Italy 17th November Riaggiore Cinque Terre

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The following passages explore Cinque Terre, Pisa, Rome, Venice and other places around Italy.
Off to Riaggiore today. Train to Ventimialia where we stopped for an hour and bought supplies. The train continues to take us along the coast so that every five minutes or so we see a new coastal town with buildings covered in freizes and ornate balconys, and very expensive looking boats. The sun dappling in the water, the birds singing...

After getting the train we had to change twice (can't remember the stations' names) which meant a lot of time waiting on stations.

Eventually we got to Cinque Terre (pronounced similar to chinkway tayray) which is a collection of five tiny coastal towns consisting of Vernazza, Manarola, Corniglia, Monterosso &, the one we stayed at, Riomaggiore.

Got off the train and walked straight up to a place that rents out local properties. We got one of those houses in the postcard. Megan, Lucette and I had the smallest room with the double bunk and a slide-out bed. (I had the slide out) We had a view of the crashing sea and the rocking boats as well as a lot of the coast. (We could see the sea if we leaned out the window)

We then dumped our stuff and went for a walk and shopping. 

Julia took the group up to the top of a castle with a great view of Riomaggiore, the setting sun and much of the coastline. We then got lost in amongst many winding stairs. In amongst all those tiny houses are also little side shops that you'd only find if you got lost or knew they were there. (Well, they looked like shops)

Eventually we got to the shop that we wanted. Spaghetti, tomatoes (bread) sauce, eggplant and other items were cooked into a great bolognaise (without meat which was eaten separately) and this was lubricated with liberal quantities of red wine. A new guy had just joined the tour, Lou, so we were pleased to meet him at the shops. He joined us for dinner and brought a bottle of wine. Total cost each was about 7500-7000 for the meal, 500 for the bread.

Music was suggested so I located my tape player while Lucette and Sophie supplied the cassettes. We had the meal by candlelight, Megan being aunty and serving up the pasta, me being grandpa and serving up the vegetables/sauce concoction, and opening most of the 5 bottles of wine.

I washed up afterwards, then we chatted in the lounge for a bit before heading to the local pub to try a thick alcoholic lemon drink. Bronwyn bought a Kinda Surprise which contained a Public Servant! A guy in a suit with a mobile phone. (She left it in the place for the next group.)

After the pub we came back and some of us decided to go down to the beach. Included on this short trip in the dark were Bronwyn, Julia, Lucette, Megan and myself. The waves were crashing very strongly against the rocks and splashing muck on the stairs leading down to the beach. We stood in an area where it looked like the waves may not hit, and watched them crash just below.

Then a tiny wave came along and everyone complained. I contemplated yelling at the ocean with insults like "you're a pissy wave, what're ya?" but I figured that that might be tempting fate. Even so, I think the ocean read our thoughts as only seconds later a massive wave, larger then the ones we'd seen in the past 15 minutes, hit and completely drenched Julia, Bronwyn and I. Megan and Lucette had already taken cover.

We rushed back to the room to shower and went to bed. Next day - Leaning Tower of Pisa

(I haven't had time to get the pictures I took scanned, so, in the meantime, the pictures here are Italy clip art from Xoom.)

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