23 June 2011

Day 19: beauty (and $13 milkshakes) on the Isle of Capri

We got up at 6am in order to catch the ferry to Capri. This is the view out of our terrace at 6am. Does. Not. Suck.
We left the Agriturismo at 6:45 and got to the bus stop in Ravello in time to catch the 7.25 bus. Which never came. Fortunately, we had allowed enough time to catch the 7.45 bus. The 7.45 bus came at 7.40, after which the bus driver backtracked up the mountain, did a three-point turn on the side of a mountain, yelled at every other bus driver in the piazza, and STILL got us down to Amalfi BEFORE the scheduled arrival time.

We caught the ferry to Capri, and arrived to greet the bustling island as it started its day:

'Free Willy' or 'Fry Willy?' Also, who is this dude who's photobombing my shot?

S was in much pain after yesterday's hike, so today featured a LOT of sitting and resting. In Capri, that means a LOT of buying outrageously expensive drinks. $13 milkshakes. $8 iced teas. Yikes. We took a walk across the island to the Arco Naturale, which is Italian for Natural Arch. Apparently, the ocean made this through constant irritation (sort of like a pearl, but bigger and not so shiny):

On the walk back, S found her Villa:

We found Villa Jovis, which is on the eastern cliffs of the island and was a place that Emperor Tiberious built for himself. This is yet another former seat of world power that we've visited (there are a lot of them here in Yurp):
France, Germany, and Italy all have dramatically different approaches when it comes to letting the public view famous dead people things. France's approach (seen at Chenonceau) is to give you a bit of a guide, but let you wander the property at your will. Germany's approach (seen at Ludwig's castles) is to take you on a very restricted guided tour, where they show you just what they want to show you, in the order they want to show it, for as long as they want to show it. Italy's approach (seen at Villa Jovis) is to provide very little guidance, but to just post signs saying 'don't throw yourself off a cliff and kill yourself. Ciao!'

After Villa Jovis, we sat down to a lovely lunch. The food was good, but the drinks were the best part. Sarah had iced tea with fresh peaches sliced into it. These peaches were soft and squishy and juicy - so good! Seriously - in any other part of the world, slicing peaches like this into tea instead of smearing them all over your body would be sacrilege... I had a limoncello and campari drink that was truly amazing! Also, I had a hat:
We took a ferry back from Capri at about 5:30:

...and headed back to Ravello, where we checked out Villa Rufolo. Villa Rufolo used to be a sort of resort spa, but now it's just beautiful gardens and old buildings.
self portrait, with shadow and hat:

From Villa Rufolo, we were close enough to the Agriturismo that we just walked home. On the way, we passed one of many fruit stands, where I snapped a photo of the HUGE lemons that are used in everything out here (including limoncell0!). Yes, those are regulation-sized wine bottles in the photo. No, I did not doctor the photo at all:
And here's a statue of a crazy dead nun:
When we got back to the Agriturismo, we were greeted with another exceptional meal (pasta with tomato sauce, meatballs, green beans, potatoes), and a young American family here for the night. Paul and Grace are traveling with their three kids, and we had a nice time chatting with them!

Tomorrow, more hiking (and more photos)!

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