After our week in Switzerland, Wife and I boarded another train and headed south to Cinque Terre. After six hours and chatting with some American Royalty (we spoke for a few hours with the daughter of the former Walmart president who brought us the bar code) we arrived in Monterosso.
Another short train ride brought us to our town for the next two days, Manarola. It was nice to finally arrive and have the ability to stretch our legs…once we climbed the huge hill to our hotel (at least it felt huge to us, the 80-year-old women we saw begged to differ). Tired and sweaty we checked into our room and passed out for a few minutes.
Once up and ready again, we explored our village, purchased our trail pass (Cinque Terre is a national park), and walked along La Via dell’Amore which led us through some beautiful views and to the next town, Riomaggiore. Wife also informed me that the thousands of padlocks along the trail were put there by young lovers in hopes of eternal love. Can someone please do a study to see how well that has worked out for most people?
We made the best of our time in Riomaggiore by searching for an ATM and a bottle of wine to enjoy on our balcony. While we did find many bottles, none of them had a screw-top so we could not open any of them, but more on that later.
Back in Manarola, we sat down for dinner (at a Rick Steve’s recommendation) and chatted it up with a couple from San Francisco at the adjoining table. They had just finished the hike we planned for the following day, so it was great to get some real world opinions. Later during the dinner, Wife thought it would be nice to spill her glass of wine on our neighbor (she did not really mean to, but still).
At the end of our dinner, on recommendation from our new friends, we ordered a bottle of wine (only 15 euros) to go. The hostess brought me the bottle and a wine opener. I decided she wanted me to open it myself and proceeded to do so. She came back telling me not to and to take the wine opener with me and bring it back the next day.
At that point we learned we could be gods in the tourism world of Italy. We now had a way to open those corked bottles of wine. Our new friends, now jealous, asked if we could escort them back to their room so they could open their bottles. Luckily, their place was only a few buildings away, and after they opened their bottles, they profusely thanked us. Wife and I then headed back to our B&B to enjoy our bottle on the balcony.
For the rest of the evening, we enjoyed our wine and the breathtaking view (and I do mean breathtaking- I could have sat there all night). The relaxation was definitely needed to prepare for the seven mile hike the next day.