Castello Doria

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    • Day 23

      Day Twenty-Three: Cinque Terre

      April 7 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Today, we were off to one of the places I was most excited about, Cinque Terre! But even the drive down was pretty nice. We got to drive along the coast and see some water, towns, and fields. It was also weird how many tunnels we went through and how they were often houses and towns right above the tunnel, too. I wonder if your house would shake if a semi drove through. When we were finally in Italy, we had a 45-minute check stop, and it is completely different how you order food. Here, you pay for the pizza and coffee, and they give you a receipt, which u have to talk to different people, which give you the item you bought. So could I use the same receipt twice? But the pizza I got was a salami pizza (pepperoni), and it was some of the best pizza I ever had. The sauce was just fantastic with the crust. I was also very hungry, so that probably helped. Then, we trucked the rest of the way over to Cinque Terre. For this part, we were kind of left on our own. Bec gave us a train pass to jump between towns and sent us off with a meet-up point at 8:10 pm. Three other guys decided to join us, Kevin, Nathan, and Nick. We ended up sitting at the beach, drinking wine and cocktails for a while. And we went for a swim. It's weird because I feel the ocean doesn't smell salty here, but man, it tastes salty for sure. Luckily, why watch is water resistant because I totally forgot to take it off. It was nice to sit in the sun and relax with wine, but it did take up too much of our limited time here. So we went back to the train station to try and figure out how it worked so we could get to the next town. We finally figured it out to realize that at the end, we accidentally took an express train past all the islands. So, of course, we had to wait and take the next train back. There goes more precious time... but when we finally started walking around and it was such a cool place, super narrow alleyways, lots of stairs, and a beautiful ocean. We even walked up and found this mini castle ruins, which cost 2 euros to see. It was worth the cheap price. It had a fantastic view of the town and the surrounding area. Then, we skipped a town to jump to the one I was most excited about. And it was so beautiful just looking at this town on a cliff above the water. We all decided to get dinner somewhere, so we walked around trying to find a place to eat, and holy everywhere was so expensive. One place was selling the catch of the day for 70€... we managed to find one place that wasn't quite as expensive and walked in to find the whole travel group already eating there. What are the odds of that? But we all ordered some wine and some pesto pasta, which apparently was crested here! And it was delicious, I got ravioli. But it was still 15€ or something, and we got to protein, and the portion was a little small. But since we were so slow with the towns we did, we only got to see 3/5 towns... but that's OK, I had such a great experience in the ones I did go to, and it seems they are all quite similar. We arrived at the meet-up location early, and it seemed most people did too, but I went and bought water and went to the bathroom. I finished and came out before the time we were supposed to leave, but everyone was gone... I called Ethan, and he wasn't picking up. One of the other guys on the trip did text me and said he would send me his location ping. When I got it and looked, it was a 20-minute walk away. I was so confused about how they got so far away so fast, but I just started running. It was the most stressful run of my life because the ping he gave me was a couch parking lot. Our guide has been clear about leaving people behind if they take too long. So as I am running and getting close, I see our bus driving on the road, so I start waving freaking out about not being picked up. Luckily, he stopped, and I walked in to see a completely empty bus... I was early, and like 5 minutes early, too, as I saw the crowd walking over. Turns out he sent the end location and not where they were. So I freaked out for no reason. But me and Ethan did have a little heated talk afterward because we were both so stressed, but it was just in the moment. Turns out he forgot to activate his new esim so he didn't have internet and that's why he didn't pick up. But it is what it is. Everything worked out. It was a long bus ride back to the hotel, an extra hour, 40 minutes. And it was a tough ride because it's when our sickness really hit us out of nowhere. Ethan was having it a lot harder than me for sure. But I was miserable. So we finally get there, and I am so ready just to lay down and sleep it off to find out we went to the wrong location... and the one we need to go to is another hour, 40 minutes drive away... so you can say we had a shitty ass night being sick ass fuck in a couch that we shouldn't be in. But that's OK, we made it to the hostel and I crashed hard.Read more

