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Non siamo ancora arrivati​​?!

Are we there yet??!

So leaving Islay was an adventure all of it's own.

Foggy weather = canceled flight. Canceled flight = missing following flight to Italy. So ensued 24hrs of travel. Taking a ferry off the Island of Islay and a ride of 3.5 hrs back to Glasgow, and then an hour bus ride to Edinburgh. After all that, we finally said goodbye to the UK and hello to Italy.
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Going from sleepy sheep towns to bustling Milan in 5 o'clock traffic is quite the experience. Motorcycles (Mopeds really) weaving through traffic, cyclists thinking they are mopeds, and pedestrians dashing across four lanes of traffic while on a cell phone, all often coming within a hair's breath of a speeding car, bus or train. To add to that, we had the bus driver who was yelling, honking in Italian and driving like we were in a sports car, not an articulated bus. It was a good old-fashioned white-knuckled introduction into Italy.

After arriving at the train station, we quickly realized that everyone in Italy speaks Italian.... I mean... Who knew??
Tired brains of course have a hard time flipping to another language. So in Milan's train station, which feels like NYC Grand Central, we had to figure out what train goes to Riomaggiore, what binari (track), and what time (military time) it leaves. We also knew that there was only one train left leaving in that direction for the night, so for a few minutes it was a do-or-die dash.

Then came the next welcome to Italy experience. There weren't any direct trains going the direction we needed, so we had to take a regional train which stopped every 5 minutes. Since it was so late at night, nobody was at each station, and nobody was on the train. Nothing is more frustrating than stopping for 5 minutes, every 5 minutes, for 4 hours. :-)

Alas, we made it to Riomaggiore just after midnight and were welcomed by our host at the B&B. She drug our luggage up several steep slopes, a few staircases, around a grape vine or two, and finally we were home.

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The Cinque Terre is known for its stairs, hikes and amazing views. So we spent the next two days enjoying just that. These next pics were taken on our first day through the Via de'll Amore or the walk of Love. Along the walk, several hundred padlocks are attached to cables, containing names of those apparently locked in love. Awwwww...... (no we didn't add a lock).

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To hike along vineyards, past stone houses that hundreds of yrs old and look at the rugged terrain plunging into crystal clear blue-green water made the climb worthwhile. We thought Bocas back in Panama had the lock-down on pristine lagoons. Well we stand corrected!

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After a great day-long hike, what else is there to do but replace some lost calories? Or maybe even store up more for tomorrow? We made sure to taste and eat every moment we thought we might be hungry, could be hungry or indeed were hungry.

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Next, on to Tuscany and Wine country!

Posted by Greerd2Go 08:07 Archived in Italy Tagged terre cinque

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