lake eyre, australia

The Cinque Terre

After Pisa, we CouchSurfed with Ernesto in La Spezia before we entered the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre (literally the five lands) consists of five coastal villages along the Mediterranean and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With Ernesto’s help, we planned a five hour visit of the Cinque Terre combining trains and hiking. John and I started in Riomaggiore, and to make a long story short, trains were delayed, hiking trails were closed, and we were soon “stuck” for two hours in the second smallest village of Manarola.

I’m sad to say we had become “checklist” travelers – we were focussed on getting out of Manarola and continuing down the Cinque Terre in order to see as much as possible in our five hours. Once we realized this, we were finally able to open our eyes and see the amazing scenery surrounding us. A valuable lesson learned, the two hours we spent hiking around Manarola were some of the best spent in the Cinque Terre.

After Manarola, we visited Vernazza and Monterosso before it was time to master public transportation.

The sky begins to clear.

The way is closed; our plans change as we become “stuck” in Manarola.

Facades in Manarola.

Vernazza from the hiking trail.

Monterosso during the off-season.

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