    • Day 2

      #03 Cinque Terre - Malerisch und Touris

      March 25 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      Nach einem erholsamen Morgen in Bogliasco setzten wir unsere Reise fort und machten uns auf den Weg nach Cinque Terre, mit dem Ziel Vernazza. Ehrlich gesagt hatten wir die Strecke etwas unterschätzt, insbesondere die herausfordernden Serpentinen, die v.a. Lenas Puls auf Daueranschlag hielten. Und die Minutenangabe bei Google Maps wurde nur in 5-Minuten-Schritten weniger 😅
      Trotzdem waren wir voller Vorfreude auf die malerischen Dörfer, die uns erwarteten. Lena hatte einen Parkplatz oberhalb von Cinque Terre ausfindig gemacht, von dem aus wir in das Dorf wandern konnten. Unsere Fahrräder ließen wir vorerst stehen, um die Gegend zu Fuß zu erkunden. Während wir uns auf den Weg machten, beeindruckten uns die zahlreichen Fahrradfahrer, die sich durch die bergige Landschaft kämpften, und die vielen Menschen, die der Zug aus Levanto stündlich ausspuckte.

      Vernazza empfing uns mit malerischer Schönheit, obwohl wir überrascht waren, wie viele Menschen bereits vor Ostern die Gassen bevölkerten. Dennoch war schnell klar, warum die Cinque Terre weltberühmt sind – die einzigartige Atmosphäre, die charmanten Häuser an den Klippen und der malerische Hafen machen Vernazza und die vier anderen Orte in den Hügeln total sehenswert.
      Wir schlenderten durch die engen Gassen bis zum Hafen und erklommen dann die Burg, um von dort aus einen atemberaubenden Blick auf Vernazza und das Meer zu genießen.

      Zum Abschluss gönnten wir uns traditionelle Fischgerichte, wie gemischte frittierte Fische, bevor wir uns entschieden, dem touristischen Trubel zu entfliehen und weiter nach Vernaggio zu fahren. Dort verbrachten wir die Nacht an einem ruhigen Ort in einem Wohngebiet und freuten uns auf die kommenden Tage, die wir weniger fahrend, sondern mehr in der entspannten Atmosphäre der Toskana verbringen würden.
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    • Day 8

      Vernazza - Cinque Terre

      June 27, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Det var lite ovanligt att anlända till en by vandringsvägen. Alla de övriga fyra byarna har jag besökt via den magnifika järnvägen. Men Vernazza såg jag för första gången ovanifrån. Alltså vilka fantastiska byar detta är. Gränder, serpentingångar, trappor, tinnar och torn precis överallt. Magiskt. Fullkomligt magiskt.Read more

    • Day 31

      Afternoon visit to Vernazza

      April 22 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      Caught the train from s. Margherita to Vernazza. Had late lunch by the water. 10eur for chips, 20 eur for fritto misto, 10 eur for a beer. Wonderful.

      Had a stroll around and did lots of people watching, then got a gelato before heading back to the apartment.

      Weather was kind again 😀
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    • Day 6


      June 30, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Vernazza ist ein weiteres der 5 Fischerdörfer von Cinque Terre.
      Hier gibt es angesagte Restaurants, die frühzeitig gebucht werden sollten, da sie atemberaubende Ausblicke garantieren.
      Vor allem zur Sonnenuntergangs Zeit, sind die besten Plätze schnell weg.
      Das Dorf bietet dir ein einmaliges Freiheitsgefühl mit seiner besonderen Lage und am Abend wird es schon fast kitschig romantisch ❤️‍🔥
      Leider war es sehr warm in diesen Tagen, weshalb wir direkt nach dem Sonnenuntergang zurück zum Bulli watschelten.
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    • Day 17

