Hiking, wonderful food, tanning, swimming, and shopping - what more could a girl ask for?
We arrived in Riomaggiore on Friday evening and took pictures, then caught a train to Vernazza and ate dinner there. We sat right above the ocean on the edge of a cliff. The view was amazing and the food was delicious (squid and shrimp - yum). The next day we hiked through all of the cities (approximately 5.5 hours). It was very tiring but very worth it because of the lovely view and lovely beach at the very last city of the hike. We jumped in the water, swam for a while, and tanned in the middle of a sincere European bathing territory. My lucky day right? Europe is tainting my innocence.
This is when the story gets good so if you are still reading you are in luck my friend. We went to dinner in Monterosso, the last city. After we ate dinner (sea-bass, pear and cheese ravioli, and chocolate souffle) we went to purchase our train tickets to get home. The ticket booth was closed so we had to use the non-English automatic ticket machine. We figured out how to purchase ours when 4 Norwegians came and asked us to help them buy tickets. I willingly accepted because I knew what to do (and wanted to be the hero). We got their tickets all figured out (and I got a hug from the cute man) but they needed help stamping their tickets too. The same man immediately grabbed my hand (and didn't let go) and pulled me along saying, "You come with me, we need help". Flattered, I went to help but it was broken. I thought, "No big deal, the men never come by to check tickets so they'll be fine". Did the ticket checkers come this time? Yes, of course they did, it's Murphy's Law. The man got mad at the Norwegians because their tickets weren't validated and because their tickets weren't correct. Dang. It was literally all my fault. I accidentally purchased an upgrade to a ticket rather than actually buying a ticket - although they look absolutely the same. To make it even worse, the entire group of girls I traveled with had the same incorrect ticket as well. Double Oops. The ticket man wasn't too mad, they just required us to pay an extra Euro but the nice Norwegian man paid for all of us. Proof that there are still amazingly nice people in the world. We got off the train laughing and we said our goodbyes with our newfound friends.
The next morning for breakfast we went to a cute pirate cafe in Vernazza. On our way out, I was putting my wallet in my backpack and as I looked up and saw the biggest grinning face about 10 feet away. It was my cute hugging and hand holding Norwegian friend!! We all laughed hysterically and took pictures. I now have friends in Norway (although they weren't too excited to say where they were from - they didn't want us to think people in Norway were dumb because they couldn't purchase their own tickets).
Our cute Norwegian Friends