Friday, September 2, 2016

MyThird Favorite City, and a Story about me Yelling at the Train Attendant

Cinque Terra! Which is really 5 cities that are all very small and connected by train and trail!
Riomaggiore! The town on the hill, and the 1st of the 5 towns.

Beautiful Monterosso. The city with the most beach access and the cutest umbrellas!

This is the outside of the adorable Air BNB we stayed at. We loved it minus not having internet. We had to go 3 days without letting our families know we were safe. Otherwise it was nice to completely disconnect for a few days.

This is Vernazza! This is the town we stayed in. Tiny and the cutest!
Loved watching these beautiful sunsets over the water while we ate dinner

I had to throw this picture in of my Grandpa. He was my biggest supporter for years for me traveling and seeing the world. He knew a long time before I did what an investment traveling is for your life! He is a world traveler and has been almost everywhere even Antartica. He impresses me, and I love him and I am so thankful he pushed me like he did and was so generous with providing some money to help me travel! I wish everyone had a Grandpa like mine!

This was my third favorite place we stayed. But that even sounds ridiculous based on how amazing these towns were. I can honestly say this was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and lived up to every photo I ever googled before arriving. We arrived by train to Vernazza (the town we stayed in) early one morning after leaving Florence. We had walked so much in Florence and were nearing the end of our trip that we were exhausted. The original plan was Shannon and I were going to hike the trail that connected the five towns. We would start at Riomaggiore and work our way to Monterosso the 5th town, but we found out from some other tourists that the first two towns (trail) were closed due to mud slides. When we found that out our game plan changed a little and we decided to first get settled at our Air BNB and then go up a town from Vernazza to Monterosso because it had the largest beach. We wanted a beach day. A relax on the sand, chill, take a nap, swim in the ocean kind of day. And boy did we find it!! The beach and the umbrellas were so dreamy. The town was so cute and alive. People everywhere and we just found a small area of sand to call our own and proceeded to nap on and off. We would get too warm, jump in the water cool down and repeat. Gelato was also on repeat here and we had the most incredible day relaxing and recharging our batteries. So much in fact that we did it again the next day. The next day though we really wanted to go paddle boarding. So we rented two chairs to lay on and rented two boards and got out in the ocean. The water was pretty rocky so it was harder to paddle board than we expected but we were still glad we did it! Cinque Terra was all about resting and sunburns and enjoying the ocean and views. Our Air bnb was super cute and the towns are just so quaint and tiny. Small little walk ways to get into the towns and everywhere you look so much beauty. All of the different colored houses and how they sit on the hillside is like nothing I've ever seen before.

Our second day in Cinque Terra we decided to take the train down to the first town Riomaggiore. It's about a 25 minute train ride from Vernazza. So I decided I didn't want to risk getting a ticket so Shannon and I purchased tickets. I had been a little more rebellious the prior day because the train from Vernazza to Monterosso is only 5 minutes, so I would chance it... (bad girl I know.. who raised me??) So OF COURSE the second we hop on the train a train attendant comes on asking to see our tickets. Shannon and I are all proud because we have our tickets this time! We hand them to the Italian woman expecting her to hand them right back and keep moving... Not the case however. She looks at us and in broken english says to us that our tickets are not valid. We look at her puzzled and try to explain back that "No, we just bought these tickets and it has the correct destination listed on it." She further tries to explain to us that the tickets we bought are valid for 2 months, and that you have to validate the ticket with a time stamp at the station... I know what you're thinking, Ok that had to be clearly marked somewhere Katie for you to know that. Well... If there was a sign somewhere it was in Italain, which I no speaky, and secondly it is written on the back of the ticket in tiny fine print and WHO LOOKS AT THE BACK OF A TICKET?!?!

So at this point, I am thinking ok so we get off at the next stop validate our ticket and continue on our journey. Thank you nice Italian lady for the heads up we won't make that mistake again. WRONG. She tells us we are being fined. **Now picture myself with steam coming out of my ears** I look at her and I repeat the entire scenario to her to make sure I am understanding. She says yes that I understand correctly, and I start to address the entire train of tourists at this point. I get up and hold up my ticket to the entire train and yell, "DOES EVERYONE ELSE KNOW ABOUT THIS?! DOES EVERYONE KNOW YOU HAVE TO VALIDATE YOUR TICKET BEFORE YOU GET ON?!" I wasn't sure what the other riders were going to do or say, but they all look at me and tell me that they are also pissed and that the same thing had happened to them on their trip too. I felt a little relief but was still so pissed at this not-so-nice Italian woman issuing me a ticket. It ended up being 5 Euro which equates to about $7.00 but STILL!! It was the principle of them trying to rip off tourists and make money. I was so mad. I was so mad that while she was issuing our ticket we were about to miss our stop, so I just walked off the train while sweet Shannon waited for the woman to be done. I had had it at that moment. And I'm pretty sure Shannon was pretty embarrassed to be seen with me after that, but I finally let it go and we had a nice day exploring that town and then finally back to Monterosso for the day. Haha, who am I?! That was my natural instinct to stand up on the train and just start yelling.... yikes. Haha poor Shan.

These towns are so beautiful, I definitely recommend coming here. There aren't a ton of things to do, but this is a great place for you couples out there! A very romantic place, and lots of amazing seafood if you like seafood!

Email me if you are planning a trip for here soon, I am happy to go more in depth with recommendations!

Love and I Need to Have More Respect for Officials...


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