We finally shifted from adventure mode to vacation mode. We are in a place called Cinque Terre which is a resort area. Considered the Italian Riviera, but just barely. Cinque Terre literally means five cities, Cinque is five, Terre is land. Five distinct little cities, right along the coast, built literally into the cliff side. Fishing villages originally, with each city having its own personality. We have had fun travelling from city to city exploring, but our home base is here in Vernazza. Today Benjamin and I hiked from Corniglia to Vernazza. A nice little trail that runs along the sea-shore. Before these cities were connected they were kind of separate entities, and some what inbred. Everyone had to marry with in the community. They opened up a trail, I can’t remember exactly when, connecting each city by a foot path. Widened the opportunity, so to speak.Vernazza is one of the cities that has a beach. There are really only two that have a beach, Vernazza is the smaller of the two. The kids have spent a lot of time swimming and playing at the beach. It has been very relaxing. It is a little bit pricey. We have learned a few tricks in our stay here in Europe. I think they have three price schemes. A price scheme for the locals, and that is lowest one. Then if you dine under one of their little umbrellas, or inside, there is a higher price scheme. In the middle is what they call take away. To give you an example, in Rome we went to a little cafe’ where the waiter seated us outside at one of those stereo-typical little tables. We had just a couple of cappuccinos and pastries and it was 14 euro. Next day we went to a different cafe’ and bellied up to the bar, so to speak, like the locals do. Had our cappuccinos and pastries and it was 4 euro. So a big difference there.
The pieces of our final travel puzzle are falling into place. We have a place to stay lined up in a youth hostel tomorrow by the train station. Then we will be taking the train all day on Monday up to Frankfurt, Germany, which is our send off spot. About a 12 hour trip. We have a place to stay in the youth hostel that we began with in Frankfurt. Then Tuesday morning, bright and early, we board the plane and fly home.