Friday, September 2, 2011

The Blue Grotto

After making sandals with Antonio and picking out the best pair of brightly-colored moccasins, we went in search of the Blue Grotto. But first: a pit stop for beer and a lasagna panino. That's right, a heaping slice of lasagna stuffed inside bread and warmed to perfection.

It only took a few minutes for the infamous orange Capri bus to scoop us up. Luckily this one wasn't as crowded as those picking up at the port. We hopped on to find two Americans we met at Antonio's shop. They smiled and held up their shoe bags, showing that we now had more than one common bond between us. They, too, were heading to the grotto.

Hold on tight. It's going to be a rocky ride. Like a roller coaster, the bus slid around the mountainous bends throwing passengers about inside. Falling back and forth from one side to the next, holding on was imperative even for those seated. It was hard not to laugh, and even harder to keep your balance. I have to remind myself - we paid for this. Lucky for us, this ride was cheaper and much more fun than the cab alternative.

We arrived to an empty cliff overlooking the ocean and a sign that read "Grotta Azzurra." It pointed to a very steep stairwell. Down more than 50 steps sat a green dock about 36 sq. ft in size. It held four, maybe five people at a time and swayed in the sea breeze. It's a good thing we had our swim suits on. A handful of row boats sat in the water outside the cave and one drifted to the dock just as we arrived. The rower helped us on, first myself, then Scott, placing us both in one corner. I was big spoon. Our shoe shopping buddies climbed in on the other side.

Our rower circled the entrance for a few minutes then slowly led us inside. The cave entrance was so small, only one boat could enter at at time, and only if all riders were lying down. There were three other boats in the grotto and people swimming in the middle. It was August and nearly 100 degrees outside. Why didn't we think of that?

The water was glowing like a shiny new sapphire. The refraction of sunlight on the cave causes the water to turn iridescent blue. I drug my hand through the water hoping my hand would glow blue, but sadly, it didn't. We circled the grotto while the four rowers sang, and we left, ducked down just as we arrived.

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