Day 3 started much like Day 2, only earlier. We caught the 8am ferry to Capri, which was fortunately only a 20 min trip. Upon arrival at Capri, we immediately shelled out some serious Euros for the opportunity to ride to, and in, the Grotto Azzurra (Blue Grotto). The Grotto is a cave in the side of the rock wall, with a very small opening. Through the opening the light enters, and illuminates the water/limestone base resulting a beautiful blue color. It really was a cool experience to get to see it – you have to ride in on a row boat, lying down pretty much flat in the boat to clear your head. While inside the boatmen sing Italian Opera – sounds really corny, but was an awesome experience and totally worth the amount of Euros which I will not reveal in this post.
After the Grotto we rode the funicular (think train car that goes up a really steep hill) up to the main town of Capri. The actual town was a little high end for us. It was basically Beverly Hills as far as shops go (Gucci, D+G, Valentino, etc.). Instead of blowing our life savings on a stupid Italian handbag, we decided to do a little site seeing.
We stumbled upon the path to the Arco Naturale, a natural rock formation in the shape of a giant arch. It was pure luck/bad maps that got us to the Arco, but it was very cool to see. Unfortunately we ended up so close to it, that pictures don’t really do it justice. After the Arco, we traversed across the island in a very roundabout way, to take a look at the Faraglioni (giant rock outcropping in the water).
Just for the record, Italian maps are worthless. We bought a map at the Capri tourist information booth for a Euro, which I should have just thrown into the Mediterranean. It did not include most of the streets, so we just kind of wandered. Fortunately Capri is only like 2miles/4miles – we saw most of it. Eventually we did end up on Via Krupp. Via Krupp is a really cool pedestrian road which was originally built around 1902. It snakes back and forth down the cliffs on the south side of the island, and gives a great view of the Faraglioni. It was awesome, but I was sweating like a beast by the time we made it back up (Melissa said that I should clarify that this is posted by Jason). After we made it back up Via Krupp, we rested for a bit in the shade of the Giardini di Augusto – a botanical garden at the top of the pedestrian road.
Back to the town for a quick bite, a funicular ride back down to the Marina, and a return ferry to Sorrento. We then finished the day off with a dinner of Antipasti, another round of Gelato from Bar Tavernusa, and a sampling of Limoncello from this local shop that was ridiculous. Tomorrow we have to be up early to catch the Circumvesuviana (local southern Italy train line) to Pompeii – tour Pompeii, then to Naples, then to Rome.
So, Sunday was a day of mixed emotions. We decided to take a ferry down the coast to the town of Amalfi. We got up early, grabbed some breakfast and walked through Piazza Tasso (the town square), down 100 steps and a huge hill to the main port, Marina Piccola. We bought or ferry tickets and took the 1 hour-ish ride past Positano (which looked beautiful from what we saw of it) and into Amalfi.
We spent the day wandering the streets and taking a small hike to ruins of an old paper mill. Past the mill the trail looked sketchy, so we decided to turn back and head back into town. The main attraction of the town is their Cathedral (I will have to look up the name of it in our other guide book, which I don’t have with me in our hostel lounge…)
We stayed in town for a while, grabbed some lunch and sat at their marina for a little while and waited for our return ferry.
Unfortunately the day will be forever tainted with one of the most tragic events of my life. My camera died. The DSLR. It really died. Like, needs to be sent in to Nikon and resuscitated. It bit it about 10 minutes in to our ferry trip to Amalfi. I think I had only taken about 15 photos with it when it decided to stop working. So, while I am very disappointed that I can’t use it, I am not going to let it ruin the trip. There is too much we want to see. However, I catch myself having major camera envy whenever I see someone with a Nikon around their neck. And I will also be slightly bitter about dragging 10 pounds of worthless camera gear around the country for the next 10 days.