Picture this: It is 5:30 in the morning. The night sky is still dark and the only light peering through your shutters is artificial from a lonesome street lamp. Groggily you roll over, pick up the phone that has the worst sound blaring out of it’s speakers and you press the snooze button. You’ve never been more sure in a decision than that snooze in your entire life. And then the sound blares again… you have to get up, out of bed, your warm cozy bed. But you’re ok with it, because you’re going to Cinque Terre.
Now that the scene has been set, my two roommates and I did I day trip to Cinque Terre a little bit ago. It was an early morning, a busy tiresome day, and a late night that all started with an alarm. We went with a travel company because the logistics of Cinque Terre seemed a little beyond what we wanted to do, and it was cheaper than a train. The bus ride was long-ish. I was left, the third wheel, to sit by myself on a full bus and ended up striking up a conversation with an Australian man who was just as excited as I was to see Cinque Terre. (Him and his fiancé were closer to the end of their amazing and long European vacation.)
We arrived in Riomaggiore and had a quick turn around for when the hike was starting. We grabbed a little breakfast, cappuccino and a croissant (aka cornetto in Italy).
After we ate and were able to digest, we took the train from Riomaggiore to Manarola to automatically start hiking. Literally off the train straight up 50 flights of stairs up the hill, and that was just the start. One hell of a way to start a hike if you ask me. After all of the stairs we asked our guide if that was the hardest part, she didn’t respond and just shrugged… (let me tell you, it wasn’t).
At the top of the stairs there was this cute little village/town that had the most amazing view of the water.
We continued hiking, up and up and up and I thought we would never stop climbing stairs. I never thought I would be grateful for regular stairs, ever. But that all changed when we started on the rock stairs that were jagged, uneven and made me realize how bad my knees really were. I am 21 with 81 year old knees. It was rough and to make it better, I was in a jumpsuit, Adidas Stan Smiths and a crossbody purse. The gals we were hiking with were decked out with backpacks, sneakers, leggings and sports bras…. I was completely unprepared and not ready for the worst.
At the very top of the mountain, we crossed by some cute restaurants and drink stops right before heading on our final descent into Vernazza. I really do wish we had stopped for the fresh orange juice. It smelled amazing after sweating our butts off on the hike. Depleated, needed vitamin c, sunscreen, real hiking clothes, not a crossbody bag, real sneakers AND cold water.
We arrived into Vernazza and only had a little bit of time (unfortunately it wasn’t our call) until we had to catch a train to our final destination of Monterosso Al Mare. But in Vernazza, the space between buildings was minuscule and the colors were bright, some worn and made me wishing I could stop in ever little store front and eat in front of the water.
The first part of our Cinque Terre day trip was amazing. Tiring, slightly sweaty and needing a dip in the ocean, but still amazing. I highly recommend doing a hike if you’re going to Cinque Terre. You really are able to see the area from a different view (literally). I will post part 2 soon!