Well our last night in Florence was a lot nicer to us, we managed to sleep through, I think we were both pretty nakkered. We made it to the pick up hostel with plenty of time to spare and left Florence just after 8am. Pisa was our photo opportunity today on the way to Cinque Terre. Of course as you would expect there were plenty of people trying to get an original shot of the leaning tower of Pisa which I might add is leaning on a lot more of an angle than you might think. At the top end the angled side of the tower is 4m away from where it should be if it was standing straight. It is just over a 3 degree angle which is quite a lot considering how tall the tower is. Apparently they have managed to stabilise the tower now, and that is no longer what causes the risk of it falling over. Now because of the lean, when it rains obviously the rain will run off on the side that is closer to the ground. Now it is the uneven erosion of the tower that causes the risk of it to fall.
Then we were on our way to La Spezia. This is the town you stop in to access the trains to the five towns on the Cinque Terre. We are staying in number one town. This is called Riamaggiore which I personally think is the most beautiful of the five. After that it is ( and if the spelling is wrong I apologise, I'm writing this at the pub after 2 jd's:) ) Manarola, Corgnelia, Vernazza and Monterosso. So it is one train stop from where the bus dropped us in La Spezia to Riamaggiore. When we got off the train it was a rather steep climb with all our luggage up to where the reception for our accommodation is. When we get up there we find out that the reception look after a heap of apartments/ houses that are privately owned and rented out. So this sounds promising.... Until the manager starts leading us towards our shared house... I have a roller case which isn't exactly up-stair friendly. I lost count of how many steps we climbed but it was a hell of a lot. Just when I thought there couldn't be anymore we went round a corner and there were more stairs... Took us a good 20 minutes to drag our luggage to our room. The house is a cute little lace with lots of little 'grandma' knick knacks. It has three bedrooms in it with 2 bathrooms. We have a bedroom and share the bathroom and the main living area with a tv in it and we have a fridge in our room!!! What luxury ;) haven't had that since Venice :)
So when we were on the bus with our guide Paul he gave us instructions to get to a bar called Bar Centrale and to speak to a guy named Evo and tell him that Wolverine sent you, so you can guess who Paul looks like :) so after we checked into the room we walk back down again (only about 10 mins down when you don't have luggage) and go straight to Bar Centrale. We walk in and introduce ourselves to Evo. An Italian who puts on an Australian accent, he is really humorous and looks after us all. We get a half an hour wifi here with anything you buy as there is no wifi up at the room. Again we are getting free pour drinks so the jacks are fairly strong. They also sell meals here and there is a crepes and gelati store right next door which all seems to be run by the same management. The nutella crepes are amazing here, and the sugar and lemon are pretty amazing too. So we ate and deal to our hearts content, calamari, then crepes, then gelati and then try to drag our full tummy's up the hill to bed. We needed a fairly early night as it was the Cinque Terre walk tomorrow.
So we started the walk this morning from Riamaggiore to Manorola. This section of the walk is called 'Lovers Lane' a lot of people leave padlocks attached to anything possible with their names on it or names graffitied onto some of the concrete. To buy a pass to go on any section of the walk including any train rides was 10 euro per person. Unfortunately due to flooding and landslides in October 2011, two of the four walks between the towns are closed. So you can walk between Riamaggiore and Manorola and then train from Manorola to Vernazza and then walk from Vernazza to Monterosso. After that you can catch the train back to Riamaggiore. The first walk is very easy, no stairs and it walks right alongside the ocean which is quite a fair way down. This walk is only 20 minutes long. So then we caught the train to the last walk. This one is a lot harder and has a ridiculous amount of stairs. This is only 3km long but takes on average about 2 hours to do. In saying that, it is sooooo worth it!!! The views are amazing, of course I wasted a whole camera card just today. Also Poseidon (I know he's the Greek god of the ocean but just go with it) was putting on an absolute powerful show today, the seas were huge and just churning everything up, it just added to our experience. I would have to say Riamaggiore and the Cinque Terre have been my favourite so far....
Tomorrow at lunch we are getting on the bus to Nice. We are only staying there overnight and then we are off to Barcelona for three nights.
Chat soon xxx