So, obviously this post is super late......two years late. Whoops! But, while trying to make some room on my computer I came across them and decided I had to re-edit them and make a post. Cinque De Terre is my absolute favorite place that I have been - and I only got to go for one and a half days and see only two of the five cities! Our trip here would have been disastrous for most people. We had a euro pass for the two months we were gone, and although we definitely should have planned out our trips ahead of time, we basically just winged it everyday.
Lets start by explaining the morning of this trip - we lost track of the time in Rome and had to sprint to the train station - mind you it was the middle of summer and like 500 degrees with 500% humidity haha aaaaand we were pulling all of our lugggage. (We packed wayyyy too much for the kind of trip we took) My brother was being annoyingly stubborn and pouting that we decided to go to Cinque De Terre, because he HAD to go to the Almafi Coast, but we didn’t have enough time to go that south. So we arrive in La Spezia - the train station for Cinque De Terre - and he is being SO rotten. We sat in Mc Donalds stealing their wifi for like an hour trying to figure out where to go next because he refused to go explore. Now La Spezia is not the hills and colorful buildings on the water, you have to take a short train ride to get to it, so it does throw you off a bit.....I give him that. Still no excue though haha. Finally, after some convincing, he agrees to explore for like “an hour or two” haha so we store our luggage in the train storage place and hop on the train.
As we come around the corner, his exact words were “wow lets stay here”. And I was like seriously, you are the worst, we just wasted so much time with your stubbornness where we could have been here exploring haha. We just had our swimsuits on and some coverups and his backpack and spent the entire day swimming, tanning and snorkeling. It was the best! (Aside from us not seeing the sign that sewage had been dumped in the water accidentally two weeks prior) haha disgusting, but at least it had been two weeks prior and the water looked fine - regardless, we had already been swimming all day before we even saw the sign hahaha.
We found the cutest little dinner spot, and start walking around to find a hostel or hotel to stay for the night. NOT one had vacancy. It is a super small town, so it made sense. We just figured we’d find somewhere to stay in La Spezia and then just take the train back the next day. So, we hop on the train to head back to get our luggage from storage before they close and find a cheap hostel or hotel - and of course we get stuck on the tracks for like twenty minutes and the storage place closes with our luggage 5 minutes prior to us arriving. Then of course the only hotel that has vacancy is this hundred euro a night hotel right by the station. (Side note: we found some pretty awesome and clean hostels throughout our trip for under $20 - so $100 was A LOT for us to spend on a crappy hotel. Every dollar counts when you are traveling for two months straight!) It was by far the worst hotel I have ever been in haha it had no ac, bathrooms and showers all the way down the hall, the bed was a rock, and it was just gross and kinda dirty on the inside. We had nothing but our swimsuits - my brother had an extra t-shirt in his backpack and his tooth brush and tooth paste and soap, so at least I washed my face and finger brushed my teeth, but we had to wait until the next day to get our stuff and shower off all the swimming from that day.
So the next day we were a little more organized and got to see and do a little more. The whole thing was a circus, and anything that went wrong did, but it didn’t matter! We crack up laughing at the experience now. Some of those bad experiences seriously make for the best stories later on haha. (trust me, we have a ton of them after two months of traveling together hahaha) And regardless of all the craziness, it was the most beautiful place......like i said, my most favorite place I have been. We had so much fun cliff jumping and snorkeling. The colorful buildings were my favorite, and the water was the most incredible color blue! And at least I was with my brother, where even as annoying as he was being, we just laughed it off when we saw the views.
P.s - look at how red my hair was below!
P.P.S. - I always recommend Cinque De Terre to anyone traveling around Italy. It was a short train ride from Rome, and totally worth it. We only got to explore Manerola and Riomaggiore. And if you learned anything from our experience above - plan a little bit ahead of time, that way they have vacancy and you can have a place to store your luggage! We didn’t get to do any hikes, but I heard they are incredible!
"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Travel early and travel often. Live abroad, if you can. Understand cultures other than your own. As your understanding of other cultures increases, your understanding of yourself and your own culture will increase exponentially.