When we last left off, we had finally found our hotel, crashed for the night, and I was losing my voice. The next morning when I woke up, my voice was completely gone. This wouldn’t have been an issue, except for the fact that I was the unspoken leader of the trip. I had booked the hostel and the train tickets and had done most of the interaction with the locals in Cinque Terre so far.
As we headed to the train station, my friends made me take a vow of silence, and I took the gesticulating and motioning when I felt the need to express myself.
Our first town was Manarola. We arrived around midday, hungry and ready to swim. This was BY FAR the most gorgeous town of all. We walked along the path that lined the side of the cliffs, and when we got the end we found a small beach. I climbed the rocks and found a little concrete square that was perfect for laying out. We swam, ate, and jumped off the cliffs for an hour or so.
The last town was Corniglia. We bought cookies and fruit at the local grocery as a nice snack before cliff jumping. I bought a liter of orange juice in the hopes that the vitamin C would cure me.
Corniglia is situated very high in the mountains. To get to the town, you have to walk up 10 minutes worth of steps. When we finally reached the town, we walked the streets and saw signs that pointed to the beach. Always ready to swim, we headed towards the beach. Little did we know it would be a 5 minute walk down the stairs (and a grueling 10 minute walk back up). Here is where we found the best cliff jumping.
Here is where the plan went wrong. We finished dinner and headed back to the train station. Our train was meant to come around 8:30pm. 8:30 came and went, and we checked the screens to see that it was delayed by 15 mins. This was going to make our transfer tight, but we would make it. We waited a another 15 minutes and the train still didn’t arrive. We checked the screens again, and saw that it was now delayed until 9:30pm. The issue was that our connecting train left at 9:17pm. At this point, we panicked. We called taxis, looked online for other trains, tried to find other ways home, and even contemplated sleeping on the beach. After 15 minutes of freaking out, our train actually did arrive, but it was so late that it left us 3 minutes to find our way through the stations for our connecting. At 12am on Monday, we finally made it back to Florence. Exhausted, happy, and mute, I went to bed ready to tackle my first class in 8 hours.