Lati nüawes ot Capraia / (Belated) Capraia report

Int Äprél meü framki Paul und me räizta ï Capraia, an minikï Italiaz eylant au t'auntts seria ete BBC TV-programa Rough Science (»Rühi Tsenta«) wä ohnmerki. Ven fund t'eldi prahant tes tem ütighi. T'ey'st mol tsohn, met grauti natür, und jist werkilauk tstil.

Te plazikla raumis jist mackti ot yétmelk -- härlauk!

I thought it was high time I finally posted a blog entry about our trip to Capraia a few months ago. After all, it's the home of my fourth conlang, the vestigial Cobrœxu, as well as being the location of the filming of the first series of Rough Science.

On the language front, I am told that the island has an interesting dialect, but as I'd only been learning Italian for two or three months before the trip I don't have enough expertise to report on this matter. One interesting point is that very few of the locals spoke any English (British tourists being few and far between on Capraia), but that many spoke excellent French (wealthy French tourists sailing across from nearby Corsica being the islanders' bread and butter). As a result, we sometimes found after five minutes' struggling with my basic Italian and a local person's virtually nonexistent English that we could switch to French and sort everything out within seconds.

Capraia is beautiful, in a rugged, scrub-covered, unspoilt kind of way. We spent much of our time walking the island's incredibly rough footpaths, and one particular port of call was the almost-derelict former prison building (a 2-hour hike uphill from civilisation) where Rough Science I was filmed. Paul teased me mercilessly that "You know Kate Humble's not going to be there, don't you?" I dismissed such comments as mere cruel negativity from my esteemed travelling companion, and was rewarded when we reached the building by the discovery that much evidence of the programme still remains: indeed, the remnants of Jonathan Hare's storm-smashed windmill have been affixed to the wall of one of the rooms, which was the venue for a reunion party some time ago, apparently.

Of course, this was far from the only reason for visiting Capraia, and although it was interesting and enjoyable to visit the prison (there's a sentence I never thought I'd type) it was the scenery that was the real star. The place is wonderfully quiet, and I would heartily recommend it to anyone, except if everyone else went there it would spoil it, so please don't go, you'll hate it, and there is nothing to do.

Oh, and the local ice cream is fabulous as well.


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