We left Florence in a little bit of a frenzy on Sunday, we were actually sitting down at an internet cafe bout ready to update this actually, when I realized we were supposed to be at our hostel in Riomaggiore before 4:30, and it was already 2:30...whoops. We ran out the place, and I succesfully left my second item at an internet cafe, which was my camara adapter to download pictures. typical. Our train had to go through Pisa to get to Cinque Terre, and then we had to catch a separate train system to get to the first town where we were staying. So we didn't actually get there until about 7pm, but I can say, this is one time in my life it's paid off to be late. The office was still open, thankfully, and because they had overbooked for the night we were given a separate apartment with balcony view instead of the 6-bed dorm we had paid for
. We shared our lil' place with one other guy from California. Corona, California that is. Later we learned of all the stereotypes he fit into from that area. He was nice guy, his name was Mikey. So Mikey kind of shared our experiences in Cinque Terre since he didn't really seem to know what to do there. But it was all good. We had a little kitchen in our apartment, so Laura and I went to the grocery store and bought items to make a little meal ourselves. I mentioned the apartment, but I didn't yet mention how spectacular
it was. Just an amazing view with our balcony that opened up into the rocky alcove that sets back in Riomaggiore. Below are different colored fishing boats, and out is the crystal clear waters hitting off the rocky coast. We made a little pasta dinner complete with cheese and a bottle of wine. It was kind of perfect for our little table on the balcony.
The next day we woke up early around 8am. We had decided to do the entire 7-mile trek from Riomaggiore (town#1) to Montorosso (town#5). Mikey joined us in our trek, and as he would say, the view was "sick
" from the trail. (aka. it was awesome!). The trail heads along the coast along all 5 towns. I would definitely suggest going the way we did from Riomaggiore to Montorosso, even though you could do it the other way. The first three town are relatively close and a relatively easy trek. But from Corniglia to Vernazza to Montorosso is more difficult than the beginning
. But in the end you get the only sandy beach in the area, which we spent the rest of the day on. The trail actually looked more difficult going the opposite way, as we had a long decent into Montorosso as we passed many of sweating miserable tourists on their way up. What an amazing area though! Really, I don't even have the appropirate articulation to describe what this place is. For those who have been there you know. But definitely don't miss this when going to Italy. The towns are small, and there's not too much to do other than trek, swim, and enjoy. But that's all you need to do. So it took us 3 to 4 hours to hike, stopping a little in each town. We stayed on the beach in Montorosso until about 6pm, where the water a PERFECT refresh for the hike we came off. We paid the 8 Euro to take the boat back to Rio, as this was a better view than the train (but more expensive). Again, we made another fantastic meal, this one was a little more of an upgrade, and sat on our fantastic balcony for the night. We hit the bed a little early, because our next day we decided to catch the earliest train out to Switzerland.
We didn't have any solid plans for Switzerland, except we had reservations in Interlaken for the following 2 days. But Tuesday night was unplanned. I had a tip to try and stay in the swiss alps in a small town called Gimmelwald, so that was our plan, to try and somehow navigate ourselves from remote Italy to remote Switzerland in one day, and find a place to stay.
Somehow it worked out....
Whoa! It seems so long since I've seen a computer. SO much has happened since my last login, I will barely be able to describe the last 5 days at one sitting.