Sunday, June 26, 2011

Iceland/France/Italy Day 15: Lover's Lane and Manarola

May 13, 2011
Italy Day 15: Lover's Lane and Manarola

Our first full day in Cinque Terre! We decided to do the first walk today. We were considering taking the boat between the villages but it was a bit overcast so it was a better day for a walk. We started at the Riomaggiore end of the hike, at the beginning of the famous "Lover's Lane". This is a special part of the Cinque Terre walk where people come and attach a lock to railings and fences along the way, with their initials on it. One of our big plans was for Mom and Dad to attach a lock with their initials and anniversary on it, and also to attach two smaller "child" locks for Norm and Me! Awesome.

At the beginning of the hike, there was a new heart-shaped logo made out of locks which was very cool and new since I last visited in 2007. Mom and Dad were very excited and Dad said, "It's out wedding day!" They searched out for a nice place for the locks that Mom had brought prepared from Canada. As I was perched at the top of the hill, Mom and Dad walked down to a spot they picked out and I was taking photos... but other people stopped to take photos too!!! Haha so awesome. Some lady beside me said, "Oooh, look at that couple!" The audience started to expand and they cheered and clapped when Mom and Dad kissed!! What a great audience.

We continued the walk and ran into a large group of Italian school kids. They were very excited to be on this walk. We got to the Lover's Chair and Mom and Dad sat on it. The crowd went wild, "Oooooh!!!!!!" Then Mom and Dad kissed and got an uproarious cheer from the crowd of mostly school-age girls. The crowd went wild and Mom waved to everyone "like the Queen" she said!! Haha this was priceless. :)

Soon after we got to Manarola and chilled out and took some photos. We walked to the famous view spot and took more photos. Then we walked up to the vineyards above the town and saw a suuuuper lazy cat on a roof! He was soooo lazy!!! Based on a recommendation from Rick Steeves, we walked up past a wall, near a church, down an alleyway... and finally found Trattoria del 'Billy', a recommended restaurant perched high up on the cliff!

We had some incredible fresh fish there and it was very good. We shared some Cinque Terre wine and Tiramisu as well. What a great lunch. Then the sun came out!! It cleared beautifully for our walk back. At the start of the walk back, I found a good place on the wall to draw a picture of Mom and Dad as Wall-E and Eve and Mom took photos of me drawing it. Back we went to Riomaggiore and we went shopping for food for dinner. I got a "Burrata" - a sort of fresh mozzarella that Jess had recommended back in San Francisco. A couple of small pieces in San Francisco were $20... and here a nice sized piece was only 2 Euros!!!! Wow. We also bought lots of chocolate meringue and almond cake, and also some more loquats. They are so good. We headed back to the apartment and the food was SO good.

After dinner we walked back to the seashore. I had a nice chat with Dad about house rental vs. ownership, stock markets, gold price, "investing" in cash (still good while the stock market is so wild). We headed back for more dessert and tea, and then I spent some time catching up on my journal. Tomorrow we might take the boat if the weather is great, otherwise we'll continue onto one of the next walks.

I am really loving the scarves that I got in Florence!! The Burrata was so good we'll have to get some more tomorrow.

Mom and Dad at the entrance to the "Lover's Lane" walk in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre
Heart-shaped locks at the beginning of the walk
Starting the walk, but first things first!
Mom and Dad found a nice spot for the lock
Attaching the locks
Posing for the crowd that started cheering
Another great one
Further on during the walk, Mom and Dad sat down on the Lover's Lane chair and a whole bunch of girls on a school trip were so excited. When Mom and Dad kissed they started cheering and taking photos!! Haha!! Mom waved to the crowds of admiring fans.
Lover's Lane chair
Me finding a good spot on the wall to draw a picture for Mom and Dad
Done! Drawing of Mom and Dad as Wall-E and Eve :)
Candid photo of two people having lunch in Manarola
The classic Manarola scene
The classic Manarola scene with some iPhone filters :)
At Tratorria Del Billy for lunch
Chocolate pie for dinner
Fresh Mozzarella and Burrata for dinner

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