Roland Dürre
Wednesday February 25th, 2009

RMD – My Travel Journal #24 – Carnival Tuesday

Our Forth Day: From Naples to Sorrento

On Carnival Tuesday, we were lazy. We ate an ample breakfast in our inexpensive hotel „Bella Capri“ on the 6th floor of a company building quite near the harbour. We had taken the bikes to the room with us, so we had to take them down again in the small lift (vertically, leaning on the front tyre). Using the lift between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. cost 5 cent, while it was free at night.

At 9.30 a.m. we went to Capri by ferry. The distance Naples – Capri is about 50 km as the crow flies. Taking 45 minutes, the ferry must be going more than 60 km per hour when at full speed.

Of course, Capri was absolutely terrific. We even managed to be a bit industrious, after all. We went to Capri Centro by bike, which is around 150 metres uphill. On the summit, we witnessed another carnival event with people wearing fantastic costumes and dancing on stilts and a true carnival brass band playing. By the way, the Capuccino cost 4 Euros and it will only be a question of time until the new entry fee for any drink will be 5 Euros.

We went on to Anticapri (which means high Capri, about 290 metres height difference). The cable railway to the highest mountain on the island was not active, so we went down to the “Blue Grotto”, the GROTTO AZZURRO. A swarm of tourists was just arriving in a big boat. They were all re-loaded into three smaller boats in “packs of five” and steered through the grotto. Initially, we were a little angry about having to wait at the rear of the queue, but when the tourists were all finished, we, too, were allowed our boat-tour through the grotto. And then the boats turned a corner and disappeared. So our bad luck turned into good luck, after all, because the Blue Grotto is truly spectacular, and without those tourists, this attraction would not have happened for us.

What attracted our attention in Capri were the orange-coloured and extremely slim public coaches. They all had numerous bumps on both sides, despite their slim design. The numerous scooters (moped-like moto-trollers) also stood out. I imagine that during high season, when 15,000 visitors come to the island every day, it will be quite crowded and noisy. In February, however, Capri is a place where you can feel comfortable.
We went back to Anticapri by bike (another 290 metres in altitude) and then to the harbour via Capri. The ship departing at 5.15 p.m. brought us back to Sorrento (taking about 20 minutes). The tourist information by the harbour was open and a nice gentleman (Nino) booked us into an excellent hotel, again for 70 Euros!

To be sure, that was only a little more than 20 kilometres today, but at least we climbed about 600 metres in altitude (the way from Sorrento harbour up to Sorrento Centro is also uphill, you go up a beautiful, steep coastal road). Tonight, we are dining Italian and tomorrow the way from Sorrento to Amalfi will again be significantly longer, as well as full of hills to climb up and roll down!

(translated by EG)

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