Saturday, 30 December 2017

A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO

On our last day in Sorrento we took a public ferry to visit the beautiful island of Capri.  Again, there were many private options on offer and one needs to spend some time to comb through all of them and select the most suitable.  It is far more expensive, of course than using public transport but each has its own benefits.
 A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO
"FIRST THING WE WANTED TO DO IN CAPRI 
IS TO  SEE THE BLUE GROTTO"
 A VIEW OVER AN ISLAND OF CAPRI FROM AFAR

Capri's little harbour
Anyway, the ferry was big and was able to collect everyone from the pier and quite comfortable.  We got a window seat and were able to enjoy the view all the way to Capri, the trip lasted around forty 
minutes.
 A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO
Our highest priority was to see the Blue Grotto so once we had disembarked from the ferry, we went straight to another pier where got on a board a privately operated boat which along with many others was ferrying people to and from the Grotto itself.
 A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO

 A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO
If you never heard or seen the Blue Grotto (Grotto Azzurro in Italian) it is a sea cave on the island of Capri and is famous for the unique blue colour of the water which owes its colour to the rays of sun passing through an underwater cavity and in turn, shines through the sea water.  If the sea is rough and the winds are strong, it is impossible to get past the low entrance into the cave.
 A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO
Even on a calm day it is open only for a few hours hence there is always a small flotilla of boats bobbing around the entrance waiting for their turn to send their passengers into the Grotto.
 A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO
Unfortunately, nobody explained to me before hand that in order to get into the cave, you have to step over the side of the boat that you are on into a tiny dinghy that can hold no more then four people at a time and we all had to sit on the floor of the dinghy or our heads would be smashed by the rock hanging over the mouth of the cave.
 A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO
While we were patiently waiting for our turn, I was watching how people from other boats were getting into the dinghies and to my total horror I realised that while every woman was wearing some sort of pants, I was dressed in a short white skirt which was obviously the wrong choice under the circumstances.  Luckily for me, our captain was a true gentleman and helped to get down into the dingy without me losing my dignity.  To get down on the bottom of the dingy was another challenge but I had no choice so I just did what the boat man told me to do.  I must say it was quite fun too.  
INSIDE THE BLUE GROTTO
After a few strokes of the oars, we neared the mouth of the cave and he shouted to us to tuck our heads low until his next order.  When it was safe to look up, we and few other dinghies were inside the Grotto and the water around us was so blue that I suspected that there some trick behind it.
INSIDE THE BLUE GROTTO

INSIDE THE BLUE GROTTO
A couple of people slipped over board for a quick swim while the rowers started singing O Sole Mio on the top of their voices.  After a short ride around the grotto, we left the cave in the same manner and returned to our boat.
INSIDE THE BLUE GROTTO
As our boat was the last to see the Grotto that day, so we towed a dingy that had taken us inside the Grotto, all the way back to the marina.
 A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO
We didn't have much time left to wander around the island knowing that the last ferry was leaving Capri quite soon and we wanted to get to the top of the island to Anacapri, the highest elevation of the island which provides a sweeping view over the island and the Bay of Naples with  Mount Vesuvius beckoning in the distance.
A VIEW OVER CAPRI FROM ANACAPRI

ON ANACAPRI
We hurried to the nearest bus stop where we saw a long queue of people who obviously wanted to do the same thing.  We had no choice but to join them and wait patiently for the bus to arrive when, out of the blue, a couple approached us and suggested that we share the cost of a cab that was parked nearby.  We agreed without hesitation and jumped in.
 A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO
The cab was  a Fiat convertible that gave us a great option to have 360 degree view of the area as the car sped up the mountain.  As with the our previous driver who took us along the Amalfi Coast, this one was highly skillful taking the hairpin bends without slowing down much to both our horror and delight. 
 A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO
The view from Anacapri was absolutely breathtaking, we felt we were on top of the world.  On the way back the queue to get on a bus that would take us down to the port was so long that in order not to miss the boat, pun not intended, we approached some random people sitting in an another convertible cab and asked them whether they wouldn't mind if we jumped in and shared the ride.  They happily agreed and so we did.  After another crazy ride, we found ourselves on the pier just in time to board the ferry to return to Sorrento.
 A TRIP TO ISLAND OF CAPRI AND THE BLUE GROTTO
It is become customary of me to share with you a recipe from MY COSMOPOLITAN KITCHEN cook book and on today's menu is fresh, crisp and super healthy Salad of Oranges, Fennel and Rocket Leaves that is served all over the Med.  My vegan daughter swears by it.

Enjoy!!!

Until then