Saturday morning we got up early (okay, 8am-ish, but that’s early for us while we’re on vacation) so we could catch the 9:05am train to Manarola. Manarola was my favorite of the 5 towns. It was colorful and beautiful and the coastline was just gorgeous.
This is the little area that they lower their boats down into. There was a waterfall coming from under the town that fell into this alcove.
A view of Manarola from where they kept their boats. And you can see that crane on the left – that’s how they get their boats into the water.
This was the trail that went north of Manarola. We walked along it and took some pictures. It was beautiful and the rock along the cliff was fascinating.
After our little photo shoot we found a playground up on a hill and let Abbie loose for a while. She’d really been wanting to walk, and we didn’t want her walking along the path by the cliff, so we’d kept her in the Ergo. But she had fun running all over the playground for a while.
After our excursion around and over the ridge, we headed back into town. Abbie had to point out all the boats on our way through town. Lucky for her, there were about 50 of them.
The walking trail from Manarola to Riomaggiore, known as via dell’ Amore, was open, so we walked along that next. The tale goes that people from both towns would meet along this path, giving it the nickname Lovers Lane.
All over Italy you see padlocks locked to pretty much anything people can put them on, mostly bridges. The tale goes that people in love put a padlock on something and throw away the key, making their love everlasting. Via dell’ Amore was no different. There were padlocks stuck everywhere!
I personally thought this guy was nuts! That water below him was violent, and if he’d made one wrong step he would have been in the drink. I can’t imagine there was a bunch of fish in water that was that violent, but what do I know?
After a nice mile long stroll to Riomaggiore, we hiked up the hill to check out the town. We passed this little waterfall, which ran underneath the main road. This person had a little house built for his ducks and was using the waterfall to run his little mill wheel. It was pretty neat.
About a block up the road we saw this. One of the big disadvantages of living on a huge hill. I’m sure it’ll take them 2 months to fix this, even though it was blocking the road.
These people put a garden wherever they can! There were tiny gardens everywhere and little stairways going all over the place.
I really like Riomaggiore too. It was a quaint little town and the people seemed friendly (and there were actually people around).
Abbie found a butterfly while we waited for the train.
We headed back to the apartment for Abbie (and our) nap around 1pm with plans to try to make the 3:56pm train, but we quickly nix’d that when the train back to our apartment was 15 mins late.
Our plan was to check out the last of the Cinque Terre towns, Corniglia, Saturday evening, but it was dark by the time we got there since we caught the train was late, yet again. So this is pretty much all we saw of Corniglia. (It’s the train station.)
We had planned to get dinner in Corniglia, but after we got off the train we didn’t have a clue where the main street was, and after walking up the hill about 1/4 of a mile, we turned around and decided to head to Monterosso’s “Old Town” for dinner. We had to wait for a half an hour for the train, but we encountered an American couple and chatted with them for a while, which was nice.
Old Town Monterosso was pretty neat, even if we didn’t see much of it because it was dark. We had dinner at a little pizzeria and it was really good. Abbie did really well, especially considering they didn’t have any high chairs (as usual). She sat on a little stool next to Mark and ate all her food and watched a noise bunch of kids that came in after us. She kept pointing at them and laughing and saying “funny”. It was pretty cute.
It was raining when we headed back to the train station, but we had umbrellas and I figured out how to wear Abbie in the Ergo and stick the handle of the umbrella in between us and hold on to the edge of it to keep us both dry. It worked pretty well.
Abbie woke up early (just before 8am, but that’s early for her, especially considering she was up until 9pm the night before), so we packed up the apartment and left Deiva Marina by 9:30am. It was a little overcast when we left the coast, but about an hour inland it was snowing like crazy! It took us until 4pm (including 2 stops) to get home because it snowed and rained for the last 5 hours of driving.
Abbie proved herself, once again, to be a very good little traveler. She did amazingly well the entire time we were gone and didn’t have any major meltdowns. Mark is hilarious with Abbie. He tells me about 40 times per hour how perfect she is and how she’s such a good girl and how he thinks she’s the greatest thing ever. He’s always telling me to look at whatever she’s doing. She has him wrapped around her little finger like no one else. It’s entertaining at times.
So now we’re home and unpacked and the laundry is started. We have 3 days to get organized and repacked and then we head out for our trip to Amsterdam, which I’m excited about, but also pretty nervous about. Naturally Mark has to fly nights on Wednesday night, so he won’t even be home until midnight-ish, and our flight leaves from Milan (3.5 hours from here) at 6:30am on Thursday. My original plan was to leave Wednesday afternoon and check into a hotel near the airport and get to bed early so we could get up early and make our flight. Now I get to wake Abbie up in the middle of the night and pray to God she goes back to sleep for the drive to Milan, and then wake her up again at 5am-ish when we get there. (Did I mention that she didn’t sleep AT ALL in the car during the 10+ hours we were in the car on this trip?) I think it’s going to be a very rocky start to this trip since Mark and I won’t get any sleep and who knows how much Abbie will sleep. But at least we won’t have dog puke to deal with!