On Tuesday we set out for the Cinque Terra. As it was looking quite sunny we thought we'd travel to the furtherest town of Monterossa then do the walk from their back along the other 4 villages as much as we could then come back the next day to finish off. But there were a few glitches to challenge us that day, 1st the boat wasn't running as in spite of the now sunny weather they said the coastline was too rough to land at the villages. The train our 2nd option, when we then walked back to the station we were told there was a National strike & that there would be only intermittent services that day! We 'spoke' to a few people & were
lucky enough to catch 1 after only waiting for 15 minutes. We arrived in Monterossa in much better weather conditions than Sunday had been. After a wander around town we set off on the coastline walk to the next village. Wow what a challenge that proved to be,up hill & down, with so many steps! We were amazed how the hillsides were terraced farmed & how isolated & inaccessible they were as well as why they would choose to live there. After a grueling 1 1/2 walk we had a much needed break for lunch with Pizza&Beer at Vernazza. Then off again for our 2nd leg to Corniglia, with a similar timeframe as we'd decided that would be enough for 1 day! We got there about 3ish & unfortunately after a couple of drinks had to wait around the exposed/warm railway station for the next train which didn't come til just on 6oclock! back to La Spezia finally & the boys cooked up a delicious late marinara dinner.
Wednesday morning we set out by boat once again to the Cinque Terra, this time we travelled out of La Spezia & along the coastline to Manarola. Here we had a very challenging disembark down a very scary gangplank as the boat was pitching a lot. Once on land we headed nth as far as we could then returned to Manarola (as the track had been washed out)& walked the Via Dell Amoretti sth to Riomaggiore. This took no time at all & proved a walk in the park after our previous day's efforts! We were back to our apartments by 2.30, a huge improvement from the day before. We had a nice easy evening, checked out some local designer shops then sat in a Piazza & people watched for a couple of hrs. Jules & I enjoyed an Après Spritz(a local refreshing favorite). Has been a great time here with Kellys, will miss our apartments as has been nice to have a cooking option for past 2 wks. Charlie & I are on the train now to Rome after heading to Pisa this morning for a little sightseeing then returning our Hire Car & dropping Kellys to the Airport.
They're off to Croatia now to join up with some others & we have a couple of days in Rome now before joining our Country Roads of Italy Tour. 3 wks down today & has been great! My friend Genevieve's birthday today as well as my dad's anniversary, hard to believe 29yrs since he's died.
Interesting as we travel to Rome by train, a contrast of scenery from coastal to farming.