Tuesday, October 8, 2013 @ 5:02 PM in 2013 Europe
We slept with the windows open in the hostel last night. It got a little chilly but after I got another blanket it was great having the fresh air coming in at night. In the morning I got up and had breakfast downstairs at the bar where the owner of the hostel works. I had a marmalade filled croissant and a cappuccino.
Since I didn't want to spend the next several days buying beers at the bar across the street to feed my need for internet connectivity, I bought a 2 day Cinque Terre card that gives me unlimited access on trains between all the Cinque Terre towns as well as the ability to hike between the cities.
With my pass I went to the big city that isn't really part of the Cinque Terre called La Spezia. They have all of the big shops and phone stores there that I'd need to get another SIM card. Last night I was talking to Oliver (the guy who lives here 5 months out of the year selling his paintings of the Cinque Terre to tourists) and he mentioned the phone company WIND and told me where to go to get a SIM card.
I showed up there and tried to get a new card but their internet was down and they wouldn't be able to do anything for a couple hours. Bummer. Next, I headed down the main shopping area and found another shop. Unfortunately they were all out of SIM cards. Bummer #2. I went to the 3 Store (the company of my prior SIM card) but they were closed for some reason. Bummer #3. I walked around some more and found another phone shop. The guy didn't speak any English but between my very very limited Italian and a lot of pointing and repeating of basic needs, we were able to get things figured out. The SIM I'm using now is from a different company and seems to be a bit spotty in the Cinque Terre towns (not that my 3 SIM was much better).
After getting that taken care of, I boarded a train to the town of Vernazza. I walked around there for a while, paid to climb up a big castle tower for some amazing views, had some lunch and then got on a train for the town of Manarola.
Manarola is the next town up from the one I'm staying at (Riomaggiore) and it's the starting point for all the hiking between the cities. I went on some of the paths to get some shots of the town but I'll leave the full hikes for tomorrow and Thursday. I think of all the towns so far, Manarola is probably the most beautiful. Like most of the towns, it's surrounded by cliffside vineyards and the town is nestled in the cliff side working its way down to the sea. In Manarola people were swimming around in the marina. It was very tempting to get in since it was pretty warm today. I might get in tomorrow or Thursday if the weather stays nice like this.
I hung out there for a while and looked through some of the shops. All of the towns sell their locally produced wine, soaps and spice mixes for pasts. I'll probably buy a few packages of the spice mixtures. One of the other guys staying here used it last night in his pasta and it smelled amazing.
Now I'm back at the hostel on the balcony working with some wine and amazing views all around me. I think tonight once it gets dark I'll head down to the marina and see if taking any photos of the city at night look good.
Since I have a limit on the amount of data I can use for my SIM card, I won't be uploading my photos until I get to my hostel in Florence. If you want to see some of what I'm up to, check out my Instagram feed at the top right side of my blog.
Vernazza from the marina
Manarola and vineyards
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daily journal, italy, riomaggiore, cinque terre
Posted from: Italy