This being Italy and all, we expected to take full advantage of the abundance of good eats. As she noted in an earlier post, Gina already sampled the local specialty, pesto, which was very fresh (and very bright green!)
Tuesday morning 5/17, Rio Maggiore
Today began with construction sounds upstairs again… I’m really curious to go see what they’re doing up there, since the building is so old, maybe I can see some more of it if something major is being done. Yeah I’m a geek … give me ‘Renovate a 16th Century Flat in Italy’ on HGTV and I’d watch it, yeah!
I’m typing this out at a table outside at the cafe downstairs, Bob’s still waking up. This is really out of character for me to be up ‘early’ (9:00am) but a cappuccino sounded good this morning, instead of my usual coffee in the apartment.
Sitting in the window of our fantastic place here in the center of Riomaggiore, I’m still in awe of the wonderful confluence of events and sheer luck that leads to this moment. And the next one… etc…
It’s Sunday evening, our second night here. Definitely less hectic than last night. I can only imagine that the high season here is always like yesterday, times ten! Mid-May was a good call, time wise. Probably late April would be even better. Since we aren’t the sun-worshipping kind, as long as we dressed for cooler weather and no major storms to contend with, April would be perfect.
Bob and I are seated at the table of a trattoria in Manarola, the villiage next to Riomaggiore. Pesto originated on this region, and yes, it tastes like heaven… I’m tempted to lick the plate, but I’ll refrain.
The slideshow at the end of this post is huge, so go enjoy…
May 15 – Riomaggiore
We’ve already spent one night in our spacious digs here in the Cinque Terre. The apartment we rented for the week is amazing with the original 15th century timbers exposed on the ceiling and all new everything else. The best feature I think is the incredibly sound-dampening capability of the windows. We’re right on the main road/path in Riomaggiore so there’s a constant flow of people and noise from the street below, but close up the windows and you can’t hear a thing.
Riomaggiore, Italy 5/14
After a fantastic dinner at a top-rated restaurant (Indian cuisine) on the travel blogs… OMG superb… nice room, and reasonable prices. Who could ask for more?
Our room in Rome was pretty non-descript, but it served its purpose… I slept like a rock, and still some… but we had to get up to catch the 9:30am train to La Spezia, then transfer to the local train to Riomaggiore. Cinque Terre, here we come!
Boy, the flight from Raleigh to JFK was fine… and our plane arrived on time and we boarded… we had a slight delay getting clearance from the tower for takeoff, now it’s been almost two hours just waiting for some ground crew to come back and guide the damn plane away from the gate! I had to feel bad for the pilot and crew… you could hear it in the pilot’s voice as he came on again and again “Um, they tell me the crew is on its way back, that’s all I know. We apologize…”
May 11 – Rome
One of the most important things when traveling, maybe the most important, is being able to adapt to situations as they develop. The proverbial doo-doo does occasionally happen (see entry on herd-following), and if you can roll with it you’re likely to have a much better time in the end. But beyond that, some people just have a sense for when to pull the trigger and move on.
May 9 – Dubrovnik
If you’ve been reading this far then you know the Bob-only portion of this trip is happening on a smaller budget than the Bob-and-Gina portion. That’s by design as much as necessity. Staying in hostels affords endless opportunities to meet other people, and you never know where these encounters will lead. Case in point, my current accommodations which are in a luxury apartment overlooking the Dubrovnik waterfront.
May 6 – Korcula island
(Happy anniversary Mom & Dad!)
I haven’t ridden a motorized two-wheeled vehicle in many years, but Yanni and I had talked about renting scooters on Korcula and so we decided to go for it. The island is about 25 miles long and maybe five wide, so if you stick to the main roads it’s nearly impossible to get lost. Our only objective was to visit Cara (say “chara”), the home town of a longtime friend of his family. This made for a nice round trip and also provided another example of just how small a world we live in.