A train strike. A rain storm. Closed trails and no boats. So, what do hundreds of people in five little villages do when their plans are disrupted? Well, if you are in Montorosso, go to the beach between the downpours. The village farthest north is a haven for the young and the beach crowd. From what I hear, also the pickpockets. We had a short visit before the train strike, but it wasn’t the village for us.
Our home base was Riomaggiore, the village farthest east. We met our landlady, Paola. What fun. Between my little Italian, her little English and a lot of hand signals we talked. We discovered we were all teachers. Her husband has a bad knee. Amazing that he can make it up to his home. The stairs are so steep and deep! And they live on the fifth floor! She suggested we see Cinque Terre by sea, which was on my list of to dos. But, alas, the seas never calmed and that view didn’t happen.
These are little villages, and the tourists (myself included) swarm like bees through the streets. I wonder how the people that live here handle the hoards. Or do we bring enough money to justify the intrusion. Never more than on the trains did I feel like it was just too much. Hundreds packed the station platforms waiting to get on the constantly “ritardo” trains. If you were lucky enough to get aboard you would have more room in a sardine can with all the other little fishes. Holy mother! An assault of heat, humidity and body odor!
But you can see why people come here in droves. The homes perched on the cliffs are so picturesque it is difficult to describe. The sea lures people to this destination. I again realize how spoiled I am living next to Lake Michigan, with lots of access, relatively few people and beautiful scenery!