Capri and Naples are as different as, say, a basic girl's October and a single girl's... February. A single girl's February 15, that is, because although everything else in the world is working against her, at least all the chocolate's on sale. Am I losing you here?
Naples is February 15. Not everyone's cup of tea, a little depressing, but the discounted chocolate is honestly a pretty fulfilling aspect of life, y'know? ("Chocolate" = "pizza" ... work with me, guys. Work with me.) Oh, but Capri. Capri is a blogger's October 1. Or December 1. Capri is pristine. Picture perfect. One of the prettiest places I have ever seen. The first thing I said upon catching sight of the aquamarine waters and the pastel buildings along the cliffs was, "well I can see why all of our friends flock here." Friends being like, you know. Beyonce. Leonardo diCAPRIo. The Clooneys. Regular old pals.
Thinking we needed to escape Naples, and stat, Cassandra and I had a quick discussion of history lessons in Pompeii vs. adventuring in Positano or Sorrento vs. sunning on a boat in Capri. Sunning on a boat sounded like the least ambitious choice, soooooo with a few quick clicks and a lot of guesstimation on the Italian ferry-booking website and a few hours' sleep, we were off!
Arrived at the port bright and early, with just enough time for a Coke (because, always) and a sfogliatella, a pastry special to Naples. Beautifully cut into thin slivers, its crispy leaves give way to a sweet ricotta cloud.
*fifty minutes of hair whipping
back and forth in the wind*
Isn't she lovely?
Right after disembarking the ferry, we took a sharp left at the Capri port and purchased tickets to the standard boat tour around the island + a quick jaunt into the famous Blue Grotto. Neither of us had been chipper enough the night before to do any hardcore itinerary planning (but what else is new), so this seemed like the simplest option.
And, well. No regrets. Because:
The famous Dolce & Gabbana rocks came into sight, and everyone on the boat whipped out DSLRs and iPhones and selfie sticks to capture this marvel.
Cruising the perimeter of Capri was wonderful, because there was always something new to gaze at in wonder. From local boys diving off of cliffs, to secret inlets in which to swim, to old churches and lighthouses keeping watch over the island... and all against the constant of the bluest, clearest water I had ever seen. Paradise, it was.
I had another moment. I had one eating crepes along the Seine and speeding through the Tuscan countryside, and I had another one here. The sun was beating down my arm, the distinct scent of sunscreen floating amidst the salty sea air, the boat gently rocking, with a sharp jerk here and there. There was a thick layer of salt on my arm, the leather seat was sticking against my legs, and I closed my eyes and thought, I can't believe I'm here.
Comically backdropped next to our itty bitty dinghy type deal were massive yachts, complete with flags and sunbeds and pools and ballrooms. I picked out the largest of the batch, turned to Cassandra, and pondered casually,
"You think Beyonce's in that one?"
Towards the end of the two hours, we arrived at the Blue Grotto. A congregation of boats, big and small, crowd around the entrance and you wait in a haphazard line as shouting, singing men paddling wooden canoes come to fetch you. They sidle up right next to your boat, give you hand, and direct you efficiently to the least comfortable sitting position. Once all four people are in, they row towards the little cave entrance, warn everyone to duck their heads as low as possible, and then with one swift tug of a rope pulley, swing the canoe into the grotto.
It's very disorienting, being immersed in complete stillness for a split second. Everything is dark, but you can hear the waves and the chatter and you feel there are quite the number of people close to you, but you can't see anything. Until slowly, your eyes adjust and all you see is shimmering, stunning turquoise. Aqua. You're directed to turn around and from there, you see the black silhouettes of emerging canoes and the intense blue.
Then, before you know it, you're back out in the too bright world and shipped back to your boat. The Blue Grotto isn't cheap and is annoyingly busy, but for that brief minute of feeling completely unsettled before seeing nothing but black and blue... it's worth it.
After the tour boat dropped us off at the port again, we perused the little stores selling leather shoes and perfume, sampled some limoncello slushes, and then took turns taking refreshing dips in the ombre sea.