8th June 2012
It’s just one day after another of unbelievably beautiful places to see. Cinque Terre today – how could I not be excited! Had a short drive to La Spezia to catch the boat to our first stop of Porto Venere. Arriving from the sea was just like you see on postcards, gorgeous coloured houses clustered around the bay. It was a lovely little village and not very busy when we were there, maybe later in the day it would be worse. Dale & I walked to the Gothic Church of St Peter and the Doria Castle for a hit of history, but I can’t go past the cute little alleys for photographic ops. At the moment they’re my happy place.
I saw the funniest thing at Porto Venere, a couple of women were sitting outside their shop on the steps and there was another older woman leaning out of a window above them. She was watching them with the most inscrutable look on her face. I was trying to work out if she was just listening to them or if she was angry but by the time I thought about trying to sneak a photo of them they all moved – darn!
Next on the list was Monterosso by train as the weather had deteriorated and the boats weren’t running. It played havoc with the poor guides plans but you can’t help bad luck can you? Even though the village is recovering it was sad to see the evidence of last year’s terrible floods and landslides all around. One consolation I guess is that at least we are helping their economy by visiting and spending money there. I am sure Gloria, Frank and I found Monterosso’s smallest room for a toilet at the café where we had lunch. It was so, so tiny, about the size of a broom cupboard. We had a good laugh about it but it also made me realize how much we take for granted at home and how fortunate we are in good old Australia. Even though they had the tiniest closet for their loo their food and wine were scrumptious.
Another train trip took us to Manarola, the second smallest village of the five that make up Cinque Terre. We didn’t have a lot of time here though I did find an interesting water wheel where I spent some time trying to be creative with the camera. I feel ungrateful to say it and I had an amazing day but would have preferred to only visit two villages today. For the first time, it felt like we were just trying to fit too much in and rushing from one place to another without really doing any of them justice.
By the time we got off the train back at Montecatini that afternoon we were well and truly ready for a nice refreshing shower and a couple of wines. Oh the joys of travelling!