      Cinque Terre

      April 7 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Today, we hopped on the coach leaving the French coast and into Italy! We stopped at a checkpoint on the highway and had my first pizza in Italy. The way you order here is unorganized chaos. It's kinda like a bar. If you force your way up, the bartender has no clue you just showed up, so they take your order. I ordered a slice of pizza and an Americano. After I paid, they gave me 2 different receipts, one for the coffee and one for the pizza. You then have to force your way to the till and hand the guy warming pizzas your pizza receipt. Once you get that, you go to the other side of the restaurant and give the guy making coffee your coffee receipt. I'm not a huge fan of this system. It's so hectic when it doesn't have to be. Apparently, it was just a small one for us to practice at as well, so we're gonna have a more hectic one soon. We had 45 minutes here, and then we got back on the coach for another 3.5 hours. At least it's a beautiful drive, but stressful. I don't know how our driver, Paulo, does it. We were driving down a mountain with one-way traffic in this giant bus. He obviously has to honk around blind corners, but some people do not care. He honks to let people know, and all of a sudden, a dude on a motorcycle rips around the corner. He's like less than a foot from our bus and a foot from the gaurd rail on the side of a mountain. Doesn't seem like the brightest idea I don't know. Paulo is so calm when everyone else on the bus is stressing. Ice in his veins. We finally got to cinque Terre after 5 hours of driving. We were told we have 6.5 hours to explore all 5 towns. It's kind of a shitty ratio, but oh well. Our tour guide told us the trains in between the 5 towns are very easy to use. She told us you just use the same train everytime, same side of the tracks every time. Gave us our all day train passes and told us to explore. In the first town we went to, we sat on the beach in our trunks, sharing a liter of wine with 3 other guys. That wasn't enough, so we ordered 2 cocktail "buckets." They actually tasted really good. One of the guys we were chilling with is a fire fighter from New York, and every new years he does a polar plunge, so he had no problem with the cold ass water Pearse and Nick jumped in too. Again, I'm a baby and just went out to mid thigh. Once the fellas got out, Nick tackled me into the water, and we went for a quick swim. I couldn't let Pearse go back without me tackling him too lol. The drinks and the sun were feeling really good for everyone. Then we looked at the time and realized we spent a little too much time at the first town and we should hop on the train to the next one. Pearse and I were going to hike between a set of the towns, but we didn't leave ourselves enough time, unfortunately. We were joking around about how Becks was telling us the trains are the easiest trains ever, and the only thing to remember is to not hop on the express train. The express train only goes from town 1 to 5. You alreasy know what we did. The first train we hop on is the express and end up at our final town. We finally figured out the train and got on the proper train, but now we had to do 3/5 of the stops to get to the second town. Long story short, we wasted a lot of time lol. The second town had a small castle and lookout point at the top. It was absolutely beautiful. Overlooking the ocean and the hills behind us, but we had to get a move on because it was already almost 5. We still had to eat and visit 3 more towns. The group made a business decision to skip on the next town because we didn't have time to do everything now. So we got back on the proper train and skipped a stop then got off at the 4th town. This one was probably my favorite. The buildings were so colorful and vibrant sitting on the edge of the hills. I think it's beautiful but I have no idea why anyone would live here. Only tourists and so many stairs everywhere. I feel like if you're living here, you're probably retired. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't know too many retired people excited about stairs. Anyways, we were told we have to eat before leaving Cinque Terre because everything around our hotel will be closed. That's not a typo. We're sleeping in a hotel tonight! So we climbed all the stairs to the top of the hill to sit at the restaurant way at the top. Once we got there, we saw there was a huge line to get a seat, and we weren't about to waste more time. We finally found a restaurant that wasn't insanely expensive. We walked in, and almost pur whole contiki group was dinning together. That's okay. I don't want to eat with most of them anyways lol. The 5 of us went to the second floor of the restaurant and began looking. The prices for a liter of wine were too good not to get 2 lol. The area of Italy that were in is known for pesto! So I had to order some speggahti pesto. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, but I prefer my mom's homemade pesto. Maybe that's because I had it lots back in the day, but it just wasn't the same. After dinner, we got back on the train to the last town, also the meetup spot for everyone. We had to be back on the bus at 8. After yesterday, we got to know Becks and Paulo dont care if you're late, they will leave you anywhere. We were told everything was closed around our hotel so the five of us were going to bring some wine and beers back with us to our rooms. As the first of us entered the store, Becks yelled from behind us "no boose at the hotel boys" how the fuck did she know lol. Pearse went in to go to the bathroom before we got back on the coach. I waited and waited for him to come back. Then Becks said we have to go, so can you please text him. The problem is I did, and called him and sent him my live location on what's app. I hadn't had reception since we entered Italy, though. So I ran up to one of the guys we were with all day and frantically told him to text Pearse. we are leaving and to hurry up. He texted called and sent Pearse his live location as well. It was about a 10 minute walk from the meet up spot to where the coach was at. I walked as slow as I could, constantly staring down the street, hoping to see his dumb ass come flying around the corner in a full sprint. He wasn't there though when I got to the bus. I love the guy, but I'm not getting left in some town. I walk on the bus, and Becks says to me "some how he was the first person on the bus." I look at our seats, and sure as shit he's there dripping in sweat. There was a bit of confusion between us. He was pissed off that I didn't text him or call him. What he didn't know is I was trying so hard, but I had no reception. Whatever we both made the bus, that's what matters. We found out we had almost a 3 hour bus ride to the hotel, which really sucks because Pearse and I got so sick at the same time. He was leaking like a faucet with a cough, and I had a fever with the shakes. After the second worst drive of my life, we finally got to the hotel. So tired and ready for bed everybody's grabbing their things. Becks stood up at the front of the bus and said, "Um guys, we've never had this problem before. We are at the wrong hotel." Origanlly we were supposed to stay at a hotel not far from where cinque Terre is, but they moved us to this hotel halfway across Italy, WITHOUT TELLING THE OTHER HOTEL. I'm not being dramatic about halfway across Italy. You can see it on the map of my trip. We had time to empty our bladders on the side of the road and get back on the coach to go back the exact way we came from. This was the worst drive of my life. My backpack is in the storage underneath the bus, so I couldn't grab my hoodie or anything, and my fever made me so cold. I couldn't stop shaking and sweating at the same time. My skin and muscles hurt, too. Towards the end of the drive, my guts started turning on me. I was gassing the bus with the worst farts of all time. I felt bad for Pearse cause he also had to sleep in the same room as me lol. Today was a good day, but I'm glad it's over.Read more

