We landed in Nice and took the first train out to Ventimiglia, the border town, to catch our connecting train to Cinque Terre. As the train pulled out, we were transported to another world. The legendary Riviera, the playground of the beautiful people, had lost none of its luster. The train weaved between the mountains and the blue sea; houses and apartments in tones of earth colours, covered in vine and bougainvillea, were stacked against the mountainside, overlooking the blue sea. People were catching the afternoon sun on the beach, or swimming in the inviting sea. There were no high rises, pollution or the cacophony of traffic; all our cares and stress melted away.
The sky had darkened by the time the train arrived at the last village of Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore. As expected, it was a small station and we followed the crowd and through a well-lit and decorated tunnel dug to the center of the village. The pedestrian tunnel opened onto their small high street, with cafes and restaurants and our hotel, all clustered at the mouth of the street. The hotel had a café on the ground level, and our room was right above it, with a balcony opening onto the street. We drifted off to sleep with the cheerful sounds of tourists and locals wafting in through the balcony, satiated after a dinner of fresh tuna, a local speciality.
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(July 24, 2017)
(July 07, 2017)