Day 10-12: La Spezia and Cinque Terre

I know, I know. My trip was almost five months ago. Nobody cares anymore. Blah blah blah. But I promised myself I would finish posting about my October/November Europe trip. So that’s what I’m going to do. Besides, I’ve got to get this out of the way to make way for another one that’s coming up pretty soon. 😉

From Sicily I made my way to La Spezia, Italy, primarily to visit Cinque Terre. My Couchsurfing host was a regular 19-year-old Italian university student. Or so I thought until he came to meet me. He spoke English with an Irish accent. I was confuzzled. What? Why? How? Irish father; Italian mother. When speaking Italian he was full-on Italian, hand gestures and all. But when speaking English he sounded like a bona fide Irishman. It was neat.

Because of ongoing exams, AT wasn’t able to hang out with me in the daytime. But we sure did bond over food at breakfast and dinner. On my second night I cooked him and his six flatmates/friends fried rice, or riso fritto as he explained to a non-English speaking friend. All six boys lapped it up. Most had never had any form of Chinese food before. Not that my version of riso fritto was authentic Chinese, mind. But the boys didn’t know any better. Hehe. AT was a great host and I was sad to leave him the next day.

La Spezia

The port of La Spezia is minutes from AT’s home. It was a lovely afternoon to be strolling by the water.

1spPinks and purples at the port of La Spezia.

2spBalloon giveaway!

Riomaggiore

My first town of Cinque Terre.

3riLooking out to sea before exploring the town.

1riThe hills were calling my name.

2riThe view from the top.

Manarola

This is, in my opinion, the most picturesque town of Cinque Terre, as evidenced by the many, many photos I took. I went on a proper hike here, as high as I could, and saw not another soul along the way. Not a fellow traveller, not even a town-dweller. I cherished the peace and quiet but when I slipped on the wobbly wooden footpath – still under repair from the 2011 landslide – my stomach did a backflip. Nobody knew where I was in that precise moment; if I had fallen and hurt myself and couldn’t move, I wouldn’t be found for days. There was no phone signal so I couldn’t even call for help. Oi! Still I rebelled and hiked a little bit more until I got to my senses and turned around. Ha!

1maFresh off the train.

3maThe famous view.

3maA moment to exhale.

4manA nonna in a battle with the wind.

5manHappy to be alone…mostly.

6manQuickly reopened, eh?

4maBee magnet.

5maSun rays through the leaves.

Corniglia

I couldn’t store my backpack at the train station and had to carry it with me. And then I saw these steps.

11crAll 382 of them.

And I decided to leave my backpack (not even hidden) in the (what?) bushes. I figured – the next train wouldn’t arrive/depart for two more hours, and locals do not travel by that train. So theoretically no one would even be passing by my bag. Unless, of course, the officer at the station decided to take a walk. Oh God, I hope he doesn’t! I took out whatever valuables were in there and said a zillion prayers. If I lost it, the only clothes I would have were the ones on my back! Thankfully my backpack was still there when I returned later. Phew!

10crA picture for posterity.

12crVespas everywhere.

13crThis sweet kitty immediately took a liking to me.

2crCaged sky.

Monterosso al Mare

The second prettiest town of Cinque Terre. Pity I didn’t have a lot of time to spend here.

‎Mon2Another moment to exhale.

m‎onKids and cats.

Vernazza

The last town I visited of Cinque Terre.

1vePeople watching.

2veCats don’t care.

3veArrivederci, Cinque Terre!

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