Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cinque Terre, Italy

Getting up even earlier the next day was horrible! Holy cow, it felt as if we were never sleeping, all the same, we were spending our time seeing amazing things and eating great food, so it was time to stop complaining. 
Bay at Riomaggiore
We got to the train station and our train was not listed. AWESOME! We walked around for a short bit and then headed towards the tracks where we saw other listings and noticed that our train was there. We boarded the train, quickly realizing that it was a commuter train that anyone could get on, found a seat and braced ourselves for a long ride. It was jam packed the entire way to the towns and we couldn’t move. People were everywhere, trying to cram themselves onto the train where there clearly was no room. Those were the longest 4 hours of the trip I believe.
When we finally got off the train in La Spezia, we began walking towards the piers. The train arrived late, which put us in a crappy position because when we got to the pier, we were 20 minutes too late for the ferry and it wouldn’t be coming back for at least another 2.5 hours. There was no way to get back to where we wanted to go without getting on the train again and backtracking to a place that we could have gotten off on before. It was hot, my legs were so swollen that I couldn’t bend my ankles, and we had to walk 15 minutes uphill at a fast rate just to make the earliest train. I don’t know how, but we boarded that train with about 1 minute to spare and I was longer looking nice in my sun dress!!
So Kim got us back to the train station in record time and we made it back to Riomaggiore. It was quaint, we had some bruschetta and wine and laid on the rocks in the sun until it was time to take the ferry to the other towns. The ferry ride was nice, there was a beautiful breeze and great angles for taking pictures. It definitely was the best way to see each of the villages and get an idea of what Cinque Terre really was. If I go back, I will definitely walk the path between the towns, but for a quick trip, the ferry was a great choice. Once we got to Monterosso (which has some of the best beaches in Cinque Terre), we found a great little restaurant and had some amazing pasta, which we split of course. It was a great view and definitely hit the spot because we hadn’t eaten much again today.
Gulfo de Poeti
Beach at Monterosso

After a quick lunch, we headed down to the beach to catch some late afternoon sun and get in the water. After the heat of the day, a quick dip in the sea was necessary. Cinque Terre surrounds a body of water called the Gulfo de Poeti. It is an inlet off of the Mediterranean Sea. Hot sun, cool water, beautiful views. What more could we ask for. We enjoyed the sun and surf, and around 6pm we headed back to the train station, grabbing some much needed gelato along the way. It was an easy end to the day and the ride home was nice because although it was a 3 hour train ride, we were back in first class, with a small compartment, few people, and no noise! I read the entire way home while Kim took a nap. The fresh air had worn us out and we were ready to head back to the hotel and get some much needed rest.

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