Night Location: Capri, Italy
Song of the Day: Beautiful Day - Colin Hay
Mumisode of the Day: Using the men's toilets and then in true man style, not doing up her fly. She didn't realize for about 30 minutes until David whispered in Amber's ear who announced it to Mum. There may have been an "Oh, glory!"
For regular followers, you may have noticed that there was no entry from yesterday. This was due to two factors: Number 1, it was the worst day of our lives. In fact, Amber called it 'The day that should be forgotten'. Number 2, we were so exhausted by the end of it, that there was no way that this was going to be written. So we apologize for any inconvenience caused.
We have decided to compromise. Amber who never wanted the day mentioned again has agreed to include a summary of the negative aspects.
1. We were leaving the hotel. Amber and the rest of the crew were down in the street with the bags. Gemma was doing the final check of the apartment to see what could have been forgotten when she heard Amber screaming, "GEMMA!" Stumbling down the stairs, Gemma could see no one and no bags. Thinking all was lost, she yelled out to Amber, "WHAT'S HAPPENED?" Amber yelled back "THEY ARE CLOSING THE ROAD, HURRY." Gemma replied, "WHY?" Amber replied, "I DON'T KNOW! THEY CLOSE IT RANDOMLY AROUND HERE!" Needless to say, the bags and five passengers were loaded into the people-mover in under a minute. Here is a new category for "minute to win it." We won, only with the help of a police officer to reopen the road.
2. As mentioned previously, Navman definitely thinks that the quickest roads are ones that the Navman unit and not much else can travel down. They are steep, rocky and windy, often with private gates or dead end signs. With this in mind, the trip to Sorrento was longer than anticipated.
3. Arriving in Sorrento, Amber, Gemma and Mum were all deposited on the road/footpath/round-about with all the luggage while Dad and David returned the vehicle. The plan was to wait for them and then make our way down the cliff face via the elevator to the port where we would be catching our ferry to Capri. How romantic! In reality, Gemma was almost run over in the round-about as she was stuck on one side of the mound of luggage that was on the footpath. Mum disappeared rather quickly as she was overcome by the urge to use the toilet. And so we waited. When Mum eventually returned (Amber and Gemma were a little concerned that she may have been very very lost due to the directions from the information that the toilet was 'Just around the corner'), Gemma was sent to locate the lift while Mum and Amber guarded the mound.
4. The lift was too far away, through the overcrowded, massive tour group-ridden streets of Sorrento. We would NEVER make it.
5. The alternative to the lift were over 100 steps to the ground below and then a 10 minute walk to the port. Imagine mound, and 100 steps.
6. We waited and waited and waited and got sunburnt due to sunscreen being in David's backpack, the only piece of luggage not in the mound.
7. We decided that given the precarious nature of the descent, Mum should get started with her backpack. The backpack was loaded on and we watched as Mum, rather cautiously began to descend. Gemma at this stage, as Mum disappeared over the edge, thought that it would be a good idea to check that she got down OK, and so as to not waste a trip, took Dad's backpack down to the bottom, leaving Amber to guard the remaining mound. Gemma then returned back UP the 100 steps as "She is a tank."
8. We waited and waited, and continued to wait and got increasingly sunburnt and questioned if David and Dad were lost/having a drink/had been mugged by the Mafia/in an ambulance on their way to Sorrento ospedale (hospital) with sun stroke given the extreme weather conditions.
9. Eventually David and Dad arrived. One of three positive aspects of the day. Stay tuned for the remaining two.
10. We loaded the remaining mound onto our backs, shoulders and necks and set off down the stairs. Eventually we reached the bottom.
11. After purchasing tickets for the 1:50pm ferry, (we left apartment at 10) we set off down the wharf, to the farthest dock available, keeping in line with the day that should be forgotten. When we arrived at 1:45, the gangplank was removed from the boat and was pushed into Amber after she yelled, "IT SAYS 1:50!" waving her ticket in the air.
12. The 1:50 boat arrived at 1:50. We were lulled into a false sense of security being at the head of the queue, that we would board in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, we were bombarded by the Japanese tour group who were extremely anxious to get on the boat (somewhat understandably).
13. Mum for some reason, was the first of the group to board. She missed the area for luggage and wheeled her bag to the front of the ferry, and then deposited it in front of the emergency exit.
