Sunday, November 15, 2015

Italy Day 9 - Sorrento, Capri, and the Endless Queasiness

So, last night was pretty bad.
I spent most of the night feverish and very, very sick. I tried moaning and groaning extra loud to get some sympathy, but Kerri slept right through it. As a result, she was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning as we headed off to breakfast.
Kerri had a few tiny, strong cups of coffee and some fruit.
Alex got his daily week's worth of carbs in one meal and Tori had some fruit and some unidentifiable goo.
I stared blearily into the middle distance and tried desperately not to pass out.
Alex helpfully waved some sort of drippy meat-like thing under my nose.
"Mmmmm. Greasy. Want some?"
He has to realize that those sorts of things are only funny when I do them.
I made it through breakfast without any sort of spectacular gastrointestinal event and we piled onto a small bus that was to take us to a ferry so I could test my internal fortitude with a high speed boat ride over choppy water.
At the boat dock, we had a few moments to take in the breathtaking scenery of Sorrento.

The Japanese lady posing for her own album cover or something.

Buildings built right into the sheer cliffs.

An excellent view of Mt. Vesuvius.

The buildings seem to grow right out of the rock.

Okay, stomach. Here we go.

I did appreciate this dire warning. "Please don't drive your car off the pier and into the ocean."

We made it to Capri without any sort of projectile incidents and then we were free to explore the splendor of this lovely island. And by free, I mean very, very expensive.

Capri seems to be an island composed almost exclusively of: limestone; high end shopping establishments; and tourists.
Our first order of business, since I had survived the boat ride, was to get on another boat. This is one of the optional tours that you can purchase while you are on tour. Your tour guide will assure you that each one of these is the one thing you don't want to miss. Victoria was actually very eager to do this one so we happily climbed aboard a small boat for a guided tour of the shores of Capri.

A bronze sculpture of a child is perched on a rock, welcoming visitors to Capri. "Please come to Capri, spend all your money, and leave."

Someone had dressed the sculpture in clothes from the Napolise soccer team.
Some dramatic rocks with a tunnel leading through them.

Legend has it that you must kiss a loved one as you pass through. Of course, I kissed my sweetheart. (Photo not available.)

Tori and Kerri were delighted with the views.

Alex was moved almost to tears by the spectacular scenery.

A thin, wobbly set of tracks used to carry building materials up the side of a sheer rock face. What could possibly go wrong?

10,000 pieces of wobbly scaffolding where the wobbly tacks end. Again, I can see no possible problem.

Capri is known for its grottos where light shines spectacularly through the water making it glow blue.
Since the second boat trip didn't actually kill me, I suggested a third, but we opted instead to participate in Capri's only other option. Wandering around the shops, gawking at the incredibly high prices of everything.

To get from our boat to the town proper, we took a funicular; which means "vertical subway", I assume.

It was actually a really fun ride up the steep hill and, given the stability of the tracks we had seen on the other side of the island, I was not worried at all for our safety. Nope. Not a bit.

Once we arrived safely at the top, our tour guide, Beatrice gathered up all the women in the group and showed them a "charming little shop where they make custom sandals right on your feet!"

There was a shrieking stampede of women and a wailing cry of agony from all the men.

Tori was beguiled by the shop's charms. The entire store was maybe 10 feet by 6 feet. One man inside fitted sandals to your feet and made them with all the bling you wanted on them.

"Ask him how much they are," I whispered to Tori.
"I will," she hissed. And, yes, a 14 year old girl can hiss something that has no s's in it.
"Seriously. Ask before you order them."
I backed slowly out the door. "Make sure you ask before you..."
"I WILL!!!"

Are you going to ask how much they cost?


Before he makes them?

 While Tori's shoes were under construction, Alex an I took a short walk to a scenic outlook, so I would have a clear shot to jump when I found out how much the sandals cost.

This is known as "Shoe Buyer's Cliff". The ground below is littered with the skeletal remains of husbands, fathers, and boyfriends who had to pay for custom-made sandals.

We returned to the store where Tori was showing off her new kicks.

See how they glow? That's because they are made with 26 pounds of pure gold.

