Sleepless in Capri

A moment lived in Italy by BrandTravels, a traveller from Montreal

You first all should know that after going to Capri for the afternoon, we decided to sleep there. This was NOT planned and no, we did not mean to stay there more than half a day but come on, can you blame us? This place is just crazy beautiful!

We however had no place to stay and no hotels booked. If you must know, Capri is one beautiful place where the most chic boutiques and people come to and we weren’t really dressed and as cleaned as everyone was in this chic island. I hate giving out details like that but you guys must know that we still had our wet bathing suits one, with shorts, shirts, overalls and nothing warm for the night. Our hair was a mess and we still had some sand from the beach day we had. As dirty as I just made us seem, we just couldn’t stop laughing from the night we were going to spend and let me tell you, it is a night I will always remember.
And as we were getting hungry and the sun was going down, people started to get dressed nicely for dinner… like really nice. Compared to us of course, it wasn’t hard to beat! We were all gross from the long day we had on boats, ferries and visiting. By then, our phones almost all died, only one of our friend had his working and we kept fighting for it to take pictures, send messages and let our parents we are doing fine. At dinner, the waiter looked at us like we were some sort of four crazy tourists and served us our spaghetti tomato sauce probably thinking we were famished, and we WERE! After playing cards for an hour at the restaurant and hoping the time would go by faster, we actually realised what we got ourselves into Capri can actually get pretty cold when the sun is out!
We were laughing about the night we were going to spend but didn’t realise the laughter would soon turn into us being too tired to even open our eyes. Even in the middle of the July, with no sun outside and a bit of wind, we were chilly. We desperately went into all the hotels and asked if they had a room for us because we ”missed” our boats and we had no place to stay for the night… no luck! This is quite embarrassing but I actually made the hotel concierge feel bad for us by telling him,: imagine these were your kids, and they had no place to stay, aren’t you a father?! He looked at me and I swear for a second, I thought he would say yes… no luck though. After spending another hour walking around and trying to play some stupid games all around the island, we really needed to rest and our eyes were closing pretty fast.
At around 2 am, we decided to sneak in into the pool of the Holiday Inn and to sleep there on the chairs they had. We were desperate and we had no other options. It was HILARIOUS. Every time we heard a little noise which was probably a cat walking by, we all woke up and looked at each other as if someone was coming to get us! It was so spooky back then but as I am writing this now, I cannot help but have a smile on my face. Our backs were hurting since we were on the chairs and a table so at around 4 am, I decided to go to the long chairs by the pool and sleep there. There were stars in the sky, a full bright and white moon and a big silent all around.
At around 6 am, I opened my eyes and finally saw the sunrise, I woke up everyone and we all headed to a cafe that opened super early, thank god!. We were EXHAUSTED and the bags under our eyes were totally obvious. What was also obvious was the empty pockets slash no money except 10 euros. Getting a coffee was harder than running half a marathon and we ended up all sharing one cup of coffee.
When the sun actually rose, people started getting up and the day was getting going, we decided it was time to go back to Naples, where we first came from. Gosh, we were excited to sleep early, and in!
This will truly be the funniest night and my best memory of my trip to Italy! Travelling for me means the world and I got so lucky I was able to see Capri for a longer time than expected. See you again Capri, this time sleeping a hotel room I hope.

This traveller has a blog : BrandTravels

credit photo : BrandTravels

When dreams come true, tears flow

A moment lived in Italy by Punita Malhotra, a traveller from India

Everyone has a dream destination, and mine has always been Venice. For as long as I can remember, the floating ethereal city has been the fairytale I wanted to live out. Naturally, my excitement was already sky-high when we boarded the train from Milan to Venice.

The sight of the water taxis outside Venice station fired my spirits higher and throughout the ferry ride, I kept standing at the helm, looking out at sea, eager for my first view. Despite all the fascinating pictures my mind recalled, I was totally unprepared! The city’s hazy silhouette from a distance kept sharpening as we got nearer…like a perfect painting hung up on a far wall in a museum. With every second, I noticed more colours under the intricate play of light and shade. Finally, we were here!

There was a flurry of activity when we anchored, luggage and passengers offloading from dozens of boats together. The riverside dock was teeming with crowds…tourists with cameras, hawkers with wares, shops with souvenirs and painters with easels. From the port, I caught a glimpse of the monumental St.Mark’s Square (or San Marco Piazza as they call it) and the buildings leading up to it. My unbridled excitement must have been writ on my face, because Vikas smiled indulgently, before giving me a gentle nudge. I had stopped short in my tracks and was blocking the way of the patient passengers behind.

We wheeled away our bags and I followed Vikas as he moved towards St.Mark’s Square, where the throngs were thickening. I was soaking in the sight of the grand Doge Palace and the government buildings with hundreds of symmetrical windows on all sides. It was the strangest feeling, a sort of communion with this huge mingling crowd queuing up to enter the cathedral and posing for pictures. Surreal.

“What’s the hotel address?” I heard Vikas ask. I handed over the email confirmation to him, still staring mesmerised at the cathedral. It was slightly off-centred, wasn’t it? He must have left me standing there, while he walked over to a restaurant asking for directions, but I didn’t notice. All my life I had dreamt of visiting Venice and we were here now. Then why did I suddenly feel a hardness in my throat and why were tears stinging my eyes?

“This doesn’t seem to be the complete hotel address” Vikas looked at me quizzingly. “Well, that’s all I have”, I dismissed the issue. We would easily find the hotel…and this was not the first time we’ve traveled to an unfamiliar city. The real deal: I was still reveling in the magic of my dream come true to take his concern seriously. “We’ll ask someone for directions”, I said, shrugging casually. “How difficult can it be to find a four-star luxury hotel in Venice? People would have heard of the hotel and the street is mentioned too. It says it is near St.Mark’s Square.”

The hotel was the farthest from my mind…I was lost in Venice and just wanted time to stop. “Just look at the scene, I coaxed him spiritedly. The scene was farthest from his mind….he was lost in Venice and he just wanted to locate the hotel. We couldn’t have been in more different worlds!

I sighed. Time to exit dreamland and locate reality. Half a dozen conversations and 30 minutes later, we realized that the hotel address was really incomplete. In Venice, everything is near either St.Mark’s square or Rialto! Very few locals could speak English. Vikas was exasperated now. Knitted browse and irritated voice. “How can you not have the complete hotel address? This is the height of irresponsibility”. I was to blame, but would I take the blame right now? I had been shaken out of my spell and was tired from wheeling around a huge piece of luggage, and maybe there was a teeny-meeny feeling of guilt too! “Well, you could have double checked too, why should I have to do everything?” I retorted.

The moment had passed. My tears had dried up. My delighted smile had turned into a scowl. We were huffing and puffing, dragging heavy luggage up and down the little cobbled alleys and canal bridges. Vikas was on an exorbitantly expensive ISD call with the hotel concierge, who was giving live directions using the Google Map. I was following him through charming little waterways, bridges and narrow streets. Finally, after 45 tedious minutes of circling everywhere, we finally checked into the hotel, said goodbyes to our egos, rebooted and smiled. We were in one of the most romantic cities in the world…no place to fight for long!

When we walked back to St.Mark’s Piazza later that afternoon, I still felt the magic, but the intensity was mellower. But I didn’t mind that. I had had my moment…that first look would remain etched in my memory forever. And the faux pas was so much more fun now that it was over. Having added a hugely interesting dimension to the ‘plain-old-tears-of-joy’ landing at Venice…it had given us a story of a different kind, to be retold over and over again…lathered in true-blue good humor, of course!

This traveller has a blog : 100 cobbled roads

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