14. As we disembarked from the farthest dock at Capri, we joined a queue of 1000 tourists. These 1000 tourists who were exiting the dock, were namely part of tour groups who had prepaid tickets up the funicular to the town of Capri (about 500m up the cliff). We did not.
15. After purchasing tickets, we rejoined the queue of 1000 tourists with our mound, to await our turn for the journey up the cliff.
16. The funicular landing was a stairwell. We found it challenging to get up said stairs. Gemma in particular found this a challenge, as while disembarking from the funicular, her backpack chose to head down the stairs into oncoming tourists.
17. We eventually made it to the top. We then realized that we had no idea where we were on the tourist map, and in addition, no idea where our hotel was. Gemma at this point remembered a trip advisor entry, that the hotel was excellent when you eventually found it.
18. Google maps was completely rubbish. The road that we had selected to take us to our hotel, in reality did not exist.
19. It took 2 hours in total and a lot of walking, stairs, sweat, asking randoms, being 15 metres from the front entrance and turning around before the hotel was located. This was the second positive aspect: the hotel was found!
20. The third positive aspect followed: a lemon soda, a good lie down, a cold shower, and a complete change of clothes. Fantastic restaurant called Aurora. Pictures of all kinds of famous people on the wall including Georgio Armani, Beyonce and SJP.
There concludes the summary. Famous last words of the evening from Amber, "I think we will like Capri in the morning."
We did, in short. We awoke early, definitely prepared today for the immense number of tourists, and determined to beat them! Had breakfast on the terrace, overlooking the sea, with white houses dotted all around.
We then set off for the bus to Anacapri. The bus ride was fairly spectacular. You know if things like, "Use your snowboard stance" are involved, it's a good ride. The road here is even tighter than the one previously described on the Amalfi coast.
Arriving in Anacapri, we set off for the chair-lift to the top of Mount Solaro. None of us realized that this was a cable, with a chair dangling from it that did not stop ever, and that ascended to the top of the mountain over the tops of gardens, cliffs and rocks with your feet dangling in the air. A little like Lethal Weapon, without the safety harness, or high-backed chair.
We were quite frankly terrified. Gemma threw her thongs in the back of David's bag and watched very carefully as David showed us all how it was done. Once on, it was magnificent. It was a 15 minute climb to the top. The view was unbeatable. Getting off was also terrifying, "Jump" and "Run" were the two pieces of advice shouted back by David.
We took some amazing photos at the top. It was a perfect day weather wise here. Blue sky, no wind, warm.
We made it back down, and after some shopping in Anacapri, boarded the bus to the port where we purchased tickets for a trip around the island on a boat. This was the best decision of the day. We were able to see Capri from all angles, and have a boat reversed into several caves where you could see amazing light in the water from under sea level gaps in the rock. The Italian host was also fairly hilarious. Made a lot of kissing and wolf whistling noises, that we still aren't really sure about.
Next was an adventure in one of the Capri open top, tarago taxis. Just as it sounds.
Possibly our favourite thing in Capri is a small granita stand that sells extra-grande lemon/lemon-orange granitas. Lots of ice and lots to drink.
While drinking said granita, it was decided that we would conclude our day with a short walk to Villa Jovis, the villa where Emperor Tiberius ruled from for the last ten years of his reign. Directions were obtained from the front desk at the hotel and we set off. The walk was not short, and was not a stroll. There was a fairly steep incline/pinch that seemed to go on for most of the hour duration to the top. Several rest stops were required, each a little closer to the villa. Gemma continued to maintain that, "That was the last steep bit." This was not the case: the steep bits continued to the top and then the villa began with a large staircase. On this walk we concluded that Emperor Tiberius was carried up this hill by many poor and suffering slaves.
The villa itself was awesome. So crazy to be wandering around in a building that is still standing to a point and is over 2000 years old. Surprisingly the stroll/hike was worth it. We sat at the very top and recovered, see included photo.
Perhaps the most intriguing point was finding the cliff face that we had seen from the boat below, where Emperor Tiberius threw off his victims that he didn't like. David believes that these victims were likely the slaves that tripped/stumbled or were too slow on the ascent.
Gemma, David and Amber finished their day with a second granita overlooking Capri at sunset. Sensational!