I have always wanted to visit the place where my parents had spent their honeymoon: Capri.
I never got there before now.
So I took a deep breath while visiting Budapest and persuaded some friends (one of whom I knew to be an extraordinarily good driver) to rent a small SUV and join me on a visit to the Amalfi Coast.
We flew to Naples and drove to Sorrento. During the trip I discovered a number of things: a) the Amalfi Coast is the place where all the world’s scooters and motorbikes go to die, and b) to tour the area one has to be physically very fit and extraordinarily patient.
Since there is almost no place to park one’s vehicle near to one’s target one has to walk, and walk and walk to reach it, then queue for hours to gain access to what one wants to see or taste or even photograph. Apparently, the world’s entire population has gone mad with the desire, after having been cooped up by COVID, to travel — from everywhere to everywhere.
I was lucky. Thanks to our driver’s skill, we managed to drive through Sorrento and Positano, followed by Amalfi and even Ravello, each city more beautiful than the next.
How she managed to get us back to Sorrento without a scratch on our car on narrow, wildly winding roads jammed with giant buses full of gawking tourists, and scooters and motorcycles zigzagging through the traffic at break-neck speed is, in my opinion, a miracle.
We stood in line for half an hour to buy tickets for the Capri ferry, then queued another thirty minutes to get on board. In Capri we had to line up again for tickets (only available for sale locally) for a tour of the island by boat.
During the trip (which was supposed to include a visit to the famous Blue Grotto) we discovered that the waiting time for getting into the grotto was an hour and a half. I befriended a young man who was selling bottles of water on board. He turned out to be the son of the president of the company that owned twelve boats, each capable of accommodating 400 people that plied the waters around the island with tourists.
He said “We have two more boats on order because we cannot keep up with the demand with only a dozen.” He added, as he gave me a small bottle of water for free. “This will not end well. Capri will be suffocated by tourism.”