 others to see the coast from the sea aspect.
We headed back towards Minori, where we walked to from Ravello yesterday, then on to the largest town on the coast, Maiori. Back whence we came past Amalfi, and on to the Emerald grotto for our first taste of the Italian sport of hitting up the dumb tourist for a tip! After paying €7 to go into the grotto and be paddled around the cave by our friendly pilot, who spent half his spiel telling us to remember how good he was, we finished our 10 minutes to be reminded, again, how terrific he had been, and “don’t forget to tip”. Here’s a tip, my fine young friend….’be good to your Nonna!’ The Emerald Grotto was actually pretty good!
Onwards we travelled, past old battlements, and castles renovated as high end hotels, the townships of Praiano and Positano amongst others, and the Li Galli, a tiny archipelago made up of 3 islets, with the largest housing some impressive castles owned by a local businessman. A very successful businessman, I suggest!
Past a lovely villa perched on the cliff which is the residence of Sophia Loren. No sightings……so off again.
The Isle of Capri approached in the distance, an immense cliff that rises from the sea. We pass thru ‘the Faraglioni of Capri, two rock formations, one with a tunnel through it, that are the symbol of the Isle. Past the township of Capri and on to the most famous attraction, the Grotto Azzurra, the Blue Grotto.
It was like Bourke Street in peak hour, boats everywhere, bobbing up and down waiting for the little timber fishing boats to take you inside the cave, 50 minutes later our time had arrived and for the modest fee of €12.50 we settled in for our 4 minutes of excitement. The entrance to the cave is almost below sea level so you need to wait for the right moment to be pushed inside by the current, ducking down as you enter. Me, I didn’t duck enough and donated my sunnies to the deep blue grotto! Guess what I’m buying when we get back to Amalfi? Anyway it was truly spectacular, the bluest of blues, and luckily we got inside when there were only about four other boats, so we almost had it to ourselves.
Our trusty pilot sang for us as we drifted around, then modestly suggested a little tip as way of appreciation. He didn’t seem to appreciate the €2 we gave him, the look of disdain when he saw it was priceless. Apart from the long wait, and the ridiculous cost, it was worth seeing and worth all the hyperbole surrounding it.
Then on to the main town of Anacapri, and the funiculaire to the main centre. The funiculaire most of the USA was also trying to catch! We finally got to the top, starving as it was now almost 3pm, and headed to lunch.
After lunch we walked around looking at all the top end fashion houses masquerading as retailers, and trying to figure out how they manage to add an extra ‘0’ to every price ticket. Expensive!!! As you may have gathered, no sunglasses purchased here. Back on the funiculaire down to the harbour and back on the boat. Not sure what to make of Capri as we only spent 3 hours there and the crowds were mad, so didn’t do it justice at all, but it is very expensive and exclusive, and we didn’t get to see ‘via boffe’.
The boat itself was great, a beautiful cruiser, and well worth the €99 each spent. We got back to Amalfi at about 7pm and headed out to dinner in the little square near our place, then gelato and bed. A big day all round.