(From our March 2016 trip)
It’s fair to say I plan these holidays with zero input from husband. Literally nada!!! He just comes along for the ride looking pretty and doesn’t make too many demands. So long as he gets regular snacks and naps and the occasional interesting sight to see he is sweet!!!!
When planning this holiday since I was trying really hard to sell the whole “couples theme” to myself and the world, I kept asking him if there was anything he wanted to see. The answer was usually nah, just Italy!!! Eventually though he pipes up with “I want to go to that place with all the colourful houses built into the cliffs”. He is quite the knowledgable man, my husband. Almost a Rhodes Scholar really. Hmmmm, so do you mean Cinque Terre my friend???? Okay, so let’s do that.
The reviews for visiting Cinque Terre at this time of year were quite mixed as the weather is often not the greatest and since it’s a coastal destination – rain/clouds/cold winds are a little less than desirable. We had many discussions and just decided stuff it. The photos online looked so amazing even on it’s worst day it was going to be awesome. So of course since you know what a *tour whore* I am, I researched and booked an awesome tour to Cinque Terre!!!!
Our tour and day spent at Cinque Terre was our favourite day of the whole trip. You may think it’s easy for me to say that after the dust has settled and I am writing this months later, but truly we both said it on the bus on the way home from Cinque Terre. We just knew that hands down today was the best day of the trip!!!!! It was drop dead gorgeous, stunning, incredible, want to have it’s babies AMAZEBALLS!!!!!
We used the same awesome company for this tour as we did 2 days ago for Tuscany, here’s the link:- Cinque Terre Tour. Our tour guides were such a hilarious comedy duo that I almost don’t know where to start with my rave. We had the incredible Freddy and Johnny on the day. Cinque Terre is on the West coast of Italy and is made up of 5 small towns (Cinque meaning 5 in Italian and Terre meaning land or earth).
We actually started at Manarolo (town 2) and when we hopped out of the bus all of our worst nightmares were realised – without a word of a lie, the worst torrential rain ever!!! I thought “oh no, the reviews and rain god’s are sitting back laughing their fat arses off right now”.
Lucky our tour guides were Abbot and Costello funny because at this point I was unsure of how the 8 hour day on the edge of a cliff near the ocean was gonna play out. For a split second I thought I may have a tiny moment and then I thought – hey luv, suck that shite up and get on with it. You are in one of the most picturesque places in the world. Rain is just water and lordy knows some of the people on the bus tour could use a shower so it’s really win win at this point.
This new attitude ended up paying off like you wouldn’t believe….those rain god’s stopped being nasty loser’s and truly within 10 minutes the clouds were gone and the sun was out. Suggesting I am as powerful as Moses parting the Red Sea would be a bold statement and I’d be embarrassed but hey, if you think that title works I wouldn’t want to be rude!!!! I’m not kidding – it was like a miracle of awesomeness. Within an hour we were in t-shirts – yep you heard me!!!!
The guides were banging on and on about the little trek we had to do later in the day between towns. They made it sound like we were about to do the Kokoda x 10 and people were looking a little nervous. As a warm up for this we had to partake in a teeny tiny uphill zigzaggy hike near Manarolo. The guides said this was only a third of how difficult the actual hike was gonna be. As a little lady who regularly partakes in a bit of Mt. Taylor uphill activities here in Canberra, I felt confident I was all over this vertical challenge and I was right. Barely a sweat was broken. Many people were passed on the upward climb who looked like they may or may not need to be airlifted out of the area – HUSBAND was one of them. Once we got to the top of the little “test climb” he was looking decidedly nervous and by nervous I mean “freaking scared out of his mind for the next bit”. The sweaty armpits were a dead give away whilst I was still joggin on the spot (ummm – lying obvs lol).
Not gonna lie…..I was hoping he would join the others who were feeling like the actual hike may be a little too strenuous and were going to catch the train between Corniglia and Vernazza instead of the walk. Something about him quitting like the middle aged lazy man he is and not being fit enough and me jogging like the amazon goddess I imagine myself to be *you know a cross between Linda Carter/Wonder Woman and Scarlett Johannsen/Black Widow (Avengers)*….well friends it brought a secret smile to my face.
Alas it wasn’t to be and he decided he couldn’t lose face in front me so we did the hike together and being the competitive losers we are we needed to finish first and beat the rest of the bus tour peeps and boo-yah we totes did!!!!!!! Take that bitches!!!! The views were incredible, we were in selfie central of course and it was nowhere near as taxing as we imagined the little trek to be. What a fantastic day and fabulous weather. The path we walked along was quite narrow but incredibly picturesque. Because we were visiting at the very beginning of the season there we didn’t encounter too many people but I was reminded once again about why I love travelling off season. I can’t imagine how yuk-tastic that path would be in the scorching heat of summer with 100,000 of my fellow tourists and their 200,000 smelly bodies.
We caught the train between each town and there is no way to pick a favourite, they were all gorgeous in their own way. Lunch overlooking the ocean in Corniglia was divine as was the food. The weather, the company, the location…..all added up to something truly SPECIAL!
We met some really sweet people from all over the world but most of all we enjoyed our tour guides. These gents were GOLD!!!! Truly can’t rave enough about them and you know how I love a good tour guide! We laughed our “sore” arses off the whole day with them. Loved it!!!!!
One of the funniest stories of the day from the guides to the whole tour group was in relation to “aussies”. When booking this tour it is made very clear that there is hiking involved and sensible shoes are required and in fact mandatory. The guides were saying about how they would turn people away from the tour if they arrived in “flip flops”. With that said, if that person then announced “mate, I’m Australian” – well they were allowed to continue on the hike in their thongs because as the guides said – you Aussies can do absolutely anything in thongs. What a proud moment that was for husband and I being the only Australians on the tour (and when I say proud….you know I mean shudderworthy, thanks bogan aussies who came before me, kinda way).
Have I mentioned what an absolutely incredible part of the world this was and how very very happy we were to be lucky enough to get to see it!!!!
I have tons of beautiful photos but because I am uploading them months later I can’t remember which town is which so please excuse my ignorance and just enjoy the pretty views friends…..
Absolute best gelato EVERRRRRRR….and the cheapest. The tour guides recommended this teeny tiny gelato place off the beaten path in one of the little towns and boy were they right. I had pistachio with vanilla and honey on the owners recommendation and it only cost 2 euro. Yum yum yum
Highlights – absolutely everything!!!! Will never forget this day and it truly was our favourite of the trip.
Lowlights – none really, maybe the 10 minutes of rain at the start.
Weather – top of 17 but it truly felt so much warmer than that for most of the day
P.S. I’m so happy to be back blogging about the trip xoxoxo