“Capri.” It just sounds exotic and resorty, doesn’t it? Well, it is. On our second day here, we explored the island more and have to say this is really a special place.
We started out taking a municipal bus from the marina near our apartment to the town of Anacapri, on the western side of the island. Oh, did I say “bus?” I meant, “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” because that’s really what it seemed like. Like everywhere else that we’ve been in the Mediterranean on this trip, the roads are itsy-bitsy narrow and they wind around steep rock cliffs like a coiled up serpent. The ride gave us some great views of the island and some local life along the way, like a funeral carriage with windows along all sides and towed by a tiny single-seat vehicle. We noticed one bus rider cross himself at a point in the road when we were caught in what appeared to be an impossible jam with another bus and several cars at a very narrow point in the road along the cliff. Since I’m writing this, I guess you can tell that we made it safely out of that jam.
Once in Anacapri, we made our way to the Seggiovia Monte Solaro (the Mount Solaro Chairlift). Monte Solaro is the highest point on the island at 1,932 feet. The single chair chairlift takes riders over a bit of Anacapri, homes’ yards, and the rocky hills ascending up the mountain. It was a peaceful and amazingly beautiful ride.
At the top, there is a 360-degree lookout park, of sorts. There are expansive views east across the rest of the island and there are straight-down-to-the-sea views from there as well. The sheer, steep cliffs on this island are very impressive.
Having spent a good amount of time on top of the mountain soaking in all the sights, it was time to descend back into Anacapri.
Anacapri is much less touristy than Capri Town, itself. The crowds are smaller and you mainly hear Italian being spoken, whereas in Capri Town you hear a mix of Italian, English, French, and others. We grabbed some food there (a fresh calzone for Ryan, a Caprese sandwich for Clint) and strolled around the town enjoying the sites and sounds.
From there, it was back on the wild bus ride down from Anacapri (at approx. 900 ft.) to our apartment. Again, our bus wound its way down the tiny roads that cling to the mountain and we closed our eyes as we would see other busses or trucks coming our way.
Back at the apartment, we parted company with one another so that we could go do some different things that we each like to do.
I was itching to get in the Mediterranean and swim. I had heard it was a bit cold still, but that didn’t deter me. I walked a bit through some quaint neighborhoods to the Bagni Tiberio (Tiberius’ Bath). This was a private beach club secluded away under the cliffs west of the marina above where we’re staying. Private beach clubs give you access to a beach chair, changing facilities, and food/beverage options. I just wanted a beach chaise and the sea’s water.
I took a couple swims in the sea and while it was chilly, it was so nice. I loved it! The water is so clear and it just felt special to be swimming in the Mediterranean on Capri.
Of course, one of the benefits of the beach club was that the sights to see included some of the scantily clad male bathers. Ah, Europe!
As for Clint, he would rather be hiking. I’ll let him take over to retell his captured memories from today:
“I determined to walk to the highest point on the leading edge of cliffs on the eastern side of Capri. The entire walk of about 3 kilometers was mostly on the pedestrian walkways that cover the island. As usual, that means steep inclines and this one was no different. But that’s from where you get the great views!
My destination on this high point of land was Villa Jovis, the ruins of the former Roman emperor’s “retirement” home on Capri. He placed it where there are amazing views in all directions but my guess it was more of a way to keep himself safe from attacks.
Mt. Tiberio is the second highest point on Capri at almost 1100 feet. In this picture, I am looking across some of the ruins toward the highest point, Mt. Solaro, where Ryan and I had been earlier in the day.
This is what the pedestrian walkways look like all over Capri. They are used instead of streets and provide access to different locations on the island as well as to private homes. Tiny motorized truck-like vehicles do drive on them to make deliveries of goods and, occasionally, to carry passengers. Ryan and I regularly see very elderly people making their way up and down the walkways however.
On my way back down, I enjoyed looking past the entrance gates to residents’ homes and seeing their beautiful gardens. It seems like almost anything grows here. I see many of the same plants we grow in Washington State, like hydrangeas, growing alongside bougainvillea which we grow in the desert.
When I returned to our apartment from my great walk, I reclined on the terrace and finished reading the book I’ve been enjoying that is set here on Capri. Just as I ended reading, I looked down toward the marina and there was Ryan being motored back to town from the beach he’d been enjoying. Perfect timing! Now, we’re going to get ready to walk up to Capri Town and enjoy our last dinner on this magical isle. Capri, you will be missed! Next stop Rome.”