Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cinque Terre, Part 2

Here are some more highlights of my trip to Cinque Terre (pron. cheenkwey terreh). John just corrected me--on the last post, I had Cinque Terra, but since it's five lands, it's Terre, with an 'e'.

Here's me and Manarola, the second town we visited. This was Caroline's favorite town and it was nice. We stayed in a very clean hostel there, plus it was not so big that it seemed touristy but it was large enough to have a choice of restaurants.

The food to get in Cinque Terre is seafood, but since I'm not a huge seafood fan, I went for the other local favorite. Cinque Terre is in the region of Liguria, which is famous for its pesto. Here's my pesto--it was good, although I was never able to identify the slices of green produce that they put on top. It wasn't avocado and it wasn't lime. Anyone have any other green suggestions?

Here're Caroline and Helen enjoying their meal: Caroline had salmon ravioli and Helen had lobster linguini. Reports were favorable.

The next day we took a short train to the third town: Corniglia. This was the smallest of the towns--no streets were wider than the one pictured here! But it was very charming and the place we went to for breakfast had only locals in it.

From Corniglia to Vernazza (town #4), we took the trail. The guidebooks said that it would be long, around an hour and a half, but they didn't say how much exercise we'd get! The trail was not for the faint of heart, as some of the pictures will indicate.

Here's Helen showing off Corniglia in the background.

For those of you who have recently had knee-surgery, here's a good place to test out your new joints. Good thing we weren't wearing flip-flops.

And the view at the end was worth it! This is Vernazza.

We took a train to the fifth town, Monterosso. This is the biggest town of the Cinque Terre and also the most touristy--probably because it's the only one with a sandy beach.

Don't know what this statue is of, but it's impressive.

Monterosso is divided by a jetty on which is an old stone tower. But the coolest part about it was the bunker mounted on the side of the cliff, probably from World War II--there were a couple more bunkers that I could see along the coastline.

Here's a shot (no pun intended) of Monterosso from inside the bunker. There wasn't much inside--just some trash and beer bottles. Look how thick the cement walls are.

Finally, the train ride home had its own little bit of adventure. It was a four hour ride on a regional train, which meant no dining car. Since our only lunch had been a slice of pizza and gelato, we were getting pretty hungry round about seven thirty. Caroline was feeling 'poorly' and needed sustenance, so I decided to take my future in my own hands and get us some food. I timed the stops: the train stayed for approximately one minute at each platform. So, the next time the train pulled up to a platform with an accessible vending machine, I jumped off the train, ran to the machine, pushed the buttons for the first snack I saw, then raced back to the train with fifteen seconds to spare! Ta da! Crackers for the rest of the journey. I think Caroline and Helen thought I was a little reckless. . .

Well, that's it for the Cinque Terre. Further bulletins as events warrant!

1 comment:

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