Anacapri ~

"Bus to Anacapri," May 31 (?), 2014

“Bus to Anacapri,” May 31 (?), 1964

No notes on today, so maybe today was the day we ventured to Anacapri, a commune on the high (“ana” is Greek for high) west side of the island of Capri. We took a bus and then a chairlift, from which the following shot was taken:

"Flowers seen from chairlift on way to Anacapri," May 31 (?), 1964

“Flowers seen from chairlift on way to Anacapri,” May 31 (?), 1964

Altre avventure caprese domani!

Capri (May 30, 1964)!

"Boat to Capri," May 30, 1964

“Boat to Capri,” May 30, 1964

Above: leaving Naples for the hour and a half or so trip to Capri; below, the cliffs of the island:

"Capri," May 30, 1964

“Capri,” May 30, 1964

A new letter begins today with these first impressions of Capri:

Today we went by a small boat to Capri. It is so clean compared to Naples. They are constantly sweaping streets, white washing walls, cleaning windows etc. etc. Instead of being in square blocks the streets are narrow and winding. There are arches above the streets and there are thousands of outdoor shops. The whole town is like one big curiosity shop. There are so many bells here and some of them we haven’t the faintest idea of the meaning. Our resturante is a very typical Italian resturante. To give you an idea: tonight we heard the sweet chords of Santa Lucia floating through the air as we sucked our appitizer of spaghetti.

Tomorrow: Anacapri!

Mount Vesuvius (May 29, 1964)

Naples vista, May 1964

Naples vista, May (29?) 1964

The last entry in the first letter of having step foot on Italian soil reports on a trip to Mount Vesuvius and further wanderings in Naples:

Today we went to Mt. Vesuvius. We went first by bus then train then bus, then chair lift. It wasn’t very clear but we went down in the crater and it was very interesting. The rest of the time we toured Naples.

Next stop: Capri!

On to Pompeii (May 28, 1964)

Pompeii, May 28, 1964

Pompeii, May 28, 1964

(A little “rats!” note on the photos coming up for quite a stretch; I realized after I scanned them, that I’d done it at too low a resolution and didn’t get a chance to go back to my slide-scanning place to redo them, so they’re kind of just the size of the slides themselves! Now that I see this one up, I guess it’s fine for the web and even adds to the “retro” quality?)

The entry for May 28 doesn’t actually have that much on Pompeii but does provide a fun eleven-year-old’s perspective on Naples and on safe traveling practices (no doubt inspired by our leader!):

Pompeii today. The buildings were fascinating, but it was raining so it was nice to be back at our Pensione,

One thing I’ve noticed about Naples is that the laundry is hanging out the windows of the front entrance.

After dinner we went for another walk. There is a shop across the street that sells soft drinks. We always have lemonade. He presses the lemens [sic] by and. It is just delicous [sic].

We have found all the fire escapes and there is a red cross station just around the corner.

Love that part about how we “always” have lemonade! In Naples for a day and already an habituée! 🙂

Arrived in Naples (May 27, 1964)!

A new diary-form letter begins today all about leaving the Leonardo da Vinci and first impressions of Naples; I’ll quote that part:

On the way to our “pencione” we had the wildest taxi driver. He went darting thought the traffic the opposite way at about 70 m.p.h.

Anyway we are here now! We had a delicious dinner and have just returned from a pleasant walk along the water front.

The way I remember that first taxi ride was that some kind of accident happened too! And Beah and the taxi driver (and a third party maybe?) standing outside the car talking very quickly and in raised voices in Italian–very impressive!

And to mark the end of the Atlantic crossing, here’s another relic from its beginning (one I only came across since my May 19th post). It’s a “bon voyage” telegraph from Coach and Betty! It arrived in a colorful cellophane envelope:

Bon voyage telegram, May 19, 1964

Bon voyage telegram, May 19, 1964

And here’s the message itself:

Telegram to Beah's "travelers three," May 19, 1964

Telegram to Beah’s “travelers three,” May 19, 1964

The other pillar, May 26, 1964 ~

Morocco, May 26, 1964

Morocco, May 26, 1964

Anchors away from Gibraltar with a shot of Morocco across the strait: or, more specifically (possibly?), Jebul Musa, one of the two candidates for the north African pillar of Hercules. Along with the Rock of Gibraltar, the two “pillars” faced each other across the Strait of Gibraltar (read more about them here, and find a photo of Jebul Musa from the point of view of Gibraltar here), marking the boundary of the Mediterranean Sea. During the Middle Ages, people thought the pillars were actual columns on an island in the middle of the Strait; they’re depicted that way in the famous Hereford world map produced around 1285:

Pillars of Hercules, detail from Hereford Map, c. 1285

Pillars of Hercules, detail from Hereford Map, c. 1285

Tomorrow: arriving in Naples!

Anchoring off Gibraltar, May 25, 1964 ~

Gibraltar, May 25, 1964

The  Rock of Gibraltar, May 25, 1964

A shot of the Rock of Gibraltar on the evening of May 25, 1964 … no notes or letters from this evening, but I remember it so well! Passengers disembarking here went ashore in small boats (row boats, even?), and my impression is that many passengers not disembarking also went ashore for the evening. What I remember most was the air of festivity and what was for me a first whiff of someplace truly foreign: the Mediterranean Sea — what a place to breathe in as a person’s first foreign place! In antiquity, passing out of the Strait of Gibraltar–westward past the “Pillars of Hercules”–into the Atlantic Ocean was the same as leaving the known world. For me, our evening anchored off Gibraltar stands in my memory as a moment of passage into a world whose very newness to me had to do with the feeling of its being so richly worn and lived-in.

No original Boomerangs were skipped for this Sunday post; Fred Eno himself skipped May 25!