Day 09: Italy (Cinque Terre)
After a good night sleep, we woke up charged up as “Italian Riviera” was on the list for quite some time. Aarti had already started blabbering in Spanish which only she could understand :-p
We got ready, had our breakfast with whatever was available in the house. The moment we stepped out, we were welcomed by a nice, bright and warm sun. What else can you ask for eh!
Plan was to hop on a boat and check out all 5 coastal villages that constitute Cinque-Terre (The Five Lands) i.e.
- Monterosso al Mare
We hopped into Dhanno, the point from where you board a ship was not too far. Finding a spot to park your car be a hassle though. Luckily we point a place a little far from the actually location of the boarding point and then started walking towards it.
There was still some time for the boats to start so we decided to grab something in the meantime and click some pictures 😉
Thanks to us waking up late in the morning and then spending a good amount on clicking photographs, we were only left with 2 – 3 hours before we could catch the last boat to our starting point. There was an option of taking a train on the way back, and that’s what we did in the end.
When the gate opened, we bought two one way tickets and boarded the ferry. In about an half an hour or so, we were at the first stop i.e. Portovenere. This was not one of the villages but a stop for the ferries. There were so many tourists and places too crowded, so we just took a stroll, clicked few pictures and boarded the same ferry again for the next village.
In another 15-20 minutes we were walking to get down at village Riomaggiore. The moment you get down the ferry, you have to walk through a narrow trail which is already occupied by people standing in queue to board the ferry. With the sun shining bright, and cool breeze blowing, at least I wasn’t complaining. We could see plenty of people getting sun baked, swimming i.e. having fun. We had no plans of doing either, after confirming from the visitor help-desk we decided to take a stroll in the village market and explore some shops. Although, i keep using the term “village”, these were more like small towns and less of villages. With so many colourful shops on the either side of the streets and restaurants having their full menu displayed outside, we finally gave in to the temptation and took shelter under one restaurant which looked promising. We had our lunch and it was about time to board the next ferry to the next village.
Next village i.e. Manarola, had almost the same feel. Thanks to some tall rocks next to the shore, we saw many people jumping into the water from those heights. Looked very tempting but again we dint come prepared for this and next time will see if we can spend a night or so, in order to enjoy the village the way those people were. There was a nice looking “Gelato” store, we grabbed one each, relished it, click few more pictures before it was time to board the ferry again.
We skipped getting down at Corniglia as it was already getting dark and we dint want to miss Vernazza. Vernazza was more popular as compared to other villages because of more picturesque location. We too captured few at the famous spot, no way were we going to miss that 😉
It was getting darker, and train that we were supposed to catch for our return journey was from Vernazza. So we decided to skip Monterosso al Mare as well.
The train station was jam packed. We bought our tickets and started waiting for the train. Almost all the people on the station were tired, seemed like they had been hopping on and off the ferry whole day. Traversing through all these villages can be quite tiring actually but if you have a smart wife, you dont have to do all the villages and just visit the important ones .. ahem ahem .. no i am not trying to show off 😉
After letting go quite a few overcrowded trains, we finally got into one and got down in La Spazia. Got into Dhanno, reached our hotel and called it a day 🙂