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Cinque Terre (The Five Lands)

Wednesday, October 11th & 12th 2017
I don’t know if Kim and I are wonderful tourists or awful. Read, then you decide and let us know. We had got information on taking the train to Cinqa Terre and Pisa so we were up early and walked the half hour to the train station. Our plan was to stop in Pisa, visit the leaning tower and then try to see as many of the 5 cities on the Italian Riviera as we could. An hour and a half after leaving Firenze, we arrived in Pisa. Our connecting to train to La Spezia was another 25 minutes. We talked for two minutes and realized we were both really pumped about Cinqa Terre, but Luke warm on walking to see the Leaning Tower. So we were about 25 minutes (5 minutes away by cab) but didn’t go to see it. We debated just hopping in a taxi, driving there, jumping out and taking the mandatory picture of me trying to push the tower straight, then hustling back into the cab and onto Italian Riviera. Long story,longer, we didn’t go and didn’t really regret it. Does that make us bad tourists? Who knows.

We arrived in La Spezia, almost getting into trouble when we got off the train a stop early. No one else got off with us. It was a very small station. So we immediately ran back to the train and quickly figured out we got off early. There are 5 villages to stop at on the Cinqa Terre train route; Vernazza, Monterosso and Manarola, which we visited and Riomajjiore and Cormiglia which we did not.

 

Monterosso

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imageWe had yet another delicious lunch of Caprese salad, Italian bread and pasta. I had a spicy meat ravioli and Kim had a gnocchi filled with cheese and potatoes and of course a glass of red wine. This area is very mountainous and all five villages are built off the side of a mountain. The map shows the train route goes right along the coast, so we thought this would afford us a lovely view of the ocean as we used our rail pass to go from village to village. However the area is so mountainous the train route is 95% tunnels so there wasn’t lots to see.

Manarola

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Vernazza

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We walked around the three villages for hours, taking pictures, looking at souvenirs and stopping for a gelato. We were up at 6:45 so by 5:00pm, we were done. We had open tickets back to Firenze (Florence) and had a quiet trip back.

Kim’s Homeade Ravioli.  Eat your heart out Chef Boyardee!

image After another pasta dinner with mushrooms, onions, garlic and squash, olives, we were in bed asleep about midnight.
We slept late Thursday. We were very tired. We toyed with the idea of taking the bullet train to Rome for the day. It takes 32 minutes and it’s not too expensive. However, we decided against this, as Friday is our last day in Florence, and we have a very early flight and a long day on Friday. Friday we are up at 3:30 to get to the airport, fly to Athens, then make our way with luggage by taxi down to the docks where we catch a ferry. After 4 and a half hours on the ferry, we arrive at the island of Paros. The owner of the apartment we will be renting is sending a car to pick us up!
So Thursday morning we woke up about 9:00 to find it had been raining last night. We have been so lucky with the weather so far. We had a little rain while we drove in France. Sunny days all thru Portugal and Spain, and an overcast sky for part of the day in Florence. So we spent some time in our apartment, relaxing, blogging and finishing off any food we had leftover. We packed our suitcases in order to confirm all the booty would both fit into our suitcases and we would still meet the weight requirement for our flight. Around three o’clock it was decided that the famous Italian Gelatos were calling our names and so we set out thru the city to find another gelato place. Palova came by and so we went out for another pasta dinner at our favourite restaurant. We paid the remain €400 owing on the apartment and came home to pack and get some sleep before our cab arrives early Friday. Tomorrow Greece!

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