It was a warm, beautiful Saturday night in Oslo. I had one of my best friends from Finland visiting me for the weekend with her boyfriend.
We have never been to Livorno before, so we wanted to drive there along the coastal road to enjoy the sunny beach atmosphere and take a quick look at the city. It was easy to find a parking space and to find the tourist information office. By chance there was a boat trip about to start in a few minutes, so we bought the tickets and followed a guide and a group of other tourists to the shore. We didn’t find anything earthshaking, but in general the boat trip was OK and we had lovely pizzas afterwards in the city center. I just wanted to show the pics I took to give you an idea of what the place is like.
On our third day in Corsanico-Bargecchia we were set to go visit the Cinque Terre, which is an area on the Italian Riviera that consists of five small villages. The Cinque Terre is these days known world wide, but is yet called ”a hidden gem” among the Italian attractions. We had read from an online article that it’s best to drive to La Spezia in the South of the area or to Levanto in the North, park the car there and take a train to all five villages, so we drove to La Spezia which is an hour’s drive from our rental villa. To our surprise the big parking hall at the train station was already full even if it was only 11.30 in the morning (which should have rung the alarm bells), so we quickly considered our options and decided to drive forward towards the first village of the Cinque Terre, which is Riomaggiore, and try parking there. Driving is not permitted inside the villages for tourists and the serpentine roads between the villages are quite challenging for foreigners, so using the train is supposed to be the easiest way of traveling around the area.
We left Hamburg early in the busy morning traffic. The breakfast at the hotel was sufficient, if nothing spectacular, but you can’t really expect more from a three-star hotel. The second day on the road was as long (both in hours and in kilometers) as the first one so we didn’t want to make unnecessary stops.
Yesterday we took our dog to a dog hotel and teary-eyed waved him goodbye. We hate leaving him behind, but such a long journey would be exhausting for him and he loves it when he gets to swim at the hotel; he’s a waterdog after all!
We started our journey towards Turku to take the ferry to Stockholm. Our station wagon wasn’t even full as my husband, the pro-packer, had done his magic. This time we even have a ski box on the roof to give us some extra space if necessary after hopefully visiting some Italian vineyards. Jani, my husband, had provided mineral water bottles for the whole family and plenty of chargers for all the electrical equipment. There are game consoles, mobile phones, laptops, a tablet and a gps on board and to keep everyone happy for thousands of kilometers it is absolutely a must to keep all equipment functioning!