Good morning Sorrento! After an impressive breakfast buffet at the Sister Hostel, the “Hofstra Romans” strolled down to the port to board the ferry. There were many other Bus2Alps guides and students there, but our day was special because after the ferry, we were getting on our own private tour boat. Did I mention where we were going? Just a beautiful, perfect, little island by the name of Capri.
We arrived at Capri and after a few minutes of sea-sickness recovery by some of my classmates, we boarded our private boat. For the next chunk of time, I felt like a complete celebrity as I cruised around this gorgeous island. The sights of cliffs slipping into the wavy blue waters and the warm touch of the Bay of Naples air blowing around me was jaw-dropping.
During the cruise, we were fortunate enough to go inside the Blue Grotto. This is a sea cave on the edge of the island that allows sunlight to pass through a small cavity and light up the water in a bright blue color. I have never seen anything like it in my life. We were originally not sure if we would be able to explore it, because the water had to be the right level to fit into the small opening, and the water could not be too choppy. I would lay down squished in a tiny row boat any day to see this mesmerizing sight.
Our dream-like trip around Capri ended, and then it was time to actually explore the island. We took a bus to a cute shopping area in Anacapri, the upper level of the island. The tiny streets of this town were light and airy, and filled with shops of jewelry, clothing, Limoncello and handmade sandals, for which the island is famous. One of our classmates, Sarah, actually had a pair made for her, and it was an interesting process to watch as the famous Carlo fit the shoe to her feet. I ended up buying a pair of earrings made from the orange coral found around the island. A random thing Shieds showed some of us was a parrot that hung out at the end of a street. It was someone’s pet, but was there for everyone to observe.
We all gathered as a group again and ate lunch at Trattoria II Solitario. This was a whimsical place with outdoor seating and vines creating a green ceiling above us. Here we ate delicious appetizers, pasta with a lemon sauce, pasta with a red sauce, and then a tasty dessert. This dessert was like a half-frozen chocolate ice cream cake with nuts in it. Pardon my horrible description, but I can tell you that it was a delectable treat.
After lunch, we took a bus and then a chairlift to the highest point on Capri, Monte Solaro. It gave us beautiful 360 degree views of the island and its surrounding waters. I could take in that view in forever.
Once we were finished with our visit up above, it was time to descend. Some of us took the bus back down and some of us walked down over 900 stairs. One of those people chose the latter was me. Walking down stairs is of course, not that difficult. However, this was the longest staircase I have ever walked and maybe the steepest stairs I have ever experienced. Plus, it probably didn’t help that I walked barefoot. (This is where I would usually shout, “Y.O.L.O!”). It was an entertaining trip down because Professor Hillebrand was planking across things the whole way down. He was having a blast.
The small group of us who walked ended up beating the bus down to the beach, where we soaked in the rest of the day. We immediately hopped in the water and awaited the arrival of the rest of our group. I could not contain my joy as I swam through the crystal clear and warm water, enjoying the sight of the island rising in front of me.
The swim was incredibly rewarding and I could not wait to be back in the water tomorrow. After an hour of swimming, we walked back to the ferry, which we boarded and took back to the port. We actually accidentally missed our stop, and got off at the next one. We ended up waiting an hour for our bus driver, Maria, to find us. It was just another bonding experience!
We lost a lot of time with our small mistake, so when we returned to the hostel, we had less than an hour for all fourteen of us to shower. Despite this rush, we easily cooperated and made it to the restaurant on time. We ate at another storybook-like restaurant, Parrucchiano. This was a large restaurant, and had gardens, vines and plants throughout the entire space. It was beautiful, and the food was tasty as well. I ordered what Professor Hillebrand said they were most famous for, which was basically meat and cheese rolled in a pasta shell.
The day did not end with dinner. Afterwards, Shields took us to a really cool outdoor bar down the street from Parracchiano. It was dead at first, but once more Bus2Alps students arrived, everyone was on the dance floor having a grand time. We stayed until 12:30 in the morning, which meant we stayed into one of our classmate’s birthday. What a lucky dude—getting “Happy Birthday” sung to him at a bar in Sorrento for his 21st birthday.
I felt like a million dollars Friday. I could not believe this was actually my life. I simply kept hoping this dream would never end as I slowly fell asleep.