Day 16 found us relaxing poolside at the Villa where we are staying and doing a little shopping in the cooler evening air of Sorrento. This little city comes to life after sunset and there are a myriad of shops tucked away in the back streets just waiting to be explored. Gelato was of course the main event of the evening. There is nothing better than enjoying the cool and delicious flavors of this creamy delight as you walk slowly and without direction through the crowds of any Italian town. But this night with our dear friends, it was even more enjoyable.
Day 17 proved to be one of the most breathtaking of all our days in Italy. We have said over and over again how hard it is to decide which of the many activities to do. This coupled with our time quickly coming to an end in Sorrento caused us to look for ways to combine as many of the activities together as possible. We still wanted to go to Capri, Positano and Amalfi and capture the spender and awe of this beautiful coastline. We also knew we didn’t have enough time to do them all by car and Capri was only accessible by boat.
We searched online and found the perfect solution. For 39 Euros you can catch a sightseeing boat at the docks or port of Sorrento. It is called the Blue Mini Cruise and combined all of our dreams into one perfect package. One thing we failed to gather from our online research was exactly when the boat departed. From what we could surmise is that it was around or just after 8am and it returned around 5:30pm. When we arrived at the ticket counter the window to the cruise we had seen online was not open but the one next to it was. We inquired about the cruise and the gentleman gave us literature on a similar cruise going to the exact same places but was only 24 Euros per person. After checking out the boat, making sure we weren’t going to be on a world war two tugboat, we purchased the tickets and with a few extra dollars and time to spare before departure we explored the local venders selling their goods to the tourists. We picked up some water and other needed supplies and then headed for our boat.
The boat had about 50 or more reclining chairs like you would find poolside. Some of them on top with full access to the bright, hot Amalfi sun, while others around the main deck and with full or partial, yet much needed shade. Even with good seating location of partial shade, I turned a bright shade myself by the end of the day. I was not quite as diligent with the application of sunscreen as my wife and daughter.
Our first stop was to the isle of Capri. I swear that no mater the depth, you can always see to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea and it is the most beautiful blue. However is was a bit choppy and both Michelle and Marissa felt every wave and despite their preplanning for sea sickness both felt the effects before we arrived at Capri. Capri is really two giant rocks jetting straight way out of the sea and is spectacular upon approach. The plan here wasn’t to dock and explore but to merely enjoy the cool waters near the white cave or Grotto. Of course Capri is most famous for its Blue Grotto and we had thought long and hard about visiting this marvel but opted to skip it this time after hearing from others that it is beautiful, but you are so rushed in and out it is hardly worth the cost. So from the coast the boatload jumped in the water for a much welcomed cool dip among the cliffs and caves of this island paradise.
After the swim we headed off to port of Positano. While sailing to this enchanting port we passed by Nerano Bay and the “Li Galli”, also known as the mermaids island. At Positano you had your choice to debark here for two and a half hours and explore or continue on to the port of Amalfi. I had my sights set on Amalfi, but my two sea weary companions needed dry land so we gathered our items to get ready to explore but failed to do so quick enough. Note for next time… Be ready to hop off as soon as the ship docks. The time allowed seems more like seconds than minutes. Either way, we weren’t ready and I got my wish as we sailed on to Amalfi.
I will have to say that approaching both Positano and Amalfi from the water as was done in years gone by when this was the only way to visit these ancient maritime Republics is, in my opinion, the only way to really capture their grandeur. We did our best to try and capture the magnificence in pictures but it truly has to be seen in person to get the full effect. To see more pictures you can visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Have-Kids-Will-Travel/115869822169. Both ports are breathtaking and the buildings, something out of an enchanted fairy book story. As we walked the streets of Amalfi we imagined the painstaking task of building these towns on shear rock, which explodes out of the sea straight up to the sky.
After a little more than an hour, admiring the shops and finding a few bargains and again seeing if the gelato is any better here, we headed back to the ship for our ride back to Sorrento. The sun was a bit lower and was perfectly set on the side of the mountains which popped the colors of the building like never before. A quick stop to pick up those who stayed in Positano provided yet another chance to capture the city at a different angel and better lighting.
Arriving home the day was long but well worth the money and time spent. By the way, lunch on the boat was not only extremely affordable but very good as well, with several choices of sandwiches, salads or pasta all around 4 Euro each. A quick swim in the pool at the Villa to cool down was the perfect ending to a perfect day.