Sunday, March 24, 2013

Italy, Day 8

06 Apr 06

We left Sovigliano early this morning for Pisa to turn in the cars and catch the train to La SpeziaIt was hard leaving Sovigliano, so I had to take even more pictures.  Who knows when I'll get to return?


Our time in Pisa was short and to the point.  We dropped off the car, grabbed a cab and went to see the leaning tower.  We didn't have enough time to stand in line to climb the tower, so we settled for lots of pictures.

From this angle it doesn't look so lean-y

Oops, there's the lean.

 After we got all of the pictures we could stand, we hopped in a cab back to the strain station to catch the train bound for La Spezia.  At the train station, we decided we were hungry and found pizza slices bigger than our heads.

Yes, I ate the whole thing.  Hey, we were burning a ton of calories.

I wish the Nook had been invented back then, it would have saved me a lot of weight in my bag.
We were met in La Spezia by gaggles of police officers in full riot gear.  Made me wonder what kind of town we were in that needed to greet its visitors dressed for the occasion.  Once we were off the train we followed a path lined by more police officers to the main platform where we were then told to go wait in the ticket office.  Squid asked the ticket agent what was going on and we were told that there was an incoming train of soccer hooligans.  They are a very pro-active city, apparently.  We were kept in the ticket office until all of the hooligans were unloaded, then escorted out of the station and into town.

Once they were gone, we were allowed to board our train to Cinque Terre, which is a national park with five villages connected by walking paths and a train.  Vehicle traffic is extremely limited, which makes it much nicer for us pedestrians.  The five villages, from south to north, are: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterossa.  We stayed in rooms rented from Rosa (recommended by Squid's "bible" - the Rick Steves' travel guide) in Vernazza.  Robs and I had our own little apartment in one building; Squid, Mrs Squid, Brandy and Justin had another apartment in another building half a block away; Shannon and Kev ended up renting an apartment from some guy outside the train station, a few blocks away from the rest of us.

The whole of Cinque Terre is beautiful, right along the Italian Riviera coast-line.  We played around on the still-standing Castello.  

Darn! Forgot to count the stairs to the top.

View from the top

After climbing the castle tower, we found we were running low on gelato and had to get some.

NEVER pass up a chance to have gelato.  Never.  Ever.  Never.

The others' apartment happened to be located very close to the gelato.
 For  dinner, we took the train to Manarola and walked the pathway along the coast to Riomaggiore.  The views were indescribable.

Along the path, there was a set of stairs down the cliff that looked like they just ended.  So of course we had to take them to see where they went.  They didn't just abruptly end, they turned and continued down to the water.

Look closely, you'll see the stairs.

Nope, they don't disappear (Man! I forgot to count them!)

At the bottom

Robs at the bottom

If we were very careful, we could perch for pictures without getting soaked.

Dinner was great.  I've got a new favorite dish called Spaghetti aglio-olio-e-peperoncino (garlic, oil, and crushed red peppers).  Brandy and Shannon ordered the fresh fish and it was a Dorkfish!  It probably wasn't a real Dorkfish, but it had one heck of an overbite.  Wonder if they caught it with a corndog?

Guess what?  Outside of the restaurant, Mrs Squid found another animal to love.

Every. single. place we went, she found a critter.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Views from the coast - amazing!

And enlighten this "dork"fish... what's the difference between icecream and gelato?

(Thats probably a sacrilegious question, eh?)