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Chilling out in Cinque Terre

Riomaggiore, Italy


We spent 4 relaxing days in the Cinque Terre (the "5 lands") - a group of 5 tiny villages on the coast of Italy that are perched into the cliffs, famous mainly for their walking trails that links the villages together.

First comment - there are so many Australians in Europe! We have noticed this everywhere of course, but particularly in Cinque Terre, because here are some of the smallest little places we have ever been to and all we hear is "oh gees Lorraine isn't that view nooooiiiice!"

Anyway, cultural cringes aside, this really is a lovely spot. We really need a break and some relaxation time. Yes, it is meant to be for hikers but hey! who says you have to follow the crowd?

We stayed in an apartment in Riomaggiore, the 'biggest' of the 5 lands. It really consists of one main street, a marina area and a beach. The houses are all tall pastel coloured buildings that are worn from the sea and the sun and each land has little fishing boats that go out and return each day. However, naturally the main industry these days in tourism and you can tell! It's not crowded but once you take the English speakers out you can tell how sleepy it really is.

We stayed in a lovely kitsch apartment, so we got to cook a little to save money (yes by this point we had realised how poor we had become)...Kristian made the BEST pesto and buffalo mozerella pasta - Liguria is famous for its pesto and it really was brilliant.

Opposite the apartment was a little bar/restaurant that stayed open until 1am (thank god for ear plugs). We had a few drinks one night and actually met some interesting people - a lovely solo traveller Emily from Richmond and two US soldiers on leave from Iraq - one of them in particular was so interesting to talk to and he loved Jane's southern accent imitation.

HIGHLIGHTS: The highest of Jane's trip to this point was probably swimming (in Kristian's undies and a singlet) in one of the pebbly beaches lovely clear water.

LOWLIGHTS: The locals were VERY rude on the whole - it's like they know they need the tourists but resent them at the same time.

INTERESTING FACTS: Some people actually LIKE hiking. We still haven't figured out why but apparently, this is one of the best places in the world to go hiking. Well yes, perhaps it is, but we were on holiday! We did the easy peasy walks that are completely flat and that was nice, EXCEPT for the huge stairs that no-one told me about at the end of one of the walks. And don't worry, you can get to each town by train! Once you are from Australia and have driven down the Great Ocean Road, it's hard to be blown away by ocean views. Having said that, the views would be amazing from right up into the cliffs. Years ago, the area was a farming area - and there are still some vineyards and olive groves built rights into the cliffs. Why on earth they thought that such steep slopes would make for fun farming I don't know, but to each their own!

USELESS INFORMATION: In Cinque Terre Jane made the most amazing discovery of the trip so far. In Australia, there is a terrible conspiracy going on - we have been deprived of the full range of pre-prepared Italian deserts. Yes, we have the cassata, the Bacio and the tartufo that you can get from your Italian takeaway shop, but there is another - a coconut. It's a real half coconut shell with coconut icecream inside! How could this have been kept from us for so long John Howard???



permalink written by  JaneandKristian on September 30, 2007 from Riomaggiore, Italy
from the travel blog: Jane and Kristian's honeymoon
tagged CinqueTerre

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I know of the Gobi, the Sahara and the Nullabor Plain, but never a DESERT that is a coconut!!!!
Mum


permalink written by  Sally Holt on October 18, 2007


Excellent thanks Mum! What WOOD I do without YOO?

permalink written by  Jane Levin on October 20, 2007

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