    • Day 6

      Tag 5 | Cinque Terre

      July 5, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      Der letzte Tag in den Cinque Terre verläuft für mich ruhig. Ich bereite mich auf die morgige Weiterreise nach Rom vor und genieße am Abend noch ein letztes Mal die Aussicht und den Sonnenuntergang vom Strand aus. 🦀🌴Read more

    • Day 15

      Cinque Terre

      September 30, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      We left the hotel early so we could catch the 8.15am train to Monterosso al Mare before the crowds arrived. We went to the Focaccia bakeries to get an early warm slice of freshly baked local delicacy.
      We then went for a swim before wandering through the old city and then caught a train to Vernazza. I climbed up high to get a high vantage point over the picturesque city on the high hills of the coast.
      We traveled again by train to Manarolo and it was in the i in which we spent a couple of hours swimming in the most amazing azure waters from which the steep mountains fell precipitously into the Mediterranean from a huge height, mountains on which houses are stacked up on each other and are made more beautiful by the iconic wall colours and contrasting shutters on the windows.
      The last village we visited was Riomaggiore and we swam in two places in this village. We stayed until the sun was sinking into the west and then we boarded the train with wet swimmers to travel back to La Spezia, where, after a shower and a change of clothes, we ventured forth to enjoy dinner for the last night in amongst the myriad of pizza and pasta restaurants that line the cobbled streets.
      Geoff York took the record for the most swims of the day. He swam in seven separate beach locations in the villages we visited during an amazing day. Weather perfect, scenery even better, swimming in the aquamarine water of the Mediterranean was the best.
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    • Day 3

      Cinque terre, oder eigentlich nur tre

      September 11, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      Um halb sieben klingelt der Wecker, ganz schön früh für Urlaub, aber wir wollen die erste Fähre kriegen, um vielleicht schon vor den größten Touristenmassen das erste der Cinque Terre Dörfer zu erreichen. Eine Stunde fahren wir nach Portovenere, das selbst schon ein richtiges kleines Highlight ist.

