We had such a richly full vacation that I don't even know where to begin and how to fit everything on this blog. Too much happened on some days to break it up that way, and I don't want to leave anything out!
I think I will start with our trip there, the town we stayed in, and our hotel.
We initially became interested in Cinque Terre because several friends raved about it's scenic views and inspiring culture. Then, we started following Rick Steves and learned that Cinque Terre (meaning 5 lands) is one of his favorite "Back door" European regions. The icing on the cake was that we found plane tickets for dirt cheap. Sold!
Our alarm went off at 5:45 on Friday morning. Because of my dilly dallying, we ended up sprinting with our luggage to the bus stop at 6:12 (the bus arrived at 6:19) to catch a ride to the airport. We got to Stansted with enough time to grab some coffee and then boarded our plane.
What does a 44 pound flight give you? Basically, a half promise that you will arrive to your destination alive. There were no assigned seats, no luggage carry on (had to pay extra to check luggage over 15 lbs), and definitely no free beverages. One slightly terrifying landing later, we were in Genova, Italy.
|Not a picture I took. I was too focused on getting to Cinque Terre to take a picture|
From the airport, we took a quick bus to the train station, and then a 2 hour train ride to the town we were staying in, Vernazza (one of the 5 villages in Cinque Terre).
I was initially really worried about getting to our final destination. I could find very little information online and was so worried that we would end up lost in Italy. We were able to easily talk to a tourism agent at the airport and buy our bus ticket to the train station. Understandably, the train station was a little confusing at first- nothing was marked in English and we had no idea what information our train tickets were providing us. We unknowingly bought a train ticket that was not direct and ended up passing Vernazza on the train. There was nobody to help us on the train and other than the people selling tickets, nobody to help us at the train station. With that being said, we were able to easily fix our problem and all together, it was probably only a 30 minute detour. Turned out much better than I figured it would!
Once we got to Vernazza, we had to walk up SEVERAL steps to get to our B&B (and all of this, carrying luggage)! If ONLY we would have known how many hundreds (maybe thousands?) of steps we would have ended up taking on this whole trip!
|Initial steps...doesn't look too bad|
|Just walkin' uphill...probably almost there...|
|More narrow steps...Is it around the corner?|
|You're Sh***** me...|
|Are you serious?|
|ARE YOU KIDDING ME? (BTW, I almost always got lost walking to our b&b. Can you blame me?)|
|And then, after several winding alleys, uneven steps, and hidden turns, you finally get to the building, and there are 3 more stories you have to drag yourself up!|
|Our absolutely teeny tiny bedroom, equipped with a pocket-sized bathroom that could boast hot water about 30% of the time|
|But the views from the window definitely made up for it.|
|We kept the windows and shutters opened the whole time. Partly because there was no AC and we needed some air flow|
|But also because we could hear the powerful Mediterranean waves crashing on to the rocky land. It absolutely lulled us into sleep every night.|