Friday, 9 August 2013

Why Vernazza?

This is my last post on The Cinque Terre. I wanted to explain why we loved Vernazza. My brother Patrick gets the credit for us initially choosing Vernazza as a home base. He had been there years ago (also in the summer) on a cycling trip through Europe. He spoke of arriving into town during the 'Pirate Festival' (which we would later find out was the Saturday of our departure) and quickly finding there was 'No room in the inn'. They slept on the beach and then found accommodation the following day. The bottom line was, he loved it.

But why did we love it?

I think for a number of reasons. It was less touristy than some of the towns. We loved the beach, and needed the easy swimming access as it was VERY HOT. You could swim from giant flat rocks in the harbour, or you could walk through a tunnel in the rock to an actual beach with fantastic swimming (and mostly locals). I think we would have been miserable had we not been able to jump in the water at any given second.  If you are not travelling during the summer months, this may be less important to you. If swimming isn't a priority, Vernazza definitely has a rival in the village of Manarola (see the Manarola post here).

The second beach...

The tunnel access...

We loved the small bakeries, the man with EXCELLENT gelato in the harbour, the scenic cliffside restaurants, the seafood cone shop, and the foccaccia shops. I especially loved a little place near the top of the village called the Picnic Box. It was here that I would start every day with a fresh fruit smoothie, and a fruit salad with yogurt. It didn't hurt that they had free wifi, and I could eat my breakfast while sending some emails home.

Our daily diets...

As I mentioned above, the town's festival was just ramping up, in the hours prior to us heading for our train (bad timing!). Below is a photo of the village's children, listening eagerly to instructions before partaking in a sports day of sorts. The stories goes, that in the early days, the town was divided into two sides (rivals), the shady side of the village (literally) and the sunny side. Below you have the sunny side children in white, competing against the shady characters.

While it was hard to leave, and head back to our reality (dissertations and final exhibitions), the Cinque Terre was just one of the spots that I know I'll be back to. I just can't see myself not wanting to share this special part of the world with loved ones.

....but more importantly, that table on the cliff has my name on it.

 Have a great weekend! 

We have plans to hit up a cute little pub tonight, and then tomorrow I'm meeting up with another friend from Vancouver at St. Pancras for breakfast during his layover. Saturday afternoon I'm excited to explore Hoxton with my cousin Angela.

...and on Sunday, S and I are planning an adventure. TBD!

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