An Italian Babymoon: Part 2 (Vernazza)
On day 3, we took a train from Venice to Vernazza. Luckily we hadn't bought our tickets ahead of time, because I ended up having to do a mad dash shopping spree in Venice before we left. Since my suitcase still hadn't arrived and there had been absolutely no updates about it, I figured I better go ahead and buy enough clothes to get me through the rest of the trip because I knew my shopping options would be limited once in Vernazza. So, H&M opened at 9:30, and I purchased a whole new Italian wardrobe for the rest of our stay by 10:00.
I didn't even try any of it on! Luckily, pretty much all of it fit -- well, fit as much as non-maternity clothes can fit. I couldn't find maternity clothes anywhere in Italy! I legit have no idea where pregnant Italians buy their clothes!
Anyway, after our first train debacle (we had to switch trains 3 times on the way and accidentally got on the wrong train once...oops!) we finally arrived in Vernazza.
Vernazza is one of the 5 small coastal villages that make up Cinque Terre. The towns are connected by hiking trails, so my original thinking was that we could hang out here for the week...spend some days just laying by the beach, some days we could do a little hiking, boating, or whatever we felt like. But mostly relaxing. And eating gelato, of course.
So on our first full day there I almost opted for just laying on the beach, but Josh wanted to do a little bit of exploring. I didn't have any tennis shoes since my bag was AWOL, so we decided not to do any of the hiking trails. Which was probably a good thing because in talking to some other people later, we found out that some of the trails are VERY strenuous. Like almost crawling on your hands and knees because it's super steep strenuous. Probably not the safest idea when you're 6 months pregnant!
So we just stayed put in Vernazza and explored there. Josh found a sign for a cemetery but it was up a giant hill with a TON of stairs, so I decided to wait for him at the bottom. But then he came back with pictures of this view:
And I was all like, "CRAP I HAVE TO GO SEE IT NOW!"
So he made the trek again with me.
Phew! When I booked this trip I was only about 13 weeks pregnant, so I didn't really know what I was getting into or what being 26 weeks pregnant would be like. To be fair, I also didn't really realize that this town was basically on the side of a mountain. Totally worth it though!
We rewarded ourselves with gelato once we got back down...
I love gelato!
We spent the rest of the day relaxing by the beach.
And people watching out our window.
The next morning we were at breakfast -- wait, funny story first -- Monica, the lady we rented from, owns a restaurant and breakfast at her restaurant was included with our stay. She has several rooms/apartments she rents out, so everyone who's renting from her eats breakfast together. What was totally crazy was one morning we were talking to two other couples and found out they were both from Indiana too. Assuming they'd be from Indianapolis or Evansville or some other big city no where around here, we asked where they from. Turns out they were from our area and one of them even worked with one of our neighbors! What a small world! 5,000 miles away from home in a tiny coastal village in Italy and run into people from home. Crazy!
Anyway, so the next day at breakfast, Monica pulls Josh aside. At first I just figured she needed help with moving something or something, but he comes back and tells me that she didn't want to worry me, but a bad storm was coming in and she thought it would be safer for us to evacuate.
Basically, we didn't have to leave, but when it storms in Vernazza there's a high chance for flooding, the power usually goes out, and then sometimes the trains can't run which means we could potentially be stranded there. The schools were cancelled and the businesses were all boarded up and the town was under a "state of emergency." Monica said she would put us up in a hotel in La Spezia, the nearest large town (about 30 minutes away by train), for the night and we could figure out what we wanted to do from there whether it was go on or come back.
So we weighed our pros and cons and we decided that since we had 3 more full days scheduled in Vernazza but it was supposed to rain for at least 2 of them, we might as well go see some other cities in Italy instead, especially if the power was going to be out most of the time. I was a little bummed because I was really looking forward to a relaxing week in Vernazza and I was sad that we hadn't had a chance to visit any of the other towns of Cinque Terre. But just an excuse to come back! ;) I was glad I had decided to make the trek up the hill to the cemetery to see the beautiful view the day before though, since all the time I thought I had to do that was now gone!
So, just like that, a day I thought was just another day in Vernazza turned into us packing our bags and heading to La Spezia for the day & night!
Oh, and just to add to the excitement... the trains were on strike that day! So we weren't even sure we could get out anyway! While we were waiting at the train station it started really storming... rain was flying in side ways and everything! Luckily when the trains go on strike, apparently not ALL of them do it, so we finally got on one!
Off to La Spezia...