      Um 9 Uhr legt die Fähre Richtung Cinque Terre ab. Wir haben beschlossen, Monterosso, das westliche der fünf Dörfer, auszulassen, da es ohnehin das am wenigsten schöne sein soll. Also fahren wir erstmal an allen Dörfern vorbei und genießen die schöne Küste sowie den Wind, der uns um die Nase weht.
      Zuerst gehen wir in Vernazza von Bord, dem zweitwestlichsten und angeblich schönsten - können wir nachvollziehen! Schon um kurz nach 10 sind zwar ordentlich viele Menschen da, aber das kleine Dorf mit seinem schönen Hafenbecken und den bunten Häuschen, die sich den Hang hinaufstapeln, gefällt uns wirklich sehr. Wir erkunden erstmal die Hauptstraße und treffen zufällig unsere holländischen Nachbarn zwei Häuser weiter, die zu Fuß von Corniglia nach Vernazza gewandert sind - ein 2 Stunden Marsch, der nur mit festem Schuhwerk erlaubt ist. Aus Gründen, wie die beiden uns berichten. Wir sind dann doch ganz froh, per Boot unterwegs zu sein…
      Einen Cappuccino und einen Spaziergang bis ganz vorn an der „Pier“ später ist es kurz nach 11 und die Sonne brennt schon so von Himmel, dass wir uns zu ärgern beginnen, keine Badesachen eingepackt zu haben. Zum Glück erfrischt uns der Fahrtwind auf dem Weg zum nächsten Dorf dann wieder ein wenig.

      In Corniglia hält die Fähre nicht, aber das Dorf ist ohnehin sehr klein, also nicht so schlimm. Wir steigen in Manarola wieder aus und brauchen ganz dringend etwas im Magen und ein bisschen Zucker. Einen Pfirsicheistee und ein Focaccia später geht es uns deutlich besser. Das Pesto Genovese ist übrigens echt lecker hier. 😜 Während wir auf die Fähre warten, beobachten wir die einheimischen Halbstarken, wie sie von den Felsen springen - einer „mutiger“ als der andere… ;)

      Auf nach Riomaggiore, das sich nochmal beeindruckender von einem minikleinen Hafenbecken aus in die Höhe stapelt. Hier kann man schön bummeln und könnte, wenn man denn wollte, ziemlich viel Nippes als Mitbringsel kaufen - machen wir natürlich nicht ;) Dafür essen wir ein leckeres Eis, das erste im Urlaub!
      Als um 14:45 (plus Verspätung) die Fähre zurück mach Portovenere kommt, sind wir ganz schön groggy von der prallen Sonne und der Hitze.
      Eigentlich wollten wir uns Portovenere auch noch ansehen, aber unsere Energie reicht nur noch für einen kurzen Spaziergang an der Promenade. Der Parkplatz war eh schon teuer genug - 2,50€ die Stunde läppern sich am Ende des Tages ganz schön… also ab nach Hause und im Pool erfrischen - und dann gar nix mehr, außer entspannen, Carbonara und sacken lassen!

      Das war zwar anstrengend, aber auch sehr schön. Die Cinque Terre lohnen sich definitiv, aber man sollte sie am Besten nicht in der Hauptsaison besuchen. Schon jetzt war es echt voll genug. Nichtsdestotrotz sind wir froh, die Dörfer gesehen zu haben. 🥰
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    • Day 4


      March 16, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

      Weiter gings mit der Bahn zum nächsten Ort. Vernazza ist wohl eines der schönsten Orte in Cinque Terre und so verbrachten wir den Rest des Tages bis zur Rückfahrt nach Levanto in diesem kleinen Ort.

      Zunächst gings natürlich an den Hafen, dann eine Kleinigkeit zum Essen in einer Foccacia geholt, dann nochmals an den Hafen, ein wenig relaxen und zum Abschluss liefen wir ein paar Meter hoch den Wanderweg Richtung Monterosso. Hier gabs dann die besten Bilder des Ortes zu bestaunen und natürlich auch zu fotografieren.

      Dann gings - mit einer halben Stunde Verspätung - ja auch das gibts in Italien - zurück nach Levanto, wo wir ein Gläschen in der immer noch warmen Nachmittagssonne genießen durften.
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