Funnily enough I had my worst night’s sleep in ages last night, leaving me a bit bleary-eyed and lethargic this morning. But, mainly thanks to Mary, we got up, had breakfast and checked out by 09.30. A ten minute walk down to the harbour took nineteen in fact, meaning we made the hydrofoil to the island of Capri by running the last 50 metres along the dockside. What fun! This fast ferry took us across the Med to our most exotic of destinations so far in about twenty minutes, during which time we snapped away at the Amalfi coastline and then the first sight of the island itself.

Naples from the ferry

Sorrento with our hotel and balcony, white, left of centre

We disembarked and immediately tried to suss what everybody else was doing, on the basic assumption that they would have planned the trip where we hadn’t. That didn’t work very well so Mary took the initiative and launched into Italian with someone at the ticket office. She returned clutching two tickets for the funicular railway which, she said, would take us up the cliff face to the town of Capri perched on high.

On the funicular railway.

Once up there we did our usual snooping around and getting away from all the other tourists, ending up inevitably a bit off the beaten track on the south side of the town. The one road became a lane and then nothing more than a narrow path which wound its way between villas and homes of increasing opulence as it stretched out ever further on the spine of the rock. Then suddenly the path opened out onto a large observation area affording us and one or two locals the most beautiful panoramic view down to the water and over to the seemingly famous rock with the hole in it. No superlatives remember, so I’ll just say it was nice!

Nice view, eh?

The Arch Rock

Mary then set off on an explore down the cliff path, eventually reaching the beach at the bottom from where she called me on my mobile to invite me down. As I was still weary from my sleepless night, I declined and invited her back up! She reluctantly agreed and climbed the steep path to meet me at the top. Sadly our time was nearly up so we had to return to the funicular railway to go back down to the harbour. At the last minute we decided to walk down following signs “al porto” and we still managed to make the one o’clock catamaran back to Sorrento.

The port of Capri

After lunch we hit the shops for an hour or so then went for the crazy train to take us back to Pompeii. The train pulled in shortly after we arrived at the station, we got on (in the company of a couple of Scousers) and then it sat there for half an hour before moving off. Fortunately the lady of the two Liverpudlians could talk for England and we got her life story and more all the way to Pompeii. I swear she never took a breath and even I couldn’t get a word in! Now that doesn’t happen often, does it?

Being more sentimental than we are perhaps willing to admit, we were delighted to get back to the Magic Caravan and find it safe and well. We had a quick tea then a really quiet evening doing our own things. Mary had a long shower and a general preen while I watched Man City v Real Madrid on a live stream. Early to bed means hopefully a good night’s sleep, allowing me to manage the drive up the road to Rome, about two and a half hours away.

Coming to Pompeii has allowed us a fabulous series of visits to the ruins themselves, the smaller ones in Herculaneum, the volcano Vesuvius, Sorrento, the Amalfi coast and of course today, the island of Capri. The weather has been mixed although mainly sunny and certainly never cold. I even got a wee bit sunburnt today while Mary was exploring the cliff. It’s been quite a fortnight!

Sorry Naples, you are simply not welcoming enough to tempt us to visit your city. You desperately need to clean up your act or you’ll end up drowning in your own garbage. Thanks, among others, to my brother Joe for warning us well in advance to stay away. You were right. The place is a damned mess and the people all look like they want to take advantage of you. It’s only an impression but be assured such impressions count for an awful lot.

We came, we saw, we left!

P.S. Happy birthday to our eldest son, George, who is 33 today. He’ll be getting his first ever card from his own son, Ben, which will be rather special. Someone buy him a pint! (George, not Ben).

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