Five Lands.

Trip Start Apr 10, 2010
Trip End Apr 10, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Liguria,
Friday, October 29, 2010

We drove through some gorgeous towns, including La Spezia, a nice harbor city on our way to a place called Cinque Terre ("Cinque" like the number 5 in Italian). But we soon discovered it is actually not a single destination but a stretch of coast with 5 very desirable towns.

Firstly we must say that the terrain of Cinque Terre is downright ridiculous and is basically high mountains plummeting directly into the sea. The high alpine roads were crazy, reminding us of Norway mixed with Croatian coast. Poor Bigwig really exerted himself on the dramatic ascents and descents. Poor old van..

Manarola & Riomaggiore:
The first town we parked outside of was Manarola where we spent 2 days dipping in and out of. Cinque Terre has a train line that links all the 5 towns so we visited Riomaggiore by stowing away on the train. We didn't pay, and we didn’t get caught. A victimless crime.. 2 days later we found out there was a strike with the rail workers. Probably not connected but you never know.
Manarola is a colourful little bay that is in a narrow crease in the mountain. All the bright houses seem to just be piled up on each other. And the surrounding countryside steeps are terraced with grape vines everywhere. We spent most of the time there on the bay terrace playing chess on the inbuilt mat in the bench, and sketching in our art pads.
When we visited Riomaggiore for an afternoon we quickly fell in love with its very dramatic cove which has a well know platform for looking back upon it. It was very cold, but the evening sun on all the terraced multi-coloured houses was incredible.

This town we drove over to, is different from the others and is very high up on a cliff overlooking the coast and ocean. There weren’t many people there and it didn’t seem as popular as the others, however, it did have a set of amazing vistas, even if it didn’t have that many shops. The reason for the lack of people was probably because its so bloody dangerous to drive to, we suppose half the folk who attempt to visit, fall off cliffs along the way.

Monterosso & Vernazza:
We did really try to drive to Vernazza, but not only was there no parks for us, but the terrain was that intense, at points we thought Bigwig would blow his top. So we skipped Vernazza and decided to visit it by train like before.
That night we camped up on the cliffs watching the sunset on the ocean to a 1995 Chianti Classico Reserva. Perhaps the very knees of every bee. To celebrate the occasion we let off fireworks and Joel was miraculously unburnt, even in his chianti fueled mirth.
Monterosso the next day is perhaps the least remarkable of the 5 towns, but it does have beaches. With SAND! Albeit very dirty brown gravely sand.
The journey to Vernazza via train was very unpredictable, the train strike that we mentioned earlier saw that only half of the trains actually arrived. But eventually we made it in. Vernazza is probably the most touristy, but it has a really cool waterfront with an amazing church at its edge. The town also has schloss. So needless to say. It was a golden experience. We went to buy pizzas, but when we picked them up Jena dropped half of hers on the shop floor. She was really embarrassed, so the guido cooked her a whole other pizza, then we had more pizza than before! Good old clumsiness never fails! Epic win.
We ate along the shore and watched a seagull trying to carry a fish twice its size around. Turns out everyone is winning today!
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Mama mia on

WHOW!!! What awesome photos!!! They look like postcards!! It must be amzing to be right there. I am going to look it up on Google Earth! XX

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