Cinque Terre, Our 1st Speedbump on the Trip

Note: Please view all pics and videos below before reading…also please note that no humans, animals, or the baby to be were injured or harmed during the making of this show. O.K., so where do we begin, ladies first…

Cinque Terre. We started the day in Venice and, well, here is where the story gets interesting….First of all I realized that I had left my make up bag behind. For the ladies out there-you know what I am going through! ALL OF MY GOOD STUFF….GONE! We arrived at our hotel in La Spezia around 3:30pm. Mike and I quickly unloaded our luggage and hopped the train to the first town of Cinque Terre. Luckily for us it was only a 7 minute train ride through a tunnel. Our first destination: Riomaggiore. The first Cliffside town was the smallest and we did not spend very much time there. We were anxious to buy the trail tickets and start our hike to the next town. The first hike was called the Via Del Amore and it was a very easy and short walk along the cliffs. We quickly arrived at Manarola, the second town of Cinque Terre. We were making good time and decided to breeze through that town too and move onwards towards Corniglia. Manorola was a little bigger than Riomaggiore, but again, we were consumed with moving to the next town. Along the way we spotted a lot of great swimming holes. As long as we were brave enough to hike down the cliff they would be ours the next day. 20 minutes from Manorola we reached the 3rd town of Corniglia. This is where the story really begins…..in order for us to continue to the actual town, we must hike up the staircase from hell! The staircase zig zagged up the side of the mountain and there were hundreds of stairs. We arrived at the top about 15-20 minutes later, sweating and panting. We staggered across a piazza in search of water. We were not well prepared for this hike after all. We checked out a few places and snapped a few photos before we decided to have dinner at this cute restaurant that over looked the terraced vineyards that went all the way down to the sea. We had a great dinner and met a really nice couple from Canada whom we chatted with throughout the evening. We ended up heading back to the train station to catch the next train since it was getting late. The next train, according to our train schedule, was to arrive at 10pm. We raced down the crazy stairway from Hades to catch the train. As soon as we got there we realized that the train was delayed for 30 minutes. We sat patiently and waited…..Again, according to the schedule there should be a train every half hour to 45 minutes. Well, the next one didn’t come either. The screen flashed another delay, now an hour and 25 minute delay. This went on until about midnight and still no train! According to the train schedule on the screen the trains would not be coming in now, due to delays, until 1-2am….and by this time we were pretty sure they would be delayed since they had been all evening. Meanwhile, as we are sitting on a bench at the train station, a man in a yellow jacket is picking up sticks from the train tracks. At first we thought he was a rail worker and then as the hours passed we realized he was an insane garbage can diving man that was mumbling to himself. Hey, at least he found a coffee maker! At that point we had just about enough and decided to make the arduous trip back up the “STAIRWAY FROM HELL”, but only this time in the dark (with a rundown cell phone and Ipod for flashlights)! Somehow, we made it up very quickly. I am sure it was because it was late and our main motivation was to see if we could find someone in the streets of the small town that could help us. We luckily found a restaurant with the last of its patrons leaving. Mike walked up to one of the guys that worked there and started asking if there were any taxi’s that could take us back to our hotel. From what I could make of it, there were no taxi’s and if one should come, it would be more than $100 euros! In American dollars that is one expensive taxi ride! Mike and the guy continued to talk and another man joined the conversation. All I can see is hand gestures and body language and it didn’t look like we were going to get any help. I started to cry. I tried fighting back the tears but the flood gates opened, the lower lip quiver was going, and it was all over! All I could think about was that there we were at midnight in this small town, no taxi’s, no place to stay, it was getting cold, and the only other place to go was back to the station with dumpster diving Diego to wait for the 4:15am train and there were no BATHROOMS! I guess my crying and Mike’s Italian worked and before we knew it the two men got one of their friends to get a lady who owned the restaurant and a bed and breakfast and we were able to acquire a room for the night. Many thank you’s later, we followed Lorenzo and his friend, the chef, back to the bed and breakfast. We said our good nights to the two guys who helped us and crashed. It was good timing too because not too long after we went to bed a huge storm blew through and it stormed the whole night into the next morning.

And now from the guy’s point of view…all right first of all fellas you have to agree with me on this one, it’s a makeup bag right, seriously is it that important? O.K. of course you know I’m kidding because I’ve been married…happily…for three years now so I damn well know the answer to that question, of course it’s important! O.K., so I called, emailed, and did everything short of stringing up solo cups out the window of the train, through the canals of Venice, and back to Maria Alm, Austria to find the makeup bag. At this point…makeup bag is still M.I.A., which you know means only one thing, yep shopping trip coming up soon…great! Anyway, the hike was awesome and we can tell you all about that later, she is right about the stairs though, they were rechongulous! We walked them, fact check the story above, that’s right 4 times in the span of about 12 hours. Tom no worries, I think I got my workout in for the entire trip yesterday. She also forgot to mention the gigantic snake that we came across on one of the paths, so cool! One thing I will note however, always being the optimist of course is that while in Corniglia before dinner Cierra and I were walking through the town and happened to stop at one point and gaze out over a stone wall down into the harbor, across the sweeping vineyards, taking in the breathtaking panorama that is Cinque Terre. We only wished that we had waited to book a room in this magnificent town for the night. Guess what? Per Cierra’s story above and with a lot of luck, our room for the night ended up being exactly behind where we had been standing earlier in the day. Many obstacles comprising of a weird experience with Dumpster Diving Diego (who I thought was hilarious), my best form of Italian with a few cool ass dudes getting off work from the restaurant, and trying to comfort my wife as she cried at midnight in the middle of the piazza waking up half the town while at the same time laughing with everyone now awake totally excited and congratulating us for being pregnant. But in the end, the Lord works in mysterious ways because when it was all said and done we found ourselves with the room and view that we had been wishing for all along. Italy and the trains are a love/hate relationship. Ah Italy, a country where you have to be patient, but if you are…you are somehow in the end rewarded time and time again…until we can blog again…Ciao and Buena Sera!

One Comment Add yours

  1. You guys look like you're having such a blast! I'm so jealous!!

    Cierra – I know what you mean about the make-up bag. It's a must have!!

    Michael – Take my girl shopping and get her some make-up =)

    I miss you guys and can't wait to see ya'll!!

    Like

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