The beautiful Italian coast and water!
All of the landscape that we saw as we rode across the northern part of Italy was breathtaking, but this was perfect!
We stayed in a town called La Spezia.
Given the fact that they spoke about 5 words of English...and we spoke about 4 less than that of Italian, we did pretty good in communicating about our room and where we could find food and how we would get back to the train station in two days, etc.
Our room was at the top of a loooooong hill.
The market was at the bottom.
Once we bought some things for the night, I was able to cook pasta dinner in this cute little apartment.
They had an equally tiny balcony to hang out on.
It was small, but had great views.
We each spent our own time out on the patio.
I spent time reading and listening to a loud Italian family have a fight in a nearby apartment.
Our plan for this part of the trip was to spend the next day in an area called Cinque Terre. It's a group of five villages on the coast of the Ligurian Sea.
We bought passes that allowed you to travel all over the area via train or trail.
We would start there and make our way back.
This particular village had the largest area for people who wanted to find a place to sit and hang out at the beach.
We got there in time to get what appeared to be the LAST two beach chairs!
It was GORGEOUS!
Hot and sunny weather and chairs right by the water!
Look at that coast line!
There's a beautiful vineyard carved into the side of the land!
View to the left...
We just really hung out and relaxed here -watching the crowds gather and being thankful that we had made the choice to come early.
photo by Hannah
After a while we decided to head toward the next village called Vernazza.
When we checked on the train, it said there was 40 minutes before the next train arrived.
So, I thought, "Hey, lets just walk the trail to the next town. We'll probably get there faster than waiting for the train."
So, we left Monterosso...
...and took the hiking trail (in our flip flops!) to Vernazza.
photo by HannahAnd from several spots along the trail, we could see Vernazza.
I realize that this was AMAZING!
At the moment...not so much...but I really could see the beauty while I was sweating and starving and slipping out of my FLIP FLOPS!!
So we finally did make it to Vernazza.
Afterwards Hannah told me that if I ever got a chance to enter the "Amazing Race"...take the train!
We were very hungry...hadn't eaten since the morning...so we looked for a place to eat.
I was out of Euros and no one took cards, so we found an ATM.
The only ATM in the village.
So after wandering around for a while, we took a train (yes...a train this time) back to Monterosso.
We found the ATM.
What is going on??!!
Apparently there was a storm coming in that was knocking out all the power to the ATM's...in all the villages.
Not sure how that happens, but we were feeling pretty discouraged.
Hannah had US dollars on her that we eventually took to a hotel where they exchanged them for Euros.
We head back into the center of Monterosso and found a pizza place we had seen before.
I'm telling you that food never tasted so good!
We got our own pizzas this time and I ate mine like it was my last meal!
Seriously though - that was the best pizza of all time!
Anchovies and all!!
After pizza it was time to head back to our room.
Hannah stopped for a gelato and we caught our train after a long and exhausting, but wonderful day.
We'd do it all over again just the same.
We caught a taxi the next morning to the train station in La Spezia from our little flat and started on our journey to France.
And they weren't lying about that storm.
As the rain came I thought how lucky we were to have had such a wonderful day on the Italian beaches.
Prochain Arrêt: Lyon, France