We left Sunday before last, early morning, and arrived in Rome itself on Monday morning. We had discussed taking the train/metro to get to our hotel to save a little money, but were so tired, we went ahead and got a shuttle cab.
We pulled up to the Hotel Pineta Palace around noon, got checked in, stumbled upstairs in a teeny tiny elevator that said it could hold 6 people, but really could barely hold us and our backpacks, and collapsed on the bed for about 4 hours.
We then got up, giggled at the fact we had a bidet in the bathroom, and admired the view.
Pineta Palace, (aside from having the same name as the hotel in Super Mario Sunshine), is outside of the walls of the city, about 10 minutes out. To get into the city, we have to either take a cab, or grab the hotel shuttle. The shuttle costs 6 Euros round trip for the both of us, so we head down to Vatican City to see Saint Peter's square.
We didnt have time to go in the Basilica at that point, so we walked around a little, grabbed some dinner from a vendor, and then headed back.
Real exciting, yeah?
We dragged our poor jetlagged bodies out of bed at 6 am (which is something like 11pm here at home), to grab a taxi down to our tour shuttle to take us to Capri.
First, we tell them where we are going. "Get on this little shuttle" they say, so we do.
The shuttle drives around, drops off a few people, and then TAKES US RIGHT BACK TO WHERE WE WERE.
"You are on the wrong shuttle!" Thaaaanks. That would be your fault.
So, we get on the bus this time, discover that everyone else on the bus is going to Pompaii or Naples except for us.
Naples is about three hours away, so we doze. When we get to Naples, the tour guide gets us off the bus and explains that we are going to go with the Japanese tourgroup.
Does the Japanese guide speak English? A little. *facepalm*
but we took the ferry over to Capri, got off, and first thing they do is shove us onto an even smaller boat. which takes us around the island.
Then, we get transferred to a ROWBOAT.
At this point, im thinking, "um, did we sign up for this?"
Especially as there is a hole in the side of the cliff that is about one foot wider than the rowboat, and only about three feet high.
They are taking us to see the Blue Grotto.
The guy in the rowboat rows you up to the little opening, drops the oars, grabs a rope attached to the walls of the inside and outside of the cave, waits until the tide goes DOWN, and then PULLS. everyone ducks, and the rowers head clears the top of the opening by inches.
Its pitch black inside, and all you can hear are gasps of amazement from other people in rowboars, and the rowers singing italian opera and the echoes.
"Look back," he says, and we turn around.
The sea behind us is glowing. You cant see it in front of you, because you yourself are blocking the light with the shadow from the rowboat. But when you look back, the light from the opening of the grotto has dimmed somehow, and the water itself is providing the light.
The farther in you go, the more of the water you can see. Still, if you turn around and look into the cave, you cant see it. But underneath you, the water is a glowing blue, bluer than you can imagine.
You can hear clicking around you, as people vainly try to capture the light. Its pointless, it cant be done. Everytime a flash goes off, the glow dims beneath you.
It is a trick of the light, in a way. The sunlight cannot penetrate through the opening of the cave, but it shines down on the water outside, and somehow it bounces back up through the water itself, into the grotto.
We were only in it for about 3 minutes, but it will stay with me. They say that if you go in September, at the end of the busy season, the rowers will let you get out and swim in it.
I wished it were September.