Have any of you been to Cinque Terre? It is lovely. And, it kinda felt like camp. In the best possible way :). I'll explain.
Cinque Terre is made up of five (Cinque!) tiny towns dotting the eastern Italian coast. Each town is
jammed built into a hillside, with pretty much one main street. Why does this matter? While you're there, you see the same people over and over again. You start to recognize people. And then befriend them. You even recognize people when you go to the next town over. It's a small world type of place, friends!
As in Tuscany, we didn't book hotels rooms for these couple nights either. We found a room in 5 minutes flat after exiting the train station, but everyone we talked to thought we were crazy, so I'm don't know if I recommend that. We arrived in Manarola close to 5 and immediately went to the waterfront for a drink. This was actually our anniversary! And, is one of the most fun and memorable nights of the entire trip.
See, we were sitting in this restaurant enjoying the sunset when we befriended another couple from the US and another couple from Australia. They'd met earlier in the day one town away. They were awesome! And, we ended up having dinner with them, which included splitting five bottles of wine, a bottle of lemoncello AND shots of grappa. Um, yeah. Guess what we learned at 7 a.m. the next day? Manarola has a wake up call! The town bell tower rings THIRTY times at 7 a.m. YAH! :)
The next day we traveled to a couple different towns and explored. Now, if you've heard of Cinque Terre, you know it's most famous for it's hiking trails between the towns. They were closed. But that didn't damper our experience in the least. We wandered, ate gelato, met a lovely couple from Colorado and a lovely couple from Atlanta, who it turns out we were staying right next door to on our second night (see, camp!), and had an amazing day.
All in all it was just .... chill. Which is a really great way to end a vacation. For Chris :).
Because it was hardly the end of my vacation! Next up I'll tell you a little about where I traveled on my own. And, I have a peek into a good friends 300 year old apartment. You'll be in awe.