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Published: September 27th 2014
Thursday September 25 - Manarolla - Cinque Terre
Our first full day in Manarolla. It is a very quiet town, at the end of the day you can see and hear the children playing in the square and the church bell announcing the time every hour. On the half hour you get two chimes. We Lollygaged this morning, Dan and I got some work done and we al enjoyed the left over bread, coffee (instant), and strawberries.
Our plan was to catch the ferry at 10:40 to Monterossa to see the further set village of the five. The ferry ticket was 17 Euro each but got us a ticket all day to each of the cities. The city of Monterossa is separated by a sea wall. The city lies flat and and has the most beaches. We found the walking path and headed north. We saw a small part of the path but decided to head back to village for lunch. We enjoyed a seaside lunch of pasta and sandwiches. Wonderful view of the sea and reasonably priced. We then wandered the shops, headed to old city and walked the streets. Many outdoor restaurants. We
found it fun to see the different items in each Restaurant that people were eating. You sort of rated the places, not on they looked but the food on the plates. Jane and Dan did some shopping and Sherry strolled through city, eventually pulling up spot on the beach and watched the young college kids head to the water. As we found in Italy, modesty is not so much. Many young women topless and changing in the open.
Monterossa was a Nazi operations center during World War II and had built two pill boxes along the beach front. We got. A chance to getup close and Dan even climbed inside and shot a real cool movie clip.
We connected back up with Jane and Dan and headed to Vernazza. Going by ferry along the shoreline gives you quite a perspective of the cliffs and shear face of the cliffs. You also see a series of tunnels and tracks and then out pops a train heading the next city.
We landed in Vernazza and began exploring the city. They start to look alike with the beautiful pastel buildings, narrow walkways, restaurants, shops,
and of course gelato. Sherry and Jane went to shop and Dan I discovered a cave that emptied out to sea. A beach area with black sand! Very cool, the girls joined us and Sherry took off her shoes and headed out wade on the black sand beach. We gathered our wet shoes and began heading up to the famous Pirate bar, Scott and Nikki had suggested we see and try the food. You have to walk up and almost out town to catch the place. We decided on drinks and the owner asked to take a table and he would be right over. He said his cannoli was the very best in all of Italy and we should try it. The cannoli in the USA is like plastic - no good! Of course we ordered two to split. They were fantastic! Sherry and Jane enjoyed their lemon jello (lemon liquor with tonic on ice), Dan had a glass of Cinque Terre white wine, and very muck like the americano coffee, strong but smooth. By the time we finished our drinks and dessert, it was time to head back to the ferry. Pretty interesting ferry ride, the boat pulls straight
in, two ropes are thrown out around to tie posts, the slack is taken in and captain keeps the ferry reverse. A wheeled gangplank is pushed off the nose to the landing rock. The passengers leave, and once they are off, we come aboard. The whole process does not take more the 10 or 15 minutes.
Ah,,,back in Manarolla in 15 minutes. Time to head to our villa, get our suits on and head to the sea. Sherry decided to stay back and rest her eyes and enjoy the sun on our rooftop patio. We hiked down and were in the water within 15 minutes. The water was warmer and felt great. We all swam around the bay and met some new people. A couple as swimming with us, who are from the Seattle area. They have been traveling Europe since July 16! They had five more days in Cinque Terre and then off to Rome. They would be heading home mid October.
What we have seen is variety of travelers on our trip. Many young people (college students), young couples on honeymoons, large groups (Asians, Germans, English, and Italians). We also met several
older couples in their seventies and eighties. Taking their time and spending several weeks seeing Italy.
We finished swimming and headed to the market for another rooftop / sunset meal. Our menus consisted of the following:
Four fresh rolls
Eight thin sliced cured bed
Two kinds of cheese, one soft one hard
Two dark chocolate bars
We had enough water, beer and wine for our last night. Again, a beautiful sunset, Dan captured a beauty tonight! We watched the sun go down, took care of some back home business and it was time for cards in Doug and Sherry's room tonight. Dan and I were hopping for a change of venue would help our luck. Several games later we tied and called it a night. We have a early day. Our driver is picking us up at 7:15 am for the three hour ride to Florence. Our high speed train departs at 10:30 and gets into Venice at 1:00 pm. We have to scoot to our hotel, because we have a 2:00 walking tour of Venice.
Doug & Sherry and Dan & Jane
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