La Spezia and Cinque Terre | The Life of K: La Spezia and Cinque Terre

Friday, May 23, 2008

La Spezia and Cinque Terre

We hopped a train in Turin and headed south to La Spezia. It was my first time on a train so I was pretty excited.

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La Spezia was much more tropical than Turin, a welcome change in temperature.

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We found a little hotel and went out to explore the city. It's a port town so we ended up walking along the water and sitting on cannons and seeing some wildlife.

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Truth be told, this little guy scared the crap out of me, but I was starved for some natural anything-that-wasn't-a-big-old-building so it was okay. We were thirsty from all the walking so we stopped and the boys got cappucinos. This is when we discovered that, while the sugar packs were huge, the Italians dumped two in their teeny caps. R was the only one with the guts to try that. The sugar wouldn't even dissolve at that point.

Tropical climate makes my allergy go nuts so I had an interesting time miming sneezing to a woman working at a pharmacia to get myself some Reactine.

I think this was the night we ate at McJohn's, a true American eatery. The food was awful. But really, the only reason we went to La Spezia was so that we'd be close to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is five fishing villages along the West coast of the country that were, in the past, only accessible by boat. Now, 9km of trails connect all 5 and we hopped a train (my second!) to attempt to hike that trail.

Our plans were almost foiled when we failed to get off the train at village #1. But, being troopers, we got off at village #2 and hiked from there to village #4 where we stopped for lunch.

Village #2
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Village #4
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J's lunch
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He is still raving about this seabass. After eating and resting for a bit, we headed off toward village #5. By this time we were all sweaty and maybe a little whiny and definitely tired. Personally, my calves hurt for the rest of the trip. Anyways, we got to village #5 where there was a beach. The beach was rocky and the water was cold by I walked in. I also collected some rocks (I do that whenever we're someplace with rocks) and carried them around with me for the rest of the trip.

After a short break, we headed to catch the train back to village #2 so that we could walk from #2 to #1 to complete the whole hike. The path between #2 and #1 is called lover's lane and is very easy and smooth so it was absolutely no problem after the rugged ups and downs of the rest of the trail.

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We collapsed into the train back to La Spezia. Walking through town to our hotel, we stopped to get another memory card for the point-and-shoot and a sweatshirt for me. Then we went back to the hotel for showers. That night we dined in pure Italian style at an outdoor restaurant in a big public square. There was wine and pasta and thankfully only two hamburgers (the boys weren't sure if they ordered one or four hamburgers - they got two) and bread and cappucinos. And a very cute puppy who was playing with a bottle cap and a very cute kid who was kicking a soccer ball with his dad.

We got back to the hotel late and exhausted and slept like babies. La Spezia and Cinque Terre are must-sees for anyone travelling to Italy.

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