Vernazza, Cinque Terre
This morning I woke up next to a lemon. It’s not a secret message or anything, but a proper bright yellow lemon. First I was like, ‘what the fu..’ then my head started hurting and I collapsed back to bed. We were both so hungover that it took us hours to get to the train station and by the time we did, we’d JUST missed the train and had to wait an hour. I scolded Y for being so impatient like a child, and she retorted, “It’s just habit. In London, when you see the Tube’s gonna take 3 minutes, you’re like oh my god, so long!”
There are just so many pictures that you have to click the post title to read the whole thing okay.
View of Vernazza
Vernazza, Cinque Terre
It seems like my holiday with Y has been weeks long even tho it’s been only a week… because we’ve done SO many new and awesome things! Today I finally fullfilled my lifelong dream of swimming in the sea in the nude. I’ve been wanting to do that for ages! First of all, I love swimming in the sea, and second, I love being naked. I mean, it’s so liberating to run around outside in the sun naked! Other places I’ve done that were in Tioman and Bali, but I never got to swim properly in deep sea and sunshine completely nude. Felt so freaking great!
I woke up early to use the internet cos I was deprived of it for a week. Then we packed our beach bags with everything we’d need for the whole day and I wore my sneakers for a comfortable trek.
Cinque Terre consists of five colourful seaside towns that sit in a row on steep cliffs right next to the sea and you can get between them via hiking or train. In order of West to East, they are – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. (I never thought I’d memorize all their names but I have!) Most recommend hiking so you can take in the different angles of the towns and gorgeous scenery, and explore all its nooks and crannies.
Copied from one of their tourist boards: “Cinque Terre was built over a thousand years by peasant farmers who transformed the steep cliffs into fertile terraces to grow agricultural produce. The delicate balance between natural elements and the human tail generated a unique landscape, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.”
Oh by the way, it’s pronounced ‘cheen-qoo tehr-reh’, the Italian way. We initially pronounced it the French way (duh us) till someone corrected us.
In the morning, we shared a freshly-made farinata pesto (farinata = chickpeas) at Il Discovolo, a bakery just down the lane from our guesthouse.
After eating it on a bench, we went to buy a 2-day hiking & train pass (18 euros) for each of us at the train station. What we’ve discovered… is that we could have saved money by NOT buying the train tickets here. Noone has checked our tickets. Ever. And we never saw any of the Italians buy tickets too. (Cue phrase: “It’s okay, it’s Italy.”)
We walked from Manarola to the town closest to La Spezia, which is Riomaggiore. The easy walk is said to take 20 minutes on the map but we took an hour cos we’re so busy taking silly pictures on the way. Also… it could be that it’s considered Italian time i.e. whatever time they give you, you multiply it by 3 or 4. Along Lover’s Lane are many locks dangling with couples’ names on it, and some written on rocks and the walls, and even carved on aloe vera leaves. I had my crayons so I wrote ‘Cloyce’.
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Oh my god. This morning was one of the worst hungover experiences I’ve gone through. It could battle the time I went for Saturday morning college classes hungover…. a decade ago. (God that sounds long when I say it like that.)
Yishyene and I went out partying till 5am, slept for 3 hours, then showered, packed and rushed to catch our 9:30am train to La Spezia. The night before, we went out at 9:30pm and tried to find this indie bar that is a 15-minute walk from our hostel but it happened to be shut for a private function. While deciding where we could go next, we sat at a nearby bar to have some beers and surf on her phone for clubs we would like. We found one that didn’t require too much walking (or so we thought) and taking the Metro (which was shut due to a strike). The waiter at the bar was really helpful, and said this club was a 5-minute walk away. We should know by now… that when Italians say a length of time/distance, you take that and multiply it by 4.
Wow I just read my past few days’ writing and realised what a transport disaster my trip to Italy has been so far – flight got delayed by 6 hours from Bordeaux, then I lost my stupid train ticket to Naples, then I missed my ferry from Strombroli… I’m hoping all these mishaps are just getting over with in the first week so the rest of my holiday will be PERFECT.
By the time we arrived in Rome, dumped our bags and applied lots of sunscreen to walk around Rome in 35°C heat; it was 2pm. We walked all the way from Roma Termini station to the Coliseum, through Tiber Island, then up north all the way to the Basilica of St Peter. Reason we walked so much was there was a Metro strike that day so most of the trains were shut -_-
We stupidly missed the ferry this morning cos I thought it would leave at 9:30am and Y said yeah so I thought she was sure too. I can’t believe NEITHER of us physically checked our tickets. We discovered at 8:23am that the ferry was at 9:05am and I thought we should rush… but Y casually said we had time and that we can just take a taxi at 8:45 (which is true, cos the port is very near by motor) but… we just couldn’t get a taxi! We saw so many during our entire stay here, and when we really wanted one, none would come to us despite calling so many numbers that are hanging in the guesthouse kitchen. So we missed the ferry. Bye bye 60 euros.
I felt so depressed for missing the ferry and wasting money that I had a 2 euro croissant and 3 euro beer for lunch. Y had a gelato. I accidentally bit off part of my napkin while eating my croissant and thought, “Why not, I’ll probably be more full with this napkin anyway,” and continued chewing it before laughing at myself. We got some fruits and yoghurt from a supermarket, and lazed around the guesthouse all day before catching another ferry tonight. Had to buy new tickets for 43 euros each.
You should have heard us convincing ourselves it was a good thing we missed the morning ferry.
Y: I bet we were just not supposed to be Rome today, like, something really bad could have happened if we’re in Rome.
Me: Something worst could have happened instead of us missing the ferry. Like you could have fallen off the volcano (cos she was precariously close to the edge so many times to the point the guide and i told her off)
Y: It’s a bad day to be in Rome anyway, it’s the hottest day this week today – 33 degrees!
Me: Jeez that’s like KL. We’d DIE walking around.
Y: Yeah, and it’s not like we PLANNED anything big in Rome, so it’s okay!
Me: It could have cost more if we missed a flight instead. So this is okay.
Y: Yeah. Things like this happen to people all the time… They happen to the BEST of people.
Anyway we’ve both agreed that we’re going to be at the train station or airport or port or whatever important mode of transport we’re taking, AMPLE time before the journey AND we’ll BOTH CHECK the times we leave instead of ASSUMING the other is so sure.
We had dinner just across the dock so we can WATCH the ferry arrive and get on it.
Hundreds of people stopped by Stromboli that afternoon cos a cruise ship was nearby
Our ferry docking