For Easter weekend I went to the Amalfi Coast (as I had mentioned in a pervious post, and you are all such religious followers you’re probably thinking how stupid of it is for me to remind you.) I had been excited about it for weeks considering I booked the trip with my two friends, Jori and Jessica, about two weeks into being here. What could be better than sitting on a beach sipping frozen drinks, right? Well if only the weather had the same plans.
Leading up to this weekend all over Italy it has been a very dry season. A lot of their summer crops are dying due to a lack of water, aka strawberries are going to be RIDICULOUSLY expensive. But this weekend, the first real beach weekend I have planned, Mother Nature decides that she now wants to give Italy some water. Forecast for the weekend: Friday night - Sunday night = rain.
Well we obviously can’t control the weather so Thursday night we met at the train station to get on our bus. Well, first we are told to get on Bus #1. So we put our suitcases under the bus. Then we are told no, you are on Bus #2. So naturally we move our stuff. Then we find there isn’t any room on Bus #2 so we are told to go back to Bus #1. Well Bus #1 is the correct bus, but it’s full and Bus #2 has 3 empty seats. By this point we have switched our bags 4 times and I am not a happy camper, and the night just continues to get worse. We arrive at our hotel at 4:00 am, when we were supposed to have gotten there at about 1:30 am and we have to be up and ready to go the next morning at 9:00 am.
We get to bed, and reluctantly get up in the morning to head from Sorrento, where we were staying, to the island of Capri. The island was absolutely beautiful. The pictures will never do it justice. We arrived and there were two options, take a hike with Bruno, the guide from my spring break, to the top of the island or take a cruise around the island. Well as you might remember from my spring break posts, I absolutely love Bruno so I opted for the hike. How bad can it be right?
It was the most grueling, and physically taxing experience of my life. It started as a walk through the city uphill which I thought was tiring but manageable. But then we reach the trail in the woods. I’m still okay with this, it is a hike after all. But then we reach the points where it is barely a trail and it’s just dirt and rocks, there are parts you have to run up because it is so steep, and the parts where you legitimately have to climb up rocks. I twisted my ankle at least twice. This “hike” started at about 11 am and we reached the top at about 1:45 pm. I was sore until Tuesday of the following week. But it was something that I accomplished that if I had known how bad it was going in I probably wouldn’t have even attempted. And like Bruno said, this view cannot be described in words.
After getting to the top we found out that there is a much easier way to get up and down the mountain. We walked down and took a bus to the Blue Grotto. We took a little boat ride inside it, and it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. The fact that the water is naturally glowing that crazy blue color amazes me.
The last thing on my list to do on the island of Capri was next: cliff jumping. As I have mentioned before, I’m really scared of heights and my goal for studying abroad was to push myself to overcome it. Right around the corner from the Blue Grotto is an area of rocks that is purposely for jumping into the Mediterranean Sea because it is deep. Looking at the point where you jump off it doesn’t look that high so I was like “Yeah let’s do this!”. Jori and I get in our bathing suits and climb to the top. Looking down on that water it was definitely a lot higher than it looked from the ground. My heart was beating so fast and I tried to back out but Jori being the good friend that she is knew how badly I wanted to do it so she grabbed my hand and said “We’re going on three? Ready? One, two, three!” and before I had any time to think about it I jumped… And let out one of the bloodiest screams I’ve probably ever done. It was really embarrassing. The drop was a lot longer than I expected and the water was a lot colder than I expected.
After the cliff jumping we took a taxi, that was a convertible car, back down to the port. We walked around and went shopping for the last hour of our day on Capri. We took the ferry back to Sorrento and freshened up from our sea submersion. We then went out to dinner at a small restaurant in the city center. It was very nice and it was great seafood. After dinner, there was some kind of commotion blocking off the street. We completely forgot that it was Good Friday and there was a reenactment of carrying Jesus’s body to his resting place. We were whispering trying to figure it out and the Italians were shushing us; they are very intense about their religion.
The next day it was POURING, but Jess and I braved the weather and went to the ruins of Pompeii. It was really cool to see all of the buildings and what survived vs. what was destroyed. There were also bodies preserved of people who died in the lava, including a 17 year old pregnant woman. It was really moving, but it also wasn’t as impressive as it would have been if it wasn’t pouring.
Sunday we decided to sleep in to see how the weather played out. Once again, it was pouring. We decided to stay in Sorrento and explore the city. We were jumping from canopy to canopy to avoid the rain. We ended up doing some shopping and getting the BEST gelato ever. They had about 30 different flavors of gelato. They made gelato the flavor of one of the best candy bars here, Bueno Bars. Its hazelnut, cream, chocolate, and chunchies. It was absolutely amazing.
Monday it was of course really sunny and nice out. We spent the day exploring Sorrento some more and just lounging by the hotel pool. We left that afternoon at about 3pm and arrived back in Florence at around 11 pm.