They say it is one of the most beautiful islands in the world and it has a lot of glamour attached to its name, but I was a little disappointed in Capri. Perhaps one gets jaded after seeing so many wonderful sites or when a place has a lot of hype attached to it, one sets higher standards of expectations, so probably easy to be let down, although some such places turn out to be even better than expected. It was our last stop in Italy last November & with the short time we had left, we decided to see Capri and Sorrento and skip the Almalfi Coast, partly due to time restraints and I also was not in the mood for any more scary, cliff hanging roads after all that I had endured already with my vertigo.
We still managed to have a great day and I am glad that I saw it for parts of Capri are beautiful, plus it is nice to know these things for yourself. It was dirtier and more run down than I expected. The natural beauty was the best part, but it was not as spectacular as I would have guessed. I find the beach cliffs here near our winter home in Spain, much more outstanding, despite being much less known or even the beach and cliffs at home in Santa Cruz are more impressive. None the less, now we can say we have been to Capri and know both the good and bad of the place. I am truly glad that we saw it in early November and not in the heat and hordes of high season summer.
On a lovely sunny day, we took the train from Pompeii, then wandered around Sorrento a bit, and caught the ferry to Capri. We really enjoyed the boat ride and the views were great leaving Sorrento and arriving at Capri. It is amazing how many boats we have been on during our journey. It is always part of the fun to try out various modes of transportation and walking the land in a new place. Makes one feel like a family of adventurers, never knowing what is around the corner!
While impressive from a distance and having that boat-y Med charm, the port itself was pretty grungy and depressing. Mozart enjoyed a quiet moment of boys fishing as we departed our ferry, but soon we were accosted by a huge wave of cruise boat tourists from the Naples ferry, in a hurry to do their short ride to the blue grotto, which did not help the ambiance. We decided to skip that to avoid the crowds and had a mediocre lunch instead (that was priced too high), in the soon deserted, deeply shaded and quiet port surrounded by tacky souvenirs. There is just something about masses of tourists that makes me want to run in the opposite direction, despite being a traveler myself. Too much like a moving manic cocktail party for a peace loving, independent traveler like me. A vision of giant ants swarming to a piece of food came to mind as they whirred by.
Things got better as we went up hill via the funicular, still even some of the fanciest, designer shops looked a little decrepit, but it started to look more like the Capri pictured in promotions. The charming "piazzetta" and old clock tower warmed up our mood. As we climbed up further, Mozart really enjoyed the high tech perfume factory called Cathusia Profumi which was a girlie delight of free samples and a little education about how perfume was made, even back in the 1300's.The biggest delight though, was the peaceful Gardens of Augustus with it's gorgeous views. Finally, we felt like we found the real Capri and the one I knew I had to see.
Yes, perhaps a little disappointing compared to an imaginary Capri that I had built up in my mind, after reading about it for years (and without a jet set budget or desire to shop), but in retrospect a fine spot off season, if a traveling family arrives with an open mind and without preconceived prejudices.
At long last, we have caught up with our last year's seven months of family travels just in time for our coming seven months of travel! After Capri, we headed to the port near Rome and caught the wonderful Grimaldi over-night ferry to Barcelona, which also seems like one of our homes. We spent a week at one of our favorite luxury campgrounds there, Villa Nova, and easily found, then booked our home for the winter from there via the internet inside our camper on our laptop. There are lots of places available in the winter and there is good wifi connection in Villa Nova, so we knew we could do it like this. Next we high tailed it to Granada and then straight to our new home, like hungry horses heading to the barn after a long day's journey.
Sorry, it has been slow this winter on the blog, but we had to do a lot of work on the website behind the scenes and there is just so much time in a day, especially with a little one around. I will post a few things about our winter here, but in many ways it was similar to our winter in this village last year, only now it feels like home instead of us feeling like strangers in a strange land. We will continue to get more pictures and videos up as we go. We know we have good internet connection in our winter homes in Spain, so that is our time to catch up and get a lot done, because it is much harder on the move. Our feet are getting "itchy" again now, thus we can't wait to get the packing and chores done and get back on the road!