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Catching Capri

April 28, 2008

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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!

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Chandra

I'm glad to see your blog back up and running and glad to see comments available now! How exciting! I am getting a funny view on my screen with the links right in the middle of your text. Not sure if it's my computer or what.

Jennifer

Wow...its such a blessing to see a family exploring the world together, its definetly at inspiration for me and I am sure many people. You seem fearless and ready to take on anything without prejudging a situation.

Best of look and I look forward to reading more about your travels.

N.B.You guys should be on Oprah when you get back!

Soultravelers3

Chandra,
Thanks so much! Glad to see you here & your trip to Alaska sounds great!! So sorry about it not showing up right on your computer. One other person told me they had a problem, but most seem to see it perfectly.

Hey Jennifer!

Thanks for your kind words! Feel free to tell Oprah. lol!

vicki

Yay! Comments section! BTW, I see all the links streaming right down the center, too. I was going to mention it a few weeks ago but I knew you were working on the site so I figured it was something you knew about it....I'm using IE if that helps to troubleshoot it

Soultravelers3

Hey Vicki!

Yes, it is really great to have an interactive blog finally!

Thanks for the feedback, that is a bummer. We can see it here on IE, Firefox & Safari and so can many others, so I am not sure what the problem is.

I will pass the info onto our webmaster and see if he can solve the mystery. Let me know if it changes and starts working.

We are off to Jerez for the weekend....pics soon. ;)

Sheila Bell

Glad to see the blog too. I am also getting lots of "stuff" in the middle of the text.

Soultravelers3

Hi Sheila,
Thanks! We got the information out to our webmaster on Friday morning, so hopefully that will be fixed soon.

So sorry that was missed in our check before launch, but very grateful for the feedback so that we can fix it now.

In the meantime, it can be seen clearly on firefox and Safari. It seems the problem is with IE browser.

Please post back when you can see it without problems on IE. Thanks!

Rhea

A very belated thanks for your
site and the new additions.
I, too, cannot view it in entirety w/o "stuff" in the middle.
Continued happy journeys.

soultravelers3

Hello Rhea!

Nice to hear from you and thanks for the feedback. If you use firefox as a browser you can see it and we have our webmaster working on the problem, so hopefully soon you will see it perfectly in IE well.

So sorry about this glitch.

Sujatha

Great to read your post on Capri. Awesome pictures!!

soultravelers3

Thanks so much, Sujatha! Glad to know that you enjoyed it.

Deb R

Hello my cyber friends! I have been reading your blog for about a year now. I love the new style! My husband and I travel to Italy frequently and we will be there in two weeks. I am also a member on slow travel FriendofFiesole....we love to travel and would someday like to as you are.

soultravelers3

Hey Deb/FriendofFiesole!!

Thank you so much for your comment! So glad you are enjoying the changes. Have a wonderful time in Italy...we are sad to miss it this year. DO go for the long trip, it is worth the planning and prep! ;)

Nadine

Hi, I remember many years ago seeing the Amalfi coast in Summer, with the incredibly beautiful blue sea... I don't think I've ever seen anything as picturesque, but you're right, one can get jaded.

Soul Travelers3

Hi Nadine!

I wonder if "many years ago" might be key to that. Memory plays into things I think and also things have changed. We often find areas that are not as touristy ( like Galicia or parts of Croatia which are very prisine) more impressive than some of the icons of travel. ( And sometimes the icons also blow our minds).

Some icons just get too much traffic now and I understand why some are even about to close because of what that traffic does. I wonder if you saw it today if it would look the same as when you first saw it?

Timing and season also has affect. Funny, how first impressions can differ so much. Personality might also have as much to do with that as anything.

We try to keep ourselves from getting jaded, but I think the more one sees, perhaps it is impossible to be completely unjaded.

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