Day 14-15: Cinque Terre
Arrival in the Cinque Terre
From Train to Beach
After arriving in the Cinque Terre, we had to catch a train from the bus stop to our hotel on Monterosso. When we exited the train station in Monterosso, we literally walked right onto the beach and surrounded by cliffs! It was such a cool experience. The walk to Hotel Punta Mesco was only a block or two away.
We had our group dinner at Ristorante Belvedere. Here, Stephen tried a fish soup that had lobster, fish, prawns and octopus! Even though he is not much of a seafood eater, he was feeling adventurous and tried the octopus. He thought it had a texture similar to crab and since it soaked up most of the broth flavor, it was actually quite good.
After dinner, we talked for a long time with another couple in our tour, John and Whitney. It was a fun way to end the evening before we headed back to our hotel.
Manarola and Vernazza
In the morning, we took a boat ride to Manarola because it offered a short hike into the mountain. The boat ride was amazing! It offered such beautiful views. Unfortunately, the hiking trail was closed off and we did not get very far. But, we did find a set of stairs that led down the cliff side and we were able to walk around huge rocks next to the water.
We then took the boat over to Vernazza. here we enjoyed lunch at a pizzeria sitting next to a beach area. We also climbed the Belforte Tower and enjoyed an aerial view of the town and water.
Later, we took the boat back to Monterosso so we could go to the beach.
Beach and Paddle Boards
On our way to the beach at Monterosse, we ran into a family of four, the Kellys, who were part of our tour group. We asked them how to rent an umbrella and chairs and they vaguely told us which location they were renting at. After we got our rental, we discovered that we got the chairs right next to them. What a funny coincidence!
Stephen went stand up paddle boarding with the father and his son and later snorkeled with just the father. He had a lot of fun.
Happy Hour at the Hotel
The hotel put on a happy hour for our group, which included free wine and pizza. It was a fun time where all of the tour members were able to mingle with each other.
Dinner On Our Own
After the happy hour, we went to find a place to eat and ended up eating right off of the beach. We met a girl who sat next to us that was alone and chatted with her about how she had traveled all over Europe. We had a great time and shared huge meat and cheese board.
The Hotel Punta Mesco was a nice place to stay. Some rooms had a patio connected to it, however we did not get one of those rooms. The rooms were a good size. The breakfast was great and we could get fresh brewed cappuccinos. The front desk was very friendly and helpful with any questions we had. The hotel was also very close to the beach.