Monday, August 25

Climbing Mount Epomeo (Ischia)

Of course we couldn't leave Ischia without climbing the highest mountain on the island. But, then again it was rather hot, so we cheated and drove most of the way up. We stopped at a lookout point halfway up to admire the view:
The bay of Sant'Angelo below:
At the end of the road there was a mossy banked pathway that gently led upwards. You can actually hire horses to take you up to the top, but I doubt Holly would have liked that very much.
The pathway became narrower...
And then so narrow that it was more like walking through a drain...
Until suddenly it widened out again and we were up in the clouds. An old abandoned house stood there, surrounded by wildflowers and eddying clouds.

The top of the mountain was a real craggy peak. I watched them bound up like two mountain goats..
We were way above the clouds and could see for miles..
You know that feeling when you suddenly realize how high you are and have to suddenly sit down and grab hold of anything you can find? Yeah, that happened....
But every now and again the clouds parted and the sun shone through, giving us glimpses of the island below..

Sitting with my head in the clouds...
On the way back down we took a chance and stopped off for dinner at a restaurant called L'Arca, which seemed to hang off a rock on the side of the road. The view was amazing, we arrived just in time for the sunset and the food was excellent too. Highly recommended to refuel and reward yourselves for climbing a mountain!

Tuesday, August 12

From Ischia to Procida

We had so much fun on the boat the day before that we decided to do it again the next day, just us and Holly...
We set off from Sant'Angelo harbor late in the morning.
This time there was plenty of room to lie down and relax.

And also the possibility to take the helm and drive for a while!

We found a few caves to explore...
Going inside always sends a shiver down my back!
Then in the distance we saw another island...Procida. It didn't look too far so we went a bit closer to have a look..
It looked very pretty so we carried on around the island and then suddenly turning a corner we saw this:
"It looks like Positano all gone horizontal" commented Carlo.

We anchored in the bay and had a picnic lunch bobbing around with a view to die for..
Holly had great fun, bouncing around on the boat all day..
But possibly the best part of the day was when we arrived back in Sant'Angelo and found a gelateria with strawberry cheesecake gelato!

Monday, August 4

Ischia Boat trip!

We had already decided to rent out a rubber boat for a day while in Ischia and were surprised and pleased when nearly everyone else staying at Casa Lora decided that they wanted to all come too. So we all headed down to the white sandy beach of Forio...
and climbed aboard as elegantly as possible...
We decided that Holly could come along too, it would have been mean to leave her behind.
As soon as we could we stopped for a swim. It was about this point that I picked up my phone, turned around very fast and watched in horror as it slipped out my hand and took a long spinning dive into the sea...

Very luckily for me Paolo was right nearby in the water with a mask on and as soon as I bellowed his name he dove down and saved the phone (with all these photos on it!) Thank Samsung for waterproof phones! And thanks to Paolo for quick diving!
We sailed and swam, dived and played..
And bounced on the edge of the boat dangling our toes and paws in the water.
Eventually we had to stop to eat so we pulled in at Sorgeto, a special little beach which has very hot thermal water flowing into the sea.
But first we drank...weird kiddie cocktails for the kids...
And proper drinks for everyone else. Nothing says summer in Italy better than jugs of white wine with peaches overlooking the sea!

Something quick to eat:
And then off the the left had side of the beach where the water was so hot that at first you can't even put your legs into it.
If you like you can get painted with that special Ischian mud that does wonders for your skin. I tried it a couple of days before and when I washed it off Skye looked at me, tutted and said, "nope, it didn't work, you still look old."
Slowly we lowered ourselves into the hot water and suddenly found ourselves surrounded by young unexpected side effect of healing waters, perhaps?
Before they got too close we made our escape and headed back to Forio in the still sunny early evening.
We stopped for one last swim, and although Holly didn't seem too happy about being unceremoniously dumped overboard the rest of us had a brilliant time.

Wednesday, July 30

The Aragonese Castle and its many views

On our second day in Ischia we woke up to rainstorms.
The sea was quite choppy and nobody was sure what the weather would be like for the rest of the day.
But wet weather wasn't going to stop Skye and her friends from enjoying the gardens and pool at Casa Lora.
The morning was spent lazing by the pool until the sun decided to reappear and we risked heading out to Ischia Town.
Around every corner there was a different view.
It felt like walking through a set of mixed postcards.
Thirsty work for the little ones!
In the late afternoon we climbed up to the top of the Aragonese Castle which was nothing like what I expected.
The dark clouds were rolling back in, but the views from the top of the castle grounds were too spectacular to leave too soon.
It almost looks Caribbean doesn't it?
We sat down for a rest at the top and gazed out towards Naples.
Slowly we headed back down. While seagulls screeched overhead, Carlo got his English mixed up and commented on the noisy owls which had us teasing him for days afterwards every time we saw a seagull.
The Aragonese Castle is a lovely place with stunning views from every angle. It even has a hotel in the grounds, but alas we had to leave...
Back at Casa Lora we sat on the terrace and watched the sun setting over the sea, something that you can only see for a brief time in winter in Positano.
I think I've found my favourite castle. What's yours?
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