Exploring Capri

I recently wrote a post about about my favourite Mediterranean Islands, including my favourite; Capri. After that post, I spent some time thinking about the beautiful Italian Island, and looking back through my old photos.

There’s a reason that Capri is my favourite Island in the Mediterranean, and that is because it holds a lot of memories. Italy was the first country that I ever traveled to (outside of North America), and one of the most impressionable trips I have ever taken.

I boarded a ferry boat in Sorrento, which chugged along the coast and out toward the Island. It was a fairly quick ride, and had some pretty amazing views of the mountains and Mount Vesuvio.

Eventually we got closer to the Island itself, and I could already see the sparkling turquoise water in the distance. I had never seen water quite that clear and vivid before, and I started to understand why everyone couldn’t stop talking about Capri.

We disembarked the ship and made out way into a small area of shops. We bought breads, meats and vegetables, and packed a small picnic lunch for later. After this, we boarded the Unico Capri, which is a large mountain gondola ride to the top.

At the top, I walked over to the railed edge and I got my first view of the entire landscape in front of me. The land dropped off in front of me, revealing steep cliffs covered in lush green vegetation. Far below was the lower part of the island, including the port and the beach. Surrounding the island was a deep blue sea that was speckled with boats and a large ship.

Around the corner from the lookout was a bright plaza of shops and restaurants. This is where I started to realize that the upper portion of the island was more luxurious and upscale than the lower part. As I passed through the plaza and down a long alley of more store fronts, I noticed that each shop was becoming more and more “expensive”. One famous Italian name brand after another, I couldn’t help but take a peek inside one of the doors.

I was dressed nicely enouh, but still felt a bit out of place as I entered the store. I wandered among the racks of clothing, looking at the different brands and Valentino, Louis Vuitton, and Dolce & Gabbana were just some examples. Each piece was more beautiful than the next, and I was starting to get a bit of fashion envy.

While I had seen many similar pieces on the streets of Naples, there was no mistaking the real name brand in here. With a intricately woven label, it was easy to tell the difference between the two. I wouldn’t be making that mistake!

Eventually, I left the store and continued walking; the shops faded into vines and flowers that draped off the edges of the alley walls. Then the walls gave way to an arched open air pathway that dipped in and out of the tree line. I walked for another 15 minutes until I finally reached what I had been making my way toward.

I emerged onto a large terrace stretched above the cliffs and across the mountain side. Directly in front of me, in the distance, were the Faraglioni rocks; an outcropping of three large mountainous rocks that rose out of the Sea. Their view provides fantastic photo opportunities, and tourists flock from miles around just for a chance to see them.

From the edge of the terrace I could see the steep cliff walls fading off in both directions. To the right, a small town sunk into the rockface and trees lined the open surfaces. Bright green cacti spotted the stone and decorated the entire scene.

I spent a while here, admiring the view and relaxing in the warm Mediterranean breeze. I felt like I could have stayed there forever, but it was soon time to head back down the mountain for a late lunch on the beach.

The beach was long and narrow, backed up against a stone wall. The ground was not made of sand, but large round stones that disappeared into the waters in front. It was a busy place, and there were not many places to sit. We found a spot in the shade, up against the wall, to set our things down.

I ended up feeding most of my lunch to a curious Italian seagull. I people-watched as I slowly nibbled on my sandwich, and stared out at the sea for a long time.

After eating lunch, I decided to go for a swim. It was a bit wobbly walking out, because I couldn’t seem to balance on the stones. Once I made my way out to a point where I could swim, I took a look beneath my feet. It was absolutely crystal clear, and I could see everything all around me. Fish were swimming nearby, and the rocks were sparkling in the sunlight. I dove beneath, and kicked around like a dolphin for the next twenty minutes.

Finally, I had my fill of the Capri lifestyle, and collected my things from the beach. We headed back toward the ferry, and I took once last look up at the Island of Capri.

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