Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cactus Attack at the Cinque Terre!

Well, we finally made it to Italy. The drive in from Monaco was amazing. The road is one long tunnel. I felt like a mole, popping my head out and squinting at the glare every few minutes. That must have been some long drive a few years ago before the new highway through the mountains.

We decided to ease out of our new found love of extreme wealth so we went from the French Riviera to the Italian Riviera. We stayed just outside the Cinque Terre in a seaside resort town called Levanto. The weather, the food and the location were a fantastic introduction to Italy.

We spent our first afternoon lazing around one of the cute Cinque Terre towns: Monterosso. We ate on a lovely deck overlooking the ocean. It was a spot recommended by our friend, Rick but we were disappointed when they charged us an extra 8 euros to sit down. That kind of thing just seems in poor taste to me. The wine and food, however, had a very good taste and it was a pleasant way to start our exploration of the town.

Towards the end of the day we lost Rhys. Julia waited on the path overlooking the ocean while Tom and I split up to see if we could find him. We were pretty sure he was engrossed in “lizard spotting”, his exciting new pastime that overrides any awareness of his family’s whereabouts. One would think this child would be the one at greatest risk of violence but no, while our backs were turned Julia suffered a near death experience.

While she was waiting for us she heard a cracking sound from above and when she looked up, she couldn’t see anything. She could, however, see people looking up and pointing at her and so as the crashing sound was getting louder she had the presence of mind to MOVE. A large cactus smashed onto the sidewalk next to her, splattering her legs with cactus juice and sending another piece of itself over the ledge and onto the seawalk path below. By the time we got back the whole thing was over. Julia was white and shaken but not pierced. Funny, Rick didn’t mention cactus attacks in his guide book.

The next day we hiked the Cinque Terre. My favourite part was the views. Tom’s favourite part was eating Foccacia pizza on the breakwater in the Vernazza harbour. Julia’s favourite part was the gelateria. Rhys’s favourite was spotting 52 lizards. The hike was hot and long with lots of hills but it was well worth the effort. We all had a great day.

3 comments: said...

Loved the picture of all of you with Rick! I'm waiting for the blog! Love Mom said...

Ken & Sally Ball loved your pictures as they were there 2 years ago...Love Mom

Alice said...

I`m a travel addicted from Romania and I find your lovely blog some days ago. From that time I can`t stop reading it :)
Last year in the summer I`ve been in Levanto and Cinque Terre, and I was sleeping in Levanto so you just made me remember about my great holiday.
Than I saw that you`ve been In Capri and Amalfi Coast! I wanted to recommand it as I find the most beatifull place I ever been (still now :))) )
I wish all the good from the world and I hope you will still have a nice trip from now on!