So we spent our fist (half) day at Monterosso's beach. It was marvelously refreshing, though we soon realized that this holiday was going to be way different from our Engadine trip. Can't say we hadn't been warned, but to be honest it's difficult to imagine a place being so touristy.
Monterosso has the nicest beach of all the villages, and the only proper beach to be honest. We loved the other villages (more on that later) and their little nook-like beaches (more like crevices in the rock), but if you want to have a real beach day (and save traveling costs), Monterosso it is.
That first day we kept to the "free" beach, which is very small compared to the private ones, which means that all those unwilling to pay the EUR 21 daily fee for two sunbeds and an umbrella will end up squeezing here. Which is actually fine if you like that sort of thing. :)
What sort of thing? Well, I found the atmosphere of the place very special. This actually goes for the whole of the Cinque Terre, as in all of the villages and even a bit further inland, I had that strange feeling of being sucked back into an era long past.
I might have told you that much of my wanderlust comes from having so many frequent travelers in my family, yet having been confined to the borders of my own country till the age of 17. By that time I'd heard so much of the world that I just had to see it for myself. I'd developed the strange conviction that if you can do something abroad, you'd better do it there -- and better still, go somewhere you've never been before. Not because it's necessarily better than at home, but because these experiences make you able to make more sound decisions. Well, they make you who you are.
So you might imagine how funny I felt when I realized that this holiday was going to be exactly the holiday I'd never had. You see by the time I started discovering the world, holidays where you lie on the beach wearing expensive designer sunglasses and then take a coconut scented shower and head off to a fancy local restaurant wearing your best and sexiest -- well, these holidays were already out of fashion. We've been conquering jungles and volcanoes, wearing goretex and eating at off the beaten track places, where owners don't mind if you leave mud marks on the floor. But here, I was soon digging up dresses and jewelry from the bottom of our suitcase, and stocking up on scented hair oils and the like.
Not that you need anything fancy to enjoy your holiday in the Cinque Terre. It's just that the whole atmosphere makes you feel fancy. I mean all of us look more sleek when tanned, and we all have that nonchalant view on life after a good Italian dinner. Taking a canoe and discovering the coastline, or joining the crowd on a boat tour only adds to the feeling of being on the top of the world.
Adding up all the costs and comparing it to the subjective value of the experience, we both agreed that maybe our trip to Engadine was "more worth it". But I really felt that during this holiday I could let that old ghost go. I suppose somewhere deep down I always felt that I'd been deprived of a holiday like this. Where you just relax and feel beautiful and eat wonderful food and forget about all your cares in the world.
Of course, that was not all we did. We did do some crazy stuff (well, it wouldn't be us, would it?) and we did some hiking, and all in all we explored the region quite well.
But this post is getting long, so you'll have to keep tuned for those episodes. ;) But they're coming, coming soon.
Have a nice week all of you guys. :)
Á la prochaine! ;)