Finally we escape to the Mediterranean and go swimming....
08.08.2008 - 10.08.2008
View Southern Europe - Aug 2008 on Nat_85's travel map.
Today was the day we had looking forward for the past couple of weeks, we were finally heading to La Spezia!! La Spezia is a town near the Cinque Terre (Five Villages) on the Italian Mediterranean. These five villages were so beautiful but in a completely different way to Florence and Rome.
On the way to La Spezia we had a photo stop at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The lean of the tower is so much more dramatic in person than when you see it in pictures. We spent the whole time trying to get the tacky tourist photo of us holding up the tower or pushing it over, but we couldn't get it. It is a funny sight, people everywhere with their arms in the air trying to get that perfect shot. We just settled with a normal photo of us standing in front of it.
Our bus was quite amused at the state of my arm, back and legs...I was attacked by mozzies last night and woke up this morning covered in them. And this wasn't your average few bites here and there, I barely had any non-bitten skin left, it was so painful!
As soon as we got to La Spezia we checked in, dumped our luggage and headed to the first village to find somewhere to swim! We caught the train to the first village Romoggiore, then we walked to the second and third. The walk to the second took only 20 minutes and was pretty flat, but the walk to the third was tough and took over an hour! The killer staircase right at the end nearly killed us! At the second village we went for our first swim in the Mediterranean. It was so nice and refreshing. By the time we got to the third village we couldn't be bothered to do anything so just had a drink. After that we decided to check out the rest of the towns, it was 4pm so we decided to go by train. Then which ever one we liked the best we would come back to tomorrow and spend the whole day lazing by the water!
The fourth village was Vernazza and again it was beautiful! It had a nice swimming area but was really crowded. The fifth and last villages was Monterosso. I found this one to be my least favourite, it was very touristy. I preferred the other villages that had a more local feel. Monterosso had a beach that you had to pay for and there were so many people you could hardly see the sand! Lots of overly tanned, skinny, wrinkly old rich ladies!
The next day we headed off for the day with some new friends we met at breakfast. We went to the supermarket to get some food for a picnic lunch and headed straight to the second village Manarola, which was our favourite!! We spent a blissful few hours swimming in the ocean and sunbaking on the rocks, it was divine! Hayley and Lachie had a burst of energy and decided to do the rest of the walk so we arranged to meet them for dinner at Montorosso for dinner. We stayed for a bit longer before heading to Monorosso, and when we got off the train there we seen Hayley and Lachie...they gave up on the walking idea after the first leg! Swimming here wasn't as nice, overpopulated with tourists, there was even rubbish floating in the water! We were swimming near a rock wall that proved dangerous for me. When I tried to get out I smashed my knee on the rocks, then I cut my foot! We went out for a seafood dinner, then had a few drinks on the beach before heading back to our hotel.