May 15 Capri
After the morning with Mariano from Pleasant Travel, he dropped six of us off at the dock in Sorrento. Jody and Jeff decided to stay in Sorrento instead. Mariano instructed us on the best ferry or hydrofoil to take to Capri and that it would be best to purchase a round trip ticket now for the trip back to Napoli later in the afternoon. He knew exactly which ferry departure would be the latest we could safely take to get back to the ship in time.
Once we got to Capri I knew we had to take a bus to the center of Capri and then another bus or a taxi to Anacapri where the Monte Solara chairlift is located. Luckily for us we met a great taxi driver named Alessandro who offered to drive the six of us to Capri for 20 euros. So we got into his very cool white Nissan Serena Capri open taxi and it was great.
On the way he offered to take us on a tour including Anacapri as well as provide free time in both locations for 20 euros per person. I knew this was well worth the cost since I had done this a year ago, but didn’t want to do it again.
I encouraged the others to go and I would meet up with them later. Eventually I decided to go too, purely based on two things. It really is more fun going together with a group you enjoy and secondly, and more importantly, Alessandro was very charming and with no pressure at all. He looked like he walked right out of GQ magazine and he lives in Capri so what better taxi driver could we have?
Alessandro adeptly drove us up the Mamma Mia road to the high town on Capri, known as Anacapri. As soon as we got to Anacapri we headed straight to the Monte Solaro chairlift and for the totally worth it price of ten euros we would each be experiencing what would turn out to be the highlight of my trip to Italy!
Sue went too and really loved it although she was afraid at first too. Last year even though it had been recommended, I opted not to go to Monte Solaro and missed the opportunity to see Capri and the Bay of Naples from 2000 feet above sea level. This time I was going for sure!
I have never been skiing and never went on a chairlift so I was a little nervous but not enough to keep me from doing it. The chairs are for one person at a time and they do not stop so I had to be ready to hop on as soon as it was my turn.
The one bar that comes across does not lock but I figured that hundreds if not thousands of people ride this every day, so it must be safe.
The twelve or thirteen minute ascent was awesome, very peaceful and quiet. I really did not feel afraid because the chairlift was never that far off the ground and I was looking around at everything, amazed from this perspective. Ultimately the ride ended at the top, Monte Solaro and the views from that level were nothing short of stunning.
There was a little bar there that served wine, gelato and snacks on an outside terrace, so it was a good place for a break and just to be able to enjoy being there.
There were even restrooms here. Apparently this oasis at one time had a swimming pool and a solarium, having originally been built back in the 1950’s. The descent down was equally as beautiful, and for me this was the best day since I arrived in Italy!
Afterwards we had time to browse the shops in Anacapri and then Alessandro picked us up and we went to the lower town of Capri, where he left us to shop and walk on our own for awhile.Just before we had to leave I saw a sign advertising a restaurant named Longano, my maiden name.
I never knew this was here and now did not have time to retrace my steps to find it. I guess I will be forced to return to Capri yet another time.
We made it in time to get on the 4:30 hydrofoil to Napoli, and the ferry was packed but all of us got seats. The interior looked like the inside of an airplane with carpeting and seating of similar design. This was nothing like the car ferries from Lake Como.
Once I was back on the ship I relaxed a little and then since this was the last night aboard, Sue and I ate a casual dinner at O ‘Sheehan’s Pub and then I packed and went to bed early. We were meeting a driver in the morning to go to the airport where we would be picking up a rental car for the remainder of this Italian adventure!