Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cruisin' Day 5-- Naples/Capri

Up at the crack of 6:45 A.M. today. The breakfast buffet provided fuel for the day's activities. We met the rest of our troop of 8 at 8:00 A.M. to set out for the fabled Isle of Capri.

Step 1: Obtain a ticket for the hydrofoil. Fortunately, the weather was calm, although cloudy. 32 euro bought a round-trip ticket and the opportunity to board along with a few other adventurous souls for the half hour or so sail. It was actually a bit boring; the ship was not set up to be anything more than transportation: lots of seats, small windows, but a snack bar and a guy trying to sell donuts and caps (not many takers for either). We snapped a few photos in the harbor area...

Next, we bought tickets for the funicolare to go up to the center of the city. Either walk for thirty minutes or ride the tram-like thing up the hill in a few minutes--no brainer. We planned to explore the city of Capri, but spent more time tying to figure out how to relocate Janet's mom, Vicky's husband, and brother Mike, who had all strayed. Of course, they weren't all together; Mike and camera were off on their own. This was where we saw them last...
W e decided to return to the funicolare station, get a yummy lemon slush, and wait. I guess Capri is known for lemon everything. The owner of the slush stand ran us off because Janet and Janice tried to sit there and eat pizza that they had purchased elsewhere. "Non permisso! Non permisso!" Yeah, yeah, whatever. Took a few more pics....

Vicky located hubby and Janet's mom around the corner having a beer. Well, we were up to 7 of the 8 and knew that Mikey would turn up eventually, so we set off to get bus tickets to Anacapri, another town farther up the hills. Funicolare and bus tickets were 1,40 euro each way. That's when I figured out that these folks use a comma where we use a decimal point in the prices of things. They also sometimes use three places to the right for whatever reason. It was somewhat of a relief to figure out that lasagne was 12 euro, not 12,000 as the sign seemed to indicate. Oh, and in case you were wondering why there would even be mini-trucks like those turning up here and there, I have seen the reason. The "streets" are about as wide as sidewalks, and these little vehicles are about all that could run down them. Main thoroughfares are a bit wider, but accommodate two-way traffic. We got on a little orange bus wide enough to seat one person on each side and allow two people to stand between them and hang on. Off we went up a steep, serpentine road with hairpin turns, missing sideview mirrors of oncoming traffic by inches. Little guard rails separated traffic from a steep cliff. Janet had to look away or close her eyes. Yet we made it safely to Anacapri.

This time we set a time and place to meet, in case we got separated, which, of course, we didn't. We did a little shopping ( would have done more with a more favorable rate of exchange). No major purchases, just some lemon chocolate. After the bus back down, we got on the funicolare back down to the harbor. There was Mikey waiting to catch the boat back to Naples! He had been on his own adventure to some ruins of a fortress. Can't wait to see some of his pictures. Once again, didn't get arrested; made it back to the ship!
After dinner at the buffet, I went up to the very top deck at the back of the ship to watch the sun set over Naples and the sailaway. I had a nice conversation with a couple from Maine. Being a retired teacher brings up all sorts of topics relating to education. Everyone has stories to tell. I got some nice pictures.

Naples is a bustling, modern city--not really my cup of tea. Maybe if I were incredibly wealthy...
Extract from the Deck Log
10th October 2009- Naples, Italy
Overnight, Ruby Princess continued her transit of the Tyrrhenian Sea and in the early hours our track took us by the active volcano island of Stromboli. Just before sunrise we transited into the Gulf of Naples passing close by the beautiful Island of Capri, before turning to the northeast towards the breakwater. Prior to embarking our pilot at 06:06 and entering the harbour we left the historic city of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius on our starboard side.
Once we slipped our lines and thrusted off our berth we exited the port of Naples. Ruby Princess then eased back into the Gulf of Naples and after rounding the Island of Ischia to the southwest to port, northwesterly courses were set towards Civitavecchia, the port for Rome.