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Manarola, Monterosso and Vernazza

We had not had time to get food for the apartment yet, so we headed down 217 steps to the main street of Manarola and searched out a place for breakfast. Right near the water we found this cafe that was serving breakfast fair. And Coffee, most important was coffee.

After breakfast we headed for the train station to get our tickets to head for Monterosso. The plan was to go here, check it out and work our way back to Vernazza. After looking around Monterosso, which was very pretty and probably the least hilly of the 5 villages, but the largest, we split up from Vance and Vangie. They were going to tackle the train to Vernazza and we were going to take the train.

Once in Vernazza, Cathy and I poked around a bit and walked the main street. This village is much smaller than Manarola and is easy to walk form the water to the top area. Cathy and I found a place we could get a pizza for lunch and settled in for some grub. Eating in Italy is not the same as eating at home. Food is to be enjoyed and savoured. Lunch, dinner and even breakfast are all at a very leisurely pace. We were keeping an eye open for the McCarthy’s but during our lunch/walkabout we did not see them. We knew there plan was to walk on to the next village, Corniglia and then take the train back to Manarola.

Cathy and I headed up to the train station to wait for the train and low and behold we see Vance and Vangie starting the trail to Corniglia. They were too far away to yell to, so I took there photo as proof we saw them.

About 5 minutes later, the heavens opened up. It did not rain, show or sprinkle. It poured, like a monsoon. We figured we might see Vance and Vangie running back to Vernazza to catch the train. Nope.

We got back to Manarola and waited outside the train station tunnel for the rain (monsoon) to stop, after chatting with another couple who were doing the same thing, the rain abated and we said our good byes and headed to the Coop for some groceries. Which was an experience it itself. You can not add fruit and veggies to you basket and go to the checkout, you have to take them to the deli, have them weighed and priced then to the checkout. It’s an ok system once you figure it out. Cheese and meat were also on the menu for our pre dinner wine. Cheese here is very inexpensive, so we seem to be experimenting and trying many varieties. We have no idea what we are trying, but we are trying different stuff.

With grub in had we headed up the road (to avoid the stairs) to the apartment. Shortly after we started up the hill the local bus showed up and we were on it in a flash. Much easier to take it 3/4 of the way up the hill!

We go home and put away the groceries and Cathy had a shower. Just after that two very very wet and cold McCarthy’s came in. They were about 1/8 of way along the trail when the heavens opened up. And in a very optimistic fashion they figured it would stop. Oh well. Once they got to Corniglia they had just missed the train (after going down 412 stairs down) and had to wait another hour for the train.

After drying off and getting warm, wine was opened and the sun started to come out. We sat on the deck for a while and then started dinner. Vangie had bought some pasta and sauce in San Gimignano so we were all set.

A pretty good end to a pretty good day.

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