The sea breeze is strong and the waves lash at the edge of the jetty, where I stand watching the green waves as they shimmer in the sun.
With every wave,a jet of sea salt is sprayed and a pile full of seaweed is lashed to the shore.
I have just embarked from the jet foil and the first sight of Capri has left me in awe.
Tiny boats dance over the the crystal green waters of the Tyrrhenian sea as I face a bustling, vibrant town nestled in an island known for its chic designer boutiques, beautiful villas camouflaged under bougainvillea, colorful windows with floral facades, gorgeous cafes and more.
All these overlooking a brilliant blue-green sea. But all this will be explored later. For now,a yacht awaits to take me to the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra)
The yacht ride is beyond beautiful with rugged seascapes, azure waters,limestone mountains and robust sea winds hitting my face.
I stand at the edge of the yacht enjoying this blissful ride, the summer sun and the countryside music playing in the yacht.
The adrenaline rush hasn’t set in as yet. I wonder why.
Of course there is a nagging curiosity and excitement to see this surreal natural wonder of the world.
I have seen pictures of the cave and cannot wait to see if it is actually worthy of all the hype.Will it really be illuminated? Will I actually be able to go inside?(70% tourists come back disappointed because if the weather turns bad,there is no way you can visit the cave)
History of the Blue Grotto:
During the time of ancient Rome,the cave was used by Emperor Tiberius when he had retired to Capri.It was one of his favorite nymphae (temple dedicated to sea nymphs).
Sculptures have been found from the grotto and it is believed that the bottom of the cave has more.
It is believed that the locals avoided the cave (known in the past as Grotta di Gradola) because it was said to be inhabited by witches and demons.
However this changed when the cave was re-discovered by a German writer August Kopisch and painter Ernst Fries who visited the cave with local fishermen.After which the cave became extremely popular with tourists and visitors.
After forty minutes,we reach the opening to the Blue Grotto and I am taken by surprise. The entrance is barely a few feet wide and with a height of barely one meter. How on earth do people go inside?
The area is buzzing with activity. There are many more yachts full of tourists waiting for rowboats to take them inside. The rowboats are long and thin boats which could only accommodate a minimum of 2 and maximum 4 people.
The boatmen gear up to help people from the yacht into the rowboats.
As I patiently wait for my turn I see the excited faces of the people going inside the cave and the absolutely thrilled expressions of those who have just exited.
Exactly five minutes later I understand why.
The boatman instructed us to lie down in the rowboat and not sit up till he says. I see the waves rising and the sea salt spraying on my face. I hide my camera under its rain cover, praying the boat doesn’t topple,as I fumble searching for my iPhone.
There isn’t any safety gear provided.But strangely its not scary. He pulls the boat in the cave with all his might and for one second I feel,we mint just hit the rocks.
A few seconds later, I look up.It is pitch dark.An eerie silence envelops us. I hear him whisper “Safe now“.
The cavern is 25 metros wide and 60 metros long.
I get up and sit in the rowboat and gasp.A streak of sunlight breaks in through the cave opening and illuminates the cobalt blue waters.
And suddenly the place looks magical. Almost surreal.As if living a dream.
I am suddenly reminded of the sea cave in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,where Dumbledore and Harry land up looking for the Horcrux.
The ride lasts for less than three minutes and there is a tearing conflict.To capture this gorgeous, magical place in my lens and to experience this out-of-the-world sea cave ride.
As the boat pulls out into the daylight again,I understand what the hype was all about.
Why the nature has its beauties tucked away in faraway corners and why there are so many unsolved mysteries on this earth which can never be comprehended,just experienced.
1. Blue Grotto is a must visit when in Italy. It is a one day getaway from Naples and can be clubbed with exploring Capri and Anacapri.
2. Take a jet foil from Naples and reach Capri island.
3. There are yachts from Capri which take you to Blue Grotto and back.
4. Another way to reach the Grotto is by bus from Anacapri.
5. Hours: 9 am to 5 pm daily. Closed during rough seas and high winds.
6. Ticket price: 13 Euros.
7. Best time to visit during the day: When the sun is up, between 12-2 pm, this is helpful as the sunlight helps to create the magical. illuminated effect inside the cavern.
8. Swimming is not allowed, no matter how tempting it is. It is both illegal and unsafe.
No matter how tempting the waters are!
This article was published by UrbanSpice under the Travel and Luxury section:)