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Word a week: The Beautiful Isle of Capri.

Sue’s ‘Word a week challenge’ is Island, and I immediately thought of the beautiful Isle of Capri. The maintown shares the same name, and has been a resort since the period of ancient Roman civilisation. The island is a large limestone and sandstone rock, and geological and archaeological findings have proved that it was once part of mainland Italy.

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We arrived by hydrofoil at the colourful port of Marina Grande.

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In the latter half of the 19th century, Capri became a popular resort for European artists, writers and other celebrities. The German artist and writer, August Kopisch revived public interest in the island, when he wrote a book,”Discovery of the Blue Grotto on the Isle of Capri,” in which he described his 1826 stay on the island, and his rediscovery of the amazing ‘Blue Grotto’ (Grotta Azzurra), which is a noted sea cave on the coast of the island, which is reputed to have been the private bath of the Emperor Tiberius. Sunlight, passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater, creates an amazing blue reflection that illuminates the cavern. As we marvelled at the sight, the boatmen were all singing that old Italian song, “Volare,” and of course we  joined in.  The words of the song are “Nel blu dipinto di blu” (In the blue, painted blue), most appropriate.

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On the way over to the grotto, we saw the ancient ruins of a villa built by Tiberius Caesar, which now stands right at the edge of the water. I read that this notorious emperor was in the habit of having people who displeased him, thrown from the cliffs onto the rocks beneath. What a nice guy!

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There are beautiful villas built into the hillsides, mostly owned by rich and famous people such as Sophia Loren and  Giorgio Armani.

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This white one on the right, once belonged to Gianni Versace, and was inherited by his sister Donatella.

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There are gorgeous hotels, and at ‘The Capri Palace’ up the hill in Anacapri, we even had our own private terrace and garden. I would have loved to stay for much longer than two nights.

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The exquisite Caesar Augustus gardens overlook the Marina Piccola Bay and the Faraglioni Rocks.

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Shopping is a favourite pastime with all the tourists, but the ‘Via Camerelle’, is not for the penny-pinching, and is lined with the most expensive designer clothing boutiques, perfume shops and jewellers.

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This guy’s T-shirt really made me smile.

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The taxis are these huge, opened topped, and meticulously clean, and the drivers negotiate the extremely narrow, steep and winding roads at great speed. They were so narrow that I thought they were ‘one way’, until we met and squeezed past an oncoming one, with only room for another coat of paint between us.

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All too soon it was time to leave and as we looked back at this magical place, the sun was beginning its daily ascent,

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and we were on our way back across the bay and past the giant sea stacks to Naples.

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To see more bloggers’ contributions to this challenge, just click here.

‘Foreign’ modes of transport.

The weekly photo challenge, “Foreign,” shouldn’t really have been much of a challenge to me, as just about all of my travel photos are taken in countries which are foreign to me. The question was, “which ones would I choose?”

I decided that I would select a few that show the different modes of transport which have been very foreign to me.

I wonder if you can guess what animal I was riding on in Zimbabwe? It was very large and grey, and had the trunk up front, unlike my Jeep here in the USA. :)

This one is pretty obvious, and although it looks quite low to the ground, when he unbent those long legs of his, I was riding HIGH!!

Here we have an even more scary way of travelling. I intended sitting safely inside, but intrepid hubby insisted on sitting aloft, so that he could get better photos of the passing landscape as we travelled on a section of the Trans-Andean railway in Ecuador, supposedly one the most spectacular train rides in the world.

A more sedate way of getting from A to B, is this bicycle driven rickshaw, which took me around the Hutons of Beijing. :)

Here was one ride that I really enjoyed, speeding across Lake Titicaca in a hydrofoil.

Sailing  down the khlongs in Bangkok, was a very interesting if sometimes quite aromatic experience. :)

Of course I’m really used to motor car travel, but not usually quite like this. Once in a while, it’s good to spoil oneself, I guess.

For more posts on this theme, just click here.

Ships and boats from my travels.

Hi again, everyone. Whilst I was looking for photos for http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/sunday-post-vehicle/ “Vehicle,” and before I’d read the guidelines properly, I found some pics of boats that I’d seen or been on in the course of my travels. Sea-going vessels didn’t qualify for the theme, but I thought I’d just do a post about water transport. Of course I have a great variety of pics, but here are just a few of my favourites.

This is a Nile cruise ship just in front of ours, on our  trip which took us from Aswan to Luxor to see many of the temples, most notable of which were the Temple of Queen Hapshepsut, the Karnak temple complex at Luxor, and of course the Valley of the Kings, which was spectacular. Here, we were alongside the Kom Ombo temple. We spent a very happy and entertaining week aboard, and I even got to impersonate a belly dancer at the fancy dress party.

The hydrofoil across Lake Titicaca took us from a resort outside La Paz to Copacabana, with stop-offs at Moon Island and Sun Island on the way. As you can see, we were the only passengers, apart from our guide. It was a wonderful sensation, speeding across the glittering lake in the bright sunshine, with the snow-capped Andean mountains to our right

These long-tail boats, known as ‘Ruea Hang Yao’ in the Thai language, are on the beautiful Phi Phi Island in Thailand. We did a day trip to this paradise, from Club Med Phuket, which also included a visit to Kho Phi Phi where the film, “The Beach” was made. We didn’t see Leonardo diCaprio, or a giant Marijuana plant. Laughing We have another trip booked there for early next month, and I can’t wait.

Our Venetian gondola ride last year, was a real highlight of our Italian tour, mainly because it was so funny. As you can see, our gondolier doesn’t look like the happy, singing type, and certainly wouldn’t pass the audition for Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta, “The Gondoliers.” We set off under the Bridge of Sighs, and as we sailed along, we asked our boatman to sing to us, but he said that would be extra. LOL! The guy in the gondola in front of ours started to sing “Buona serra senorita,” and ours joined in, albeit somewhat halfheartedly. A local man walking along the path, called out to us in Italian, “He can’t even sing. Why don’t you just tell him to shut up?” We creased ourselves laughing, but ‘Mr Sourpuss’ did NOT look amused. Frown

Here is a vessel we intend to take a trip on when we return to Florida. We went boat watching one day earlier this year and saw the luxury motor boat, The Lady Delray, which takes one on a leisurely two-hour narrated tour from Veteran’s Park through the calm waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, and past some of the area’s most beautiful mansions. We’ll be able to see a variety of marine life in its natural habitat, and learn a little about the area’s history, all this whilst snacking on tasty morsels and sipping cocktails. I’m so looking forward to it.

This vessel in the play area of our local mall in Florida, might not be a real boat, but it does contain my two gorgeous little granddaughters, so I thought I’d put it in anyway. Wink

Have a great day everyone. Chat again soon.