italy travelogue
Day 06. October 24. Sorrento, Capri, Ana Capri.
Isle of Capri.

At 7:00 we woke to the alarm clock and struggled for consciousness. The 7:30 backup wake up call played classical music instead of a canned voice. Breakfast was like Rome, but with no boiled eggs. After breakfast Allan went looking for Dramamine, and found a 6-pack of Xamamina in a Farmacia. When Allan got back to hotel we re-sold one pill to a fellow traveler, and all three of us took them. Jane got an egg in the interim, as the restaurant rotates the breakfast stock.

grande mareShortly before 9:00 we all headed out for Capri on our first of several mini-buses. It was a very little bus, but they got smaller as the day wore on. Roberto (not yesterday's guide) lead us on Capri. We boarded a jet boat to Capri for the twenty-minute ride across the bay of Naples. On Capri island at the Marina Grande dock we transfered to a 20-foot boat which took us around the island to the Blue Grotto.

We transfered 3 to 4 per boat into 12-foot rowboats and sat on the bottom. The rower stood and rowed to the entrance, then pulled us in using a fixed overhead chain through the 3 foot by 3 foot opening. The entrance and exit are carefully timed for the drop between swells when no one will smash their head. The Blue Grotto glows with a brilliant blue light from sunlight refracted by the blue waters of the Mediterranean. The water itself is very bright, and the cave is weakly illuminated so that it takes the first minute to adjust before you can see the two ledges which were used as a temple during the time of Caesar Augustus and Tiberius. We had to wait on exiting because the swells built up, probably due to a passing motor boat, which prevented the boat ahead of us from leaving.

anacapriAt 11:00 we took another minibus to Anacapri, the highest "village" on Capri, where we could look around and shop briefly. While we were free in Anacapri, we looked at the department store which had gorgeous inlaid wood furniture, then wandered while Jane photographed.

At 12:30 we rode another minibus to Capri. This was the tiniest minibus, with small seats which were supposed to fit two (two what, we don't know). Once we were free in Capri, Allan had a Steel Bar and we found a bottle of water while exploring the shops. Everything was very classy. At 14:45 we decended by funicula to Marina Grande for the jet boat back to Sorrento. On arrival we boarded yet another minibus to go to a demonstration (well, a discussion) of inlaid woodworking. The shop was full of things too ornate and expensive for us. We walked back to the hotel after gawking in the showroom for a while.

At 17:30 back in the hotel room Jane planned a nap. The beds are now double-sheeted as in Rome. Allan went out for extra color and B/W film, and a pastry equivalent of chipwich. Jane discovered that "T-Max" isn't the same thing in Italy as at home, so we will have to color-process the B/W prints. Ultra Gold does match U.S. Royal Gold, so the color film is right. Then it was time for a nap for Jane and a book for Allan.

At 19:15 Allan saw the restaurant was open and ended Jane's nap. We had dinner for two, again off the semi-buffet menu. After dinner we walked up the street in both directions to let dinner settle, then returned to the hotel where we sat outside and chatted with a fellow traveler. He expressed discontent with rushing and time limits of day tours. Later Jane did some mending for Allan before we prepared for bed.


Allan West and
Jane Dominguez