Thursday, September 11, 2014

Depart Florence heading for Cinque Terre

Good news.  Warm showers today.  That was a good start to the day.  They were actually warm last night too.
There was a spectacular thunderstorm some time during the night.  The thunder was incredibly loud.  I think it just rumbled up all the narrow streets and built up to a super boom!  I swear it shook the place. There was only 1 second between the flash and the thunder.  It must have hit something near by as some siren went off.  Fortunately , that didn't last too long.  It did rain heavily though for quite a long time and was raining steadily as we headed off to the station.  
The gloomy day shown below.

It wasn't a long walk, but we needed to put on the well used rain jackets.
The train to La Spezia was about 20 mins late leaving and was fairly full.  Made a bit more crowded because most travellers have suitcases.
We arrived at La Spezia about 12.30.  The next train to Rio Maggorie was 1.03.  We lined up to get our local ticket and had to wait 30 mins to get dealt with.  Only 2 ticket selling booths open, then 1 closed up and went for lunch.  Didn't really bother us as the next one was 1.20. 
It only a 7 minute train ride.  Rio M is the first stop on the line.  Plenty of day trippers on this train as well as stayers.  The walk up the hill, about 300 m, is a steady climb that the gets the heart rate up.  Pushing the cases must have looked funny, but it was far easier than pulling it.  The 4 wheeled spinner cases are good.  People walking past just smiled or said, Yep, we did that yesterday!  It really wasn't too bad as there were no steps involved.  Some places have small alley ways with steep steps up or down.  We have since seen plenty of others doing the same.  We overheard one lady saying it had been a long day coming from Venice, with 5 train changes, then a long, hard walk to her accommodation.
Our room is very nice. Plenty of room as there is a small bedroom for another person.  Bathroom is a good size too.  We had the bidet in Florence, but it really is not our kind of thing.

 Maricella greeted us (the owner's mother).  She filled us in on everything, what to do, where to go, restaurant recommendations.  Very thorough.  She said that most of their guests are Australians.
We strolled around town, not for the faint hearted or disabled.  Steep walks, but we knew this was the case.  Definitely good walking shoes needed, especially after the rain.
You can see our place below.  Look at the white apartment on the top left.  Then move across 2 houses to the darker yellow place.  That's ours.  Our room is on the second level with 3 green shutters.

The view from our balcony below.

It is a pretty stunning view

I have only taken a few photos today but they will give you an idea of how stunning this village is.
We will have dinner in one of the recommended restaurants down the bottom of the hill.  At least if I eat too much, I will have a chance to wear it off on the way home.

Tomorrow we will do a ferry ride for the day and hop off and see Portovenere,  Manarola,  Vernazza and  Monterosso.  More spectacular photos to come.  Ciao

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