TRAVEL DIARY: Cinque Terre
Note to self: I really need to branch out in terms of travel. I just keep going to places I've already been. But, come on, I can't help it - places like Venice, Paris, and (most recently) Cinque Terre are too magical to only see once.
This past weekend, my mom and I decided to take a semi-spontaneous three hour train ride out to Cinque Terre. It was the first place that I traveled to during my semester abroad and it left a lasting impression, so I really campaigned to visit. As my mom hadn't seen it, I thought she deserved to experience such a beautiful and enchanting cluster of towns by the sea.
I noted in my Venice travel diary that the second time traveling to the city was a complete 180 from the first (little inside joke, I went YEARS saying "360," thinking it was the phrase, when it is actually 180 - something that no one pointed out until I started dating Paul. Now it has become quite the inside joke between us). The foggy and crowdless November visit in 2016 made the sweaty tourist-season return two weeks ago seem like it had taken place in a different city altogether; not complaining, though, both visits were special and enjoyable.
This week, however, I knew just what to expect; my first time in Cinque was in August of 2016, and the heat, crowds, and tourist pricing was essentially the same as this last weekend's trip.
My mom and I stayed in La Spezia (the same place I had stayed before), at the sweetest little Airbnb run by a lovely couple named Anna and Davide. They owned a little market next to the Bnb, and David even brought us fresh focaccia upon our arrival. I can't speak more highly of them and their hospitality!
We were only there about 48 hours, so we did our best to pack as much as possible into those short two days. First, we went to the public beach at Monterosso, known for their bucket margaritas (oops). Anyone (ahem, college kids) who has been to the beach is well aware of that fact, and it likely became a symbolic vortex for many memories under the Cinque Terre sun.
Later, we were able to make it to the famous Riomaggiore for sunset - which lived up to the hype and then some. The view was unparalleled, the weather was perfect, and the ocean was peaceful.
We had a later train on Sunday, so we decided to ride the sweaty and overcrowded (you'll notice a reoccurring fear of sweating on my page) train to Manarola - very much worth the clamminess and discomfort.
We hiked up along the side of the terrain (this is terrible phrasing, but I genuinely have no idea how to describe it?) to get a good view of the town. It was breathtaking to say the least - and a picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Afterwards, we descended down several beaten and slightly precarious staircases into the harbor below and spent some time in my new favorite swimming hole ever. Given the fact that the Sunday forecast had originally doomed us to rain, the unexpected sunniness and cloudless sky was fantastic.
We checked out of our lovely bnb around 2 pm and then spent the remaining two hours before our train hanging out in La Spezia, locating the Airbnb where I had stayed during my first visit (with the best company), and walking down along the port.