Up early and off to breakfast with the group. There are a total of 9 of us taking the easy, easy hike which also includes the typical holiday triathlon – shopping, walking and eating/drinking and we will add sightseeing to the list.
At 9:am sharp we meet at the fountains in front of the hotel and head for the train station. Our train is on time this morning and thankfully quite empty so we were all able to sit down. We got off at Vernazza where we left off yesterday and split Into our groups. Poor Trevor (or maybe lucky Trevor) had only 3 for the shorter walk, 10 for the longer, harder walk and the 9 of us.
We agreed to spend two hours in Vernazza and meet back at 12:00 noon to decide if we wanted to stay longer here or catch the 12:30pm train to Monterosso. We dispersed, some hit the shops, some to the harbour to take photos, some for a relaxing coffee watching the world go by – how Italian. I was one of the ones taking photos, hanging loose and enjoying the coffee.
My knee is very unhappy with me today so the trip up to the old castle tower was out of the question. I purchased my latte and with iPad in hand planned to work on the blog. Alas, I have no Wi-Fi connection – drats. So instead The only seat available was at a table with a couple from Perth, Australia who were kind enough to share their table. As it turns out they had lived in California for 8 years and had never made it up to Vancouver. We made an agreement that they would contact me when they plan their trip and I will take them hiking and show them the city.
At noon we met at the rendezvous point and it was unanimous, we will take the ferry to Monterosso. Tickets in hand we boarded one of two crowded ferries (of course both ferries were in dock at the same instant, one going north and one going south – makes for more confusion which always adds to the experience). Within minutes we are speeding over the water to the next village of Monterosso. It is beautiful and has a huge expanse of beach and on a hot day like today, this is extremely inviting!
The moment we dock (well following photo taking), we head directly to a seaside restaurant and luckily were given the last two tables, one for six and one for three. Settled in, we ordered water and wine, not necessarily in that order, and another outstanding Italian meal – prawns, scampi, pasta, swordfish, mussels and for dessert, sorbetto limone in liquid form served in a champagne glass – absolutely what the doctor ordered. That and a large dose of laughter and conversation. What a great way to spend the day!
Following lunch we decided to orient ourselves to the train station and then head to the beach, shop or whatever the heart desired. The station was in the newer part of town and much hotter so Margie & Sandy caught an earlier train, Doris and I hung out on the promenade, Becky went back into the old town, Leslie, Dana, Judy, and Marlene went to the beach for a swim.
At 5:30 we caught the train back to Bonassola, showered and met in the Caffe Delle Rose to plan our free day tomorrow. And with planning, one must have a Glass of Prosecco to assist with the creative process! Our assault on Portofino finalized, we go in for dinner, more laughter and great food. Tonight was pasta as the appy (surprise) and scorpion fish or veal. Our table all had the fish and although most of us weren’t crazy about the fish (Nancy and I agreed it was too fishy?), the creme caramel for dessert made up for it!
Now our mission was to get train tickets for the 14 of us who will be taking the train and ferry to Portofino for our free day. Sandy, Leslie, Doris and I make the short journey to get the tickets from the machine as the station office is closed. Well this proved to be easier said than done. It took almost an hour to get it all sorted out between the temperamental talking ticket machine and concentrating through fits of laughter. Who would have thought this could have been so much fun. Must be still a bit of jet lag as it did take all four of us to manage it.
Mission accomplished and off to sleep. Another big day tomorrow……….
For Vernazza / Monterosso Photos see: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152293606621887.1073741919.593681886&type=1&l=94131ddaa4