Thursday, April 22:  A Sunny Hike

Today I woke up, and saw more great weather! YAHOO!!! I eagerly got up and dressed, into my shorts. Today we were going to hike to all five towns, so I packed what I needed. Soon everyone else was ready, but we had to get breakfast somewhere. My dad knew a place near where we parked the car, and it proved good. It was a little shop, and had lots of pastries. I got a chocolate croissant and some orange juice. Sitting down outside, we got our food. The chocolate was good, and the orange juice was red! It was a special kind of orange, and was very pulpy and tasty. Afterwards we went back to the room and got our bags. To hike on the trails, we needed to buy a pass, so we stopped at the train station to buy some. A nice lady showed us where the trail started, after we paid. The trail was marked by red and white spray paint. It started out in the alleys, but came out up on the hill. It was very hot, and felt like summer. The same road led on until we came to a booth where we had to show somebody our tickets. While I waited, I climbed up a big rock and sat down. Then we walked on for an hour until we got to the first town (Actually the 3rd, because we live in the 4th and are going the opposite direction), Corniglia.

It was pretty, but had no beach. Quickly diving into the heart of town, it went away from sight. It was 12:30, lunchtime. My dad took us to a little shop that sold paninis, and I grabbed a ham and provolone one. It was very delicious for a sandwich, and I enjoyed it. We all ate at a bench with two hyper dogs jumping at our feet. After we all ate (it took a while), we went to the next track. This one wasn’t quite as scenic, because it started out with stairs and led around the train station. I raced down the stairs and walked along the tracks until we got to a bunch of ugly vacation homes. There was a rocky beach below though, and looked out for a bit. Then we kept on walking until we came to a little side trail that led to some rocks. Everyone but my mom went down the stairs and little rope. I sat around and walked some on them, my dad took pictures, and then we left. We were very close to the next town, Manarola. This one had no beach either, but lots of pretty rocks. Sadly, it was time for our last gelato in Italy. We stopped in a little shop, and I got white chocolate, tiramisu, and chocolate. They were all delicious, including cake in the tiramisu. My brother spotted that there was no lemon ice cream (he had that flavor every time!), so he went next door. No biggie. After that we went for the last and easiest walk. The road of love.

It wasn’t very romantic, with a bunch of cacti and graffiti, and half of everything was through a tunnel. Soon we were in Riomaggiore, and I looked around. This town was hidden behind a bend in the water, so we walked around. This part was very quiet and not very interesting. So, moving on, we went to the train station to check the times for the trains. The only available train was to Manterosso al Mare, the 5th town. So we went there to check it out. The train ride was about 10 minutes, and got there easily. This town had plenty of beach, and was flocked with people. We chose a shady little spot and sat down. I played for 15 minutes, and then we had to get on the last train back to Vernazza, where we lived. We thought we would miss it, but we were proven wrong. The train was 45 minutes late. 2 trains passed by, but weren’t ours. Finally, the right one came.

We boarded and sat down. The ride was only 3 minutes long, and quickly we were off again. It was 6:00, so we went home and worked. It took a while until we were ready to go, so dinner was a bit late. Tonight we ate at 8:00, instead of the usual 7:30 (Europeans always eat pretty late). Sadly it was our last night in Italy, so this would be our last dinner. It was at a ristorante at the end of little peninsula of boulders in the plaza we were staying in. We sat outside, and it was the perfect temperature. I ordered a cheese pizza, and my mom got one with pesto on it (the specialty). Mine was very delicious, with great crust. My brother and dad hurried away after we ate because they were cold, but my mom and I lingered. We got back to the hotel, I did more work, and then went to bed and fell asleep. Arrivederci Italia, Bonjour France!