Harry and the Black Caves of Capri

This Capri dome came from a shop outside the Pope's summer palace near Rome. That's  a long long way from Capri. If that's too far for you readers, you can go to Myrtle Beach, SC and find a similar dome with the same umbrella and bathing beauty inside. Although we had Capri on our schedule, you can never tell if a dome is going to be availble later, so I bought it.

The panel in the dome doesn't lie. Capri is a spectacular island lined with high craggy rocks.  There's not much sandy beach at all. It's all rocks.

The Blue Grotto Expedition

The Grotto Azzura or Blue Grotto is a cave along Capri's shore accessible only by sea. Here's what they show us in the postcard. Of course, we were going  to go!

We bought boat tickets to the Grotto. Although the sign said 15000 lira ($9US),  the ticket seller waved his arms and charged us 18000 lira. No big deal. By dumb luck, we had booked passage on a large  boat. As we sailed to the Grotto, we passed smaller craft crammed with tourists. They looked like lifeboats from the Titanic bobbing away alongside us. It made me seasick to look at them. Maybe they paid 15000 lira.

The scene at the Grotto looked like the evacuation at Dunkirk. The little lifeboats and our boat were all trying not to run into each other.  Everyone was climbing into even smaller boats to enter the Grotto. All of this was extra, of course.  A floating ticket booth carried a sign saying 8000 lyre ($5US) a person for entry. That seemed OK.  My wife and I jumped into a tiny rowboat. Then the rower told us that  8000 lyra was the entry fee, but 8200 lira was needed to run the rowboat and  a very good tip was expected. At this point, we were bouncing around in the waves and it didn't seem like a good time to argue.

No headroom at the entry. Everyone lies on the bottom of the boat to avoid a cracked skull.

The real view inside the Blue Grotto! Where's that postcard view? In our dreams!

The entry to the grotto was 12 inches above the boats gunwales. It was an exciting enry as the boat handler pounded us with a stick to get the passengers to lay in the bottom, with the bilge. As the photos show, we couldn't see anything and we were laying on the floor of a wet rowboat.  Our guide was singing  O sole Mio at the top of his lungs. I have to admit he was good.  There were other boats circling in the murk, but I don't remember anyone else singing. When it was over, what the heck. I gave him a good tip. It was a crazy excursion, but I enjoyed it.

Here are two domes I found in Capri to commemorate our adventure.

There's other things to do in Capri. Taxis will take you up the mountain to villages where you can buy
expensive fashions. There's yet another one of them long-gone-rich-man's house now open to tourists. You can see where Roman emperors tossed people off cliffs. We tried to catch an inclined train, but ended up walking halfway up the mountain looking for the gate. That wasn't  bad.  All the people in Capri, and there were thousands, were either on the top of the island or at the shore. We found a nice quiet place, had coffee and enjoyed the scenery. Go to Capri if you get the chance. Do everything too.

Next: Up the hill in Assisi

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Rev 1.0  June 1, 1999