Eurotrip 2012- Cinque Terre

I’m gonna venture a guess- but I believe that my opinion on our time spent in Cinque Terre is a bit higher than what Roisin’s would be. She was quite grumpy. It was really hot to be fair and she was riddled with mosquito bites- but I think it’s bloody beautiful. I would go back. I don’t know if Roisin would.

We didn’t have much time to adventure in this area so there was a bit of stress to try and fit everything in. Not to mention that logistically this was probably our trickiest feat. The bus drops you off in La Spezia and then from there we had to find the bus stop for this one rickety strange route that climbs through the mountains and makes you think you’ll be flung out the bus windows due to the sheer swinging swayness of it all- in order to get to Biassa where our hostel was. This wee bus honestly had to honk it’s horn all the way up the hill to warn any potential traffic as there’s all these sharp turns… mental.

Once we finally arrived safe and sound we had to wait a couple hours before the hostel would open so we sat with these two Australian girls chatting at a picnic table. I felt like we were making pals and that we were having good chat- but somewhere along our stay I feel like the one girl started to not like us so much. And I’m still boggled on this switch. Drrraaama!

Anyhoo- So we were finally let in to our room- it did have a load of mosquitoes but I think at this point pretty much everything did. I do think it was odd that they had one shower room with clear doors. Honest. Clear doors. Wtf? Not the best selection there. Privacy when showering is something I enjoy.

Breakfast was included and did the trick. I love a free breakfast me.

We went for a walk that evening through the village. It’s the same size as the village I grew up in so it was neat to see an Italian equivalent of a 600 person community. Biassa is beautiful. We found this wee restaurant/pub and ordered a pizza to go. It was probably one of the best we had. One of the ones we got from the pool bar at Plus Camping Roma literally had so much grease that it leaked through the box. This one did not deliver a drippy box.

That night we did quite a bit of planning. The next day we were going to try to see all 5 villages of Cinque Terre in one go. We booked a shuttle from the front desk to Riomaggiore where we’d explore then hop on a train to see the rest of the villages.

So after a tasty wee breakfast we were on our way bright and early. Riomaggiore is one of my favourites. It has loads of wee restaurants and cafes- the area by the water is gorgeous as well. We were trying to give ourselves at least an hour in each place but I think we may have lingered here longer then some of the others.

Our next stop was Manarola. Afternoon was fast approaching at this point so we did start to suffer a bit with the heat. We didn’t spend as much time here- he is lovely but we had three more villages to get to so after a look around we hopped on the train to head to Corniglia.

What we didn’t anticipate here was a trek from the train station to a massive staircase in order to get to Corniglia. My research did not mention this. Those stairs honestly seemed to go on FOREVER. Roisin was not pleased no, no, no. There was so little shade on this trek as well… he is not a happy memory. My calves were all wriggly the following day.

Corniglia stands out to me though for reasons beyond the massive staircase. It’s so narrow- it’s pretty much one corridor through to the view of the water – so there’s no beach area in the main bit like the others. He was also so much cooler. Thankfully. Full of shade and wee shops. We got some gelato and caught our breath before heading to Vernazza.

On 25 October 2011, Vernazza was struck by torrential rains, massive flooding and mudslides that left the town buried in over 4 metres of mud and debris, causing over 100 million euro worth of damage. The town was evacuated and remained in a continued state of emergency. (Wiki) But you wouldn’t be able to tell that it’d suffered that tragedy so recently. Everything was cleaned up so beautifully- you could still see some signs of the damage but the village clearly worked extremely hard to restore everything. We spent a lot of time here grabbing a bite to eat, a beer and dipping our feet in the water. We chatted with two Irish ladies who were there with their wee girls. It was lovely. It was also nice to slow down a bit as we only had one more village to go.

Monterosso al Mare I liked the least. Overpopulated beaches and it generally lacked the charm of the other 4. Just seemed really busy, so we didn’t linger too long. We took a walk around then grabbed a seat by the water and chatted while the sun started to go down. Then we hopped back on the train for the journey back to Riomaggiore.

There we waited for our shuttle bus and ended up riding with some French Canadians. Here is where Roisin realized that they’re so French they have French accents. Apparently this idea hadn’t crossed her mind. Yes, they really are that French. Not just French speaking Canadians. This is why she’s my favourite.

We were exhausted once we made it to the hostel. Sleep was our first priority. We had to catch a bus the next morning to get us back down to La Spezia in order to wait for the bus which would be bringing us to Nice. I was very excited to return to France.

K

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