Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Mesmerizing Cinque Terre II - Riomaggiore

The view from Pamela's terrace

 I have not written enough about this box of flaking crayons, Cinque Terre. For many reasons this intriguing Italian beauty is always on my mind. I have never heard of Cinque Terre until I saw some jaw dropping images of this place on my friend’s screensaver. I asked her but she didn’t know…I guessed it’s some where in Italy and started my search until one day I found the exact pictures! It was barely a month when I canceled my bookings in Lake Grada and diverted all attention to
Cinque Terre. So much decision to be done in a short time!

Some of the apartment owners turned me down because they were fully booked but at last I
 got a favorable reply from Claudio. I was worried about my booking in Riomaggiore. Everything was done via private email and I scrambled high and low in the internet looking for information or review about this apartment. It seemed, I was renting from an individual owner, no encrypted website, no credit card information required…no deposit required although I offered to pay some. My only choice was to trust Claudio’s (the agent) words that my booking was confirmed. 
A view of Riomaggiore from the harbour
From Milan, I called Claudio but there was no answer. The train ride from Milan Centrale to Riomaggiore was about 4 hours and we had to change train in Le Spezia. How I wish there’s a high speed train to the region. Finally we did arrive in Riomaggiore! We called the landlady, Pamela, and she told us to meet her at the end of the tunnel from the train station. Dragging our luggage through the tunnel, I felt glad that mine was manageable.

Pamela is a serious woman who does not speak much to us…probably due to language barrier. In fact it was hard to comprehend her English. She quickly led us to an apartment in one of the narrow tower, we coun
ted…a whooping 89 steps…we were breathless :). Not giving us even a chance to take a deep breath, she explained how the front door works, not to lock it, use the key, pull the string…everything was just too much!! Her articulation was incomprehensible and I let the others listened to her attentively. No pun intended, but the only time she was crystal clear, was when she 
quoted the rent in Euros!

Another view from Pam's apartment

After a short rest we decided to go for a walk around the village to buy some groceries. It was getting dark by the time we returned and we had problem to unlock the door. We had to call her, and from the top of the tower, she perked out of her window and shouted in a harsh voice… "No locking…you sleep outside tonight!" Wow I thought those words were mean to say to your guests. But we just ignored her words because her sweet smiling Mom was waving to us from another window. The old lady must have understood our quandary and her daughter's temperament pretty well. Pam was still babbling when she opened the door but I chose to overlook and not let her ruined the beauty of Cinque Terre!

At the edge of this quaint fishing village

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