You know you are having fun when you have to look back at your photos to remember what you did the day before.
We left Switzerland for a three hour bus ride to Italy and a lovely boat ride on Lake Como. After our boat ride we had some free time for lunch and to wander. Como is a lovely town that is easy to maneuver. Lunch....well, we were hungry and didn't spend the time searching for just the right place as we should have so we ended up in a nice little place that had thick crust pizza. WHAT? In Italy? But it tasted great and hit the spot.
Our drive to the Cinque Terre region in Italy was eventful with long, winding roads that made our stomachs fall. We praised our bus driver, Allesandro, with claps and cheers as he safely delivered us to the Antique Hotel. Were we ever surprised to feel as if we had been transported to the movie set of "Mama Mia", which although set in Greece, reminded us of the bed and breakfast in the movie. The hotel quaint and the setting was stunning. The kids swam in the pool after dinner and bed time was welcome as I started to fall asleep while typing this post.
The next day we all loaded the bus with tired eyes, as Allesandro worked his magic down the hills again dropping us off at the train station where we embarked on our journey of the five towns, Cinque Terre. My son and I had been here a few years ago on a hiking day trip and I was anxious to see it again and share some of these special places and experiences with my group. A few of us started to quickly hike as high up as we could go and the views were absolutely worth the sweat. I sat on a rock and just watched the world below for a few minutes as a few kept climbing. There were grape vines and other beautiful foliage and so many people! The crowds were largest near the water, but we just did what we could to enjoy our time along the Mediterranean Sea. We wondered what it would be like to live here and watch this town explode with tourism. At times if felt as if I was at an amusement park full of people and yet, you could see the beauty everywhere. Looking up at lunch we saw and old lady and man hanging out their clothes to dry. What do you suppose they feel about the crowding of tourists?
We took the train to the next town and had lunch and shopped. We sat by the water and explored. After that we went to the final town of the day to swim! Monterosso has an amazing rocky beach with clear waters. For 15 Euros we secured one umbrella and 2 chairs. We took turns going in the water while the other person watch our things. It was an incredible 2 hours of fun at the beach! One of the boys on our tour said it was his first visit to a beach EVER! The kids and adults had so much fun playing in the water. Then of course there were the obligatory gelato stop!
After the train ride back, and then the bus ride to the hotel, we had dinner again........I have to be honest. It was a hot room when the whether outside was gorgeous and I know most of us just wanted to be outside looking at the views, but we did our dinner thing and afterwards the kids swam while the adults sat around and just laughed and had the very best time.
We can't wait to get to Monaco and France tomorrow! Stay tuned!
***Wi-Fi up here in the mountains of Italy is spotty and slow so pics will have to come later. But there are plenty on my Facebook page and iTravel with Laura Facebook page!
*please be kind since I am jet lagged, sick with a cold and in charge 15 humans in Europe. I know there are probably typos and my writing is pretty basic:) I just want to be sure that we don't forget all we have done and love sharing it as well!