Our last full day in the Cinqueterre!
We hiked to the last of the five cities from Manarola today - Riomaggiore. The towns are all pretty similar, but we've officially decided we like Manarola the best. It has two great swimming spots, excellent restaurants, and the hike from Manarola to Corniglia was the most spectacular hike we took. Like all the other hikes, the incline is super steep and it's an uphill battle, but the views are well worth it.
All of the towns have this interesting monorail system to get produce from the top of the hillside gardens to the towns below.
|View of Manarola and one of the rails.|
|The contraption that somebody drives after produce has been loaded up in the carts.|
|View of Riomaggiore from the top of the mountain from Manarola.|
After we came back and lunched on some fresh produce from the store (I am actually getting sick of pizza and focaccia - I knew this would eventually happen, the timing is working out well as our trip is coming to a close soon). We took a few swims in the sea and came back and relaxed.
We combined dinner with our monthly book club meeting. Book Club has already gone intercontinental, and now, it has gone international!
|Italia Book Club!|
Per usual, we sat outside on our balcony and took in the sunset, went over our Peaches and Pits (a la the Kardashinans) of the Cinqueterre, and reminisced on our Italy trip to date. Since the next two days are mainly travel days, this seemed appropriate and was a nice way to end the trip. Of course, we also went over things we missed about the United States, which helps soften the depression of an ending vacation. There were a few good "misses", including: showers big enough for normal people (you know if TANYA is feeling crowded in a shower they are definitly too small), free tap water, speaking in English, free and abundant restrooms, food with higher fiber content, bigger washing machines, and dryers. So while the vacation was awesome (and our list of things we will miss about Italy far outweights the things we miss about the US), we have a lot to look forward to in our return :)
Our last actual day in the Cinqueterre, we had a restful morning. We walked up to a peak where you can see the water and read and relaxed. Which was important, because to get to Milan (where we are staying the night) we had to take 3 trains and one metro to get to hotel airport.
Every train was different, and high speed rails are still an awesome way to travel, but the best one was when we got our own little cabin with a door and large seats.
|Doug, seriously pondering the awesomeness of our private train cabin.|
|Door closed. AC on. Keep out, Snack Cart Man!|
|Saying goodbye to the Cinqueterre|
At some point in between stops, I grabbed my first take-away (to-go) cappuccino. There is one size, and one size only:
Vast difference than the US, where you can order a cappuccino in a 20oz cup! I'm actually digging these smaller portion sizes.
As we headed off to Milan, the Wershings left France and headed to Germany. I was missing everybody. Then Kendra sent me this pic. I think that they're going insane from my absence. That, or they're in an un-airconditioned train cabin and just ate too many gummy bears (Kendra is providing some real-time updates).
|Wershing Christmas Card, 2015|
Upon arriving at our hotel in Milan, we were pleased to discover that we've been 5 for 5 in terms of getting a bidet at all our Italian lodging accomodations.
We made a lot of bidet progress on the trip. Rome, everyone was too scared to try it. We watched YouTube videos. Weighed in on tje towel issues and other ways that you personalize your own unique bidet experience. Traded theoretical tips and tricks to a successful bidet session.
In the end, everyone came to a consensus: bidets are awesome, why does the US not have bidets, how can we change this tragedy, etc. The revolution is coming!
We stayed the night at the Moxy Malpensa in the Milan Airport. We opted to skip a quick tour of Milan (including the Milan Expo) in favor of the additional half day in Manarola.
Fingers crossed we have a successful flight experience tomorrow! :/