Last week, we only had class until Wednesday morning because….well I don’t know why. Regardless, we took advantage of 5 days off in BIG style. Wednesday afternoon, we took the 1206 train to Pisa to visit the leaning tower and be extra touristy. Claire, Derek, Gary, Mady, Alison, Laurie and I made a spontaneous decision on the walk back from class (which leads conveniently through the train station) and it was such a treat! There were random gypsies sleeping outside the train station, and we studied the map to find our way to the tower.
Cinque Terre is on the Northern part of Italy on the Italian Riviera. It is “five lands” on the coast, which are 5 different villages. We stayed in Monterosso, the one with more beaches. All 24 of us made the 6 am train, and we arrived in Monterosso at 1045 am. We found our hotel fairly quickly (nothing is done quickly in Italy) and successfully secured beds for every person. Then we hit the beach! For some reason, we decided at lunch we should start drinking ….. which promptly led to a 2-hour nap on a beach chair. C’est la Vie, right?
We spent Thursday through Saturday night in Cinque Terre, eating seafood that still had heads attached and laying in the sun. Friday morning, we hiked the trails between Monterosso and Vernazza (all five towns are connected by hiking trails). The 1.46 km hike took TWO HOURS and was basically straight uphill, but the views were literally breathtaking.
Our train home didn’t leave until 630 pm Sunday, so we took advantage of the clear Medaterranean water once more. Derek, Claire, Gary, Alison and I rented Kayaks and explored the shoreline. We found a few caves we were too scared to paddle into and then….a WATERFALL! I wish I had pictures of it, but I obviously didn’t take my camera in the kayak. It was wonderful, we beached our kayaks and carefully crawled over mossy rocks to stand under the running water. Just another moment in this month-long journey that makes me almost want to cry at how lucky I’ve been.
This is our last week in Arezzo, which is both shocking and sad. I’ve come to like this crazy Convito we live in and I truly enjoy this town. Saturday morning, Claire, Alison and I will board a train bound for Interlaken, Switzerland. Life is good, people.