Excitement in Cinque Terra

“When you are in Livorno, you need to do the Cinque Terra excursion,” the travel agent said to me as I was completing the booking for our summer adventure.

“Chenka whata?” I responded.

“C-i-n-q-u-e- T-e-r-r-a,” she patiently spelled out, as she informed me this was the highlight of her trip. Hmmmm . . . I think, if a travel agent, who has been to so many places recommends this, I better look into it.

A quick trip to Google and Wikipedia confirmed the information from the travel agent. We signed up for the all day (9 hour) excursion. Anticipation was high for this trip. It was the first stop on the second ten days.

As we are driving towards the area we pass mountains that look like there is snow on the top. It is not snow, it is Carrera marble. Wow! That’s a lot of

That’s not snow, but marble!

expensive material.

Finally we arrive in the first town, Manarola. After exploring this quaint town built on the hillside, we head out to Riomaggiore on the walking path, Via Dell ‘Amore. The day is starting to heat up, so fortunately there was some shade along the mile road. After spending some time in Riomaggiore we board a boat to bring us to the most northern city, Vernazza, where we are to have lunch on our own.

Heading down the path of love

Look closely and you see the Via Dell ‘Amore

A street in Riomaggiore

We found a little take-away shop that provided the perfect taste of Italy for us. A caprese sandwich with a chocolate tart and a little local white wine to complement the meal.

A perfect lunch for a hot day

The heat is rising as the day wears on. I’ve been drinking from the water bottles we brought, but it is getting warmer and warmer.

Our final mode of travel to take us back to the bus is train. The tour guide, Umberto, takes us out onto the far end of the platform so we can all get into the same car and know when to get out. There is no shade, the sun is beginning to broil me.

“The train should be here in about ten minutes,” Umberto says to the group. Ten minutes pass, no train. I am standing in the shade of a light pole, sipping the water and wishing to hear a train whistle. “The train is broken down, so we will have to wait for the next train, it is only ten minutes,” are the last words I want to hear from Umberto, but he says them anyway.

Now I am holding on to the light pole wishing for the train to arrive. I continuously look at my watch, ten minutes pass. No train, but spots begin to appear before my eyes. I try to blink them away. I finish my water and begin to drink my husband’s water. Still no train, I am concentrating on staying in the shade, and all of a sudden I have lots of shade. I am laying on the ground and everyone is standing around trying to bring me back to the world. I just want to close my eyes and go back to sleep.

A wet washcloth is put on my forehead. A bottle of water appears and there are shards of ice in it! Oh, does that taste good! Eventually I stand up and the train arrives. We get on and I get a  seat where I can put my legs up. An Australian nurse has been by my side since I fainted. She continues to care for me by urging me to  drink the water, but do it slowly in sips. We make it back to the bus. Umberto won’t let me walk without holding on to his arm. I try to assure him, I will be fine.

At the Autogrill (truck stop) my husband buys an assortment of Powerade. I am instructed to drink them on the journey back to the boat. I do.

They say I hit my head when I fell, but I never had a sore spot there. However, when I turned over in bed later that night, I know what part of my body received the most force of the fall. My left butt cheek definitely had been bruised. Ouch!

Fortunately there were no long lasting issues from this incident. The rest of the days I tried not to overheat and continued to drink more water. Now I know to be more careful on hot days.

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14 thoughts on “Excitement in Cinque Terra

  1. Wow, I was expecting the excitement to be that the train finally arrived. What an adventure you are on. It also sounds like you were in good hands, take care, and drink the Powerade!

  2. I just read through your last three weeks of posts. WOW! What a fabulous trip (except for the fainting – I’m glad you are okay!). The pictures and words are just beautiful. I have been to Italy but not to all of the areas you described and I want to go back! It looks spectacular. So glad you could enjoy such beauty. Thank you for sharing.

  3. your stories always have such surprising twists! I hope your trip was as wonderful as ours was! 🙂 (Italy & Spain are a lot alike, really — your street picture looks just like the streets in Spain!) I’ve fainted once and it was just like you described: so hot, then all of a sudden coming to with everyone panicking around you! Glad you were ok!

  4. Early on I predicted that the train would not arrive, not that you would pass out. When the spots began to appear before your eyes, I knew that you were headed for the ground. I love the line, “all of a sudden I have lots of shade.” And how fortunate to have so the ministrations of an Australian nurse in your group!

  5. Ut oh that intense heat can foil even a veteran traveler like yourself. You wrote this in such a captivating way. The lovely excursion, perfect lunch, then slight discomfort turning into peril. Glad you were okay and by now even your bruise has probably healed.

  6. Ah, the story started out so great! I love the pictures and the tour sounds so nice. I’m sorry for the ending! That’s not exactly the ending to a nice day that you were probably hoping for! It did provide you with an excellent slice though! Your trip sounds amazing!

  7. Oh, the beginning parts are so beautiful & I know you enjoyed it, but then the other part-ugh. I’m so glad nothing more happened. That overheating is not to be ignored is it? Sorry for that part, Elsie!

  8. Oh…what a story…I felt like I was right there with you. I’m hoping your butt cheek is recovering. You also gave me an idea for a new story…it’s called, The weakest link. Usually it is me on vacation. On our last trip it was Dave, sipping Gatorade slowly. xo nanc

  9. Judy C. says:

    Oh, Elsie, I know that feeling exactly – I have done it several times over the years. So glad you didn’t hurt yourself and that you still got to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

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