 Kerri was in the store paying for the sandals as Tori showed them off to anyone who happened to pass by.

"Did you..."
"YES! The lady in front of me bought a pair. He told her that they were 70 Euros."
"Oh," I sighed. My still agitated stomach settled a bit. "That's actually less expensive than I was thinking."
I was admiring the sandals when Kerri staggered out of the store, clutching a tiny slip of paper.
"Guhhhh," she groaned.
My stomach lurched a bit.
Kerri held the slip of paper out to me with a shaking hand.
It was a receipt.
For the sandals.
Which cost 180 Euros.

"I... uhhh... guhhhh...." I gurgled. "I thought they were 70 Euros..."

Yeah. 70 Euros without the bling. 180 with the bling.

We staggered over to the taxi stand where the open air, convertible taxi was waiting to take shell-shocked shoppers away from the town and back to the boat so they could go back to the mainland for rest and recuperation from all the shopping.

Once back at the shore, we had a few minutes to enjoy the beach before the boat came to take us back to Sorrento.
Ooohhh, lovely beach.
Clear, warm water.

Tori and I waded into the warm, blue water.

Mmmmmm... so nice.

Come join us, Alex!

 We coaxed Alex in to the water with us.
"Ummmm, I don't think so," he said. "Have you actually looked at the beach?"
"No? Why?"
Ohh, scenic medical waste.

And glass.

And sharp plastic.

And toys for the little ones!

 We scrambled out of the water without contracting any incurable diseases and didn't remove our shoes for the remainder of our trip.

I fell asleep on the ferry ride back and Kerri got some hilarious pictures of me with my head flopping around like a wet rag, but she'll have to start her own blog of she wants anyone to see them.

I went back to the hotel to take a nap and the family went off for a wonder around the town. When I got to the hotel, I was exhausted and still feeling a bit rocky from last night.

I almost never nap, but I was desperate for one. I stepped out of the elevator and walked down the hall toward our room to find a swarm of maids cleaning all the rooms in our wing.

"We'll be done in about an hour and a half," the head maid explained.

I whimpered and cried a bit, but went out to the 5th floor roof garden to take a brief nap in the sun.
I turned a lounge chair into the sun and settled in. The warm afternoon sun washed over me and I very quickly drifted off toward sleepy oblivion.


A terrible shrieking noise yanked my from my lemon-scented happy place.

I turned to see a lady dragging chairs around the roof.


The entire roof area was empty, but she was arranging the chairs that were within 10 feet of me.


I focused all my mental energy at her, but her head didn't explode.


Soon, she had the chairs arranged in a pattern that seemed to please her. She then sat in one a few feet from me and called her friend Janet in England.
She didn't have anything much to tell Janet. She just wanted to talk.
And talk.
And talk.
And talk.

Again, my mental powers failed to transform her head into a thin pink mist.

I rolled over and tried in vain to get some sleep. Eventually, I gave up and decided to give the room another try.

"Tell Janet I said hello," I said as I passed my friend.

The maids were finished and I flopped on the bed and had just started to drift off again when Kerri and the kids burst through the door, ready for dinner.

I sighed and hauled myself out of bed. I was feeling better, but I was still exhausted. We followed our noses to the most garlic-scented restaurant we could find.

there were many, many places to choose from.

We opted against this place even though they did serve the genuine hot dog of America.

We were foreigners AND Americans, but still passed.

And, although the gelato looked okay, I couldn't bring myself to eat anything with a sign as psychotic looking as this one. "Did you like your dinner? I made it with meat from my own thigh. Would you like to try the wine?"
We followed our noses to a small trattoria with a wood-fired oven and settled in for our last pizza in Italy.

Yup. Even better than psycho gelato.

Tori got delicious home made gnocci.

I had a pizza with fresh buffalo mozzarella and a lovely glass of wine. It had remarkable curative powers. I felt much better after dinner!

We wandered around a bit after dinner but headed back to the hotel early. We had to pack up and be ready to go early in the morning.

Tomorrow we fly home.

1 comment:

Mom said...

I would say the sandals covers your obligation for Christmas and maybe the next birthday, if not a years worth of lawn mowing.