June 3rd, I arrive in La Spezia at 12:30 and it is just pissing rain outside. Good thing I forgot my rain jacket in Belgium #fml. So this time I buy McDonald’s because I’m cravin’ hard, I need some wifi access, and I’m hoping the rain will subside in the next hour before I catch my bus.
An hour passes, I walk out of the train station and buy an umbrella from the dude hustling all the chumps without rain jackets (like my self). I use my Italian to grab directions to the bus stop where I meet two Americans.
“Where are you going?” I say.
“Sink Terry,” he says…
Anyways, it turns out we’re heading to the same hostel, so together we make the best out of a rainy afternoon. After the rain subsides, we make and our way into
“Riggamaroni, or whatever it’s called”…
(Thanks Zach for these mispronunciations. It made my day!) We arrive in Riomaggore and dayum… I’m lookin’ fresh in this photo
I arrive at my next hostel at 11am. It’s still a cloudy day, but no rain! I unpack my things and jump on the train to the next town, Manorola… Beauty town.
Gotta journey up this way to grab a pano photo right? I walk up a few stairs, climb a few hills, and 15 minutes later I realize I’m hiking (face palm). Time for some more snaps…
The first one is reality, the second one is my adrenaline kicking in. I start power walking this hike because I’m young, I’m fit, and I’ve got ‘Gonna Fly Now’ on repeat (aka Rocky running song). I quickly run out of steam after about 5 min because I’m a mangiacake, so I step aside to take a break and let the 70 year old couple pass me (shot to the dignity right there).
A couple minutes later, an angel from Argentina walks by and she says, “aren’t you at my hostel?” Perfect! We instantly become hiking buddies. The rest of the day was far from easy, but much more enjoyable with some good company.
We made it to the next town, Corniglia, before my knee gave out. I hobbled down the 373 steps to the train station, and we trained it back to the hostel.
I highly recommend Mar-Mar hostel if you’re in Cinque Terre. Good price, sick view, and great location. It was also really easy to meet people here. Shout out to the Aussie girls #scribbles #mackers, and the Sarnia Ontario dude I met.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves here. I spent the day exploring Monterosso and Venaza, spending the extra 1 euro to take the ferry between the two. Monterosso was my favourite as it had a sick beach that runs along the whole coastline, and some cool statues . Venaza was the smallest village, but had a nice little cove and a scenic landscape to offer up some great photos.
So why should you go to Cinque Terre?
Because it’s fuckin beautiful that’s why. There’s so much to do and there’s something for everybody. I’ve heard people say you can do it in a day trip, but I highly recommend staying at least a night or two. I never felt rushed, and I was able to experience each town to its full potential. Would have loved to do more hiking, but my new travel motto is:
“Always leave yourself a reason to go back”
– in this case, for Cinque Terre, it’s the hiking.