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Clare
Clare

Day 3: Cinque Terre (in the sun!)

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When we woke up this morning and looked out the window, we were relieved to see that the weather seemed to be a bit brighter :)

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When we went to the viewpoint round the corner, we could see Manarola much more clearly than yesterday...

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...and we could just make out what we thought was Monterosso in the distance as well.

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We went to the same cafe as yesterday to have breakfast...

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...and then set off down the stairs towards the train station in Corniglia.

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In the sunshine, the views were even more spectacular than they had been yesterday.

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We got almost halfway down the stairs when we were passed by some girls climbing upward. They explained that they had got to the bottom and been turned away by a man who said that the path was closed for works and they needed to go around on the road. So they were having to climb all the way back up to the top again to find the road! :o  We weren't terribly impressed by the thought of having to climb back up all the way that we had just come down, but on the other hand it was better to have to climb up a part of the stairs then get right to the bottom and be told to turn around again, so we followed the girls back up to the top of the staircase. Sure enough, when we got there we found a workman sealing the entrance to the stairs off with red tape. Luckily he didn't object to us climbing underneath it to get out!

We walked down to the station via the main road and bought another Cinque Terre day pass for the trains. We had had an alternative plan for today which involved visiting a nearby town called Portovenere, but when we saw that the weather was so good we couldn't resist the temptation to try and re-do the villages which we had seen yesterday, in the sunshine this time :) 

Our first stop was the northernmost village of Monterosso.  As soon as we arrived, it was obvious that it was considerably busier here than it had been yesterday.

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The sea definitely looked a lot calmer today.

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In fact, it was so calm that someone seemed to be climbing on this rock which we had seen the waves lashing yesterday morning.

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We walked along the seafront, towards the centre of the village.

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Everything looked a lot better with the backdrop of a bright blue sky.

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Without the rain, we were able to explore a bit more of the village, and found this beautiful stripy church.

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We had to be careful not to spend too long in each village though, if we were going to fit them all in before we needed to catch a train towards the airport at around 2pm. So soon it was time to say goodbye to Monterosso...

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...and hop on a train towards our next destination: Vernazza.

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Vernazza looked stunning in the sunshine too :) 

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We walked out towards the harbour to get the best view back towards the town.

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The sea seemed incredibly peaceful compared to yesterday.

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Believe it or not, this was the point from which Tim got splashed by his wave yesterday :D 

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It was tempting to spend longer in Vernazza, but we had more villages to see!

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Our intention had been to go to Manarola next, but when we got to the station we found that the train we needed was delayed. Rather than lose time waiting for it, we decided to jump on an express train which didn't stop in Manarola, but went straight through to the southernmost village, Riomaggiore.

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We had been absolutely soaking wet by the time we got to Riomaggiore yesterday. Today felt very different.

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It was a lot easier climbing up the steep main street when there wasn't water pouring down it :D 

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We explored the village for a while...

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...and then headed back to the station. Believe it or not, this was our view from the platform as we waited for our train to Manarola.

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When we got to Manarola, we decided to be really boring and go to exactly the same place that we had had lunch yesterday. In fact, we even ordered exactly the same meal. But today we remembered to take a photo of the lasagne :D 

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The reason for going there was not just that the lasagne was amazing, but also that we knew the service was quick and efficient. We didn't have too long left before we needed to start our journey to the airport and we wanted to make the most of it.

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Manarola was really gorgeous in the sunshine :)

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We climbed up to the church tower we'd visited yesterday...

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...and were rewarded with the wonderful view back out over the village. Definitely better without the rain!

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Sadly, then it was time to start heading back down to the station, because we needed to catch a train to La Spezia. From there we were due to make a connection to Pisa, which is where we're flying back from this evening. 

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We'd calculated it so that we just had enough time to change in Pisa... and then our train to La Spezia was delayed, with no explanation or apology. We had a nervous few minutes in the station as we waited for it, wondering whether we were going to get to La Spezia on time to make our second train. It was a close-run thing, but we made it with about a minute to spare and were soon on our way towards Pisa airport. Phew!

The weather yesterday might not have been quite what we would have ordered, but overall we have had a wonderful long weekend in Italy. The views were fantastic even in the rain, but it was brilliant to be able to return to the same places today and see them in the sunshine too :)

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Edited by Clare

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