Thursday, September 10, 2015

Italy Travels: The Blue Grotto

Over the next few weeks, I'm planning to share with you our soul-crushingly beautiful and perfect Italian road trip from the Easter Holidays in 2014. Coco was older, and hooked on Peppa Pig and the iPad, so unlike our first road trip experience with her, it was completely wonderful. First up, The Blue Grotto. 

You know those experiences you've heard so much about that you're sure it will never live up to the expectations? The Blue Grotto is one of those - and it surpassed the expectations! More photos and details after the jump.


The Blue Grotto is on Capri. Once you arrive on the island, there are little ticket windows on the docks for excursions, including The Blue Grotto. You have to buy tickets several times, and by the end of it, you've spent so much money it makes you groan. But, The Blue Grotto is so brilliant, you won't remember! I am happy to say that I cannot recall the price of the tickets today. :) You buy your first tickets, and a few minutes later, you're on a speed boat zooming through the sea.
Then begins the waiting. You sit and bob around on the speed boat for a very long time once you get there. There are loads of other boats around, as well as a zig-zagging stair case coming down the cliff, loaded with people waiting who came via bus or taxi over land. Getting to the Blue Grotto is the first hurdle, and every step of the way, you're reminded that you might not actually get to go into the Grotto. No refunds. Happily, a few minutes after this photo, I remembered I had an umbrella in my bag. That sunlight was intense, even in April.
Finally, our boat was called forward. The little gondola-like rowboats pull up alongside of the speed boats and the gondoliers help everyone in. Each party gets their own rowboat. Next, you pay again. I can't even imagine how much cash those guys had in that little boat!
Then you're off! Everyone in the boat has to lie down to go through the tiny entry to the Grotto. The gondolier times it with the waves, and when the wave is down, with a big thrust, he points the boat into the hole and swiftly grabs a chain that's running along the top of the tunnel-like hole to yank the boat through before the next wave, which would crash all our heads into the rock! Impossible to photograph.
Once inside, the glowing blue of the water absolutely takes your breath away! It was more arresting than anything I'd ever seen before. J's first words were, "Take a picture of that!"
The tour is quick, just a few minutes long. But once all of the boats are inside for that particular tour, the gondoliers burst into song and it echoes and reverberates inside the cave. All the while, the glowing, blue water is gently splashing and moving beneath you. It's absolutely magical. I totally cried!
It's super dark in there, except for the glow of the water. Coco was amazed, if not a little scared and held on tightly to J.
You go out the same way you came in, except on the way out, you're beyond exhilarated and experiencing the most joyous of natural highs!

It was totally worth the wads of cash and long wait. If we ever go back, we will definitely do it again! Have you been to The Blue Grotto? Did you absolutely love it?

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