After leaving la-la-la Lucca, we took the train to Vernazza to see how it was and to possibly stay there for a couple nights. We did not have a reservation, but I had called someone who said to try back in case he had a no show. We had been to Vernazza a couple times before (the last time was on Sept 11, 2001) and we were not sure how much it may have changed. We arrived and when we called Guiliano, he came to meet us at the train station and took us up to his rooms, where he had a spot for us. It was almost too good to be true. A beautiful room with an big patio up above the town looking down on the ocean.
We stayed for 2 nights and it was perfect. But I have to say that Vernazza has changed. If we hadn't had such a perfect spot to stay, the crowds would have probably bothered us. There were TONS of American tourists, more restaurants and shops and it was just plain more hectic. But up on our patio, it was serene and blissful. We met some great people staying next to us, we hiked a couple of the trails, and we just relaxed. We ate plenty of seafood, but it seems to us that in general Vernazza is not quite as nice as it was when we were there before. I guess nothing stays the same. But I am very glad that we went there, we had a great experience, and we had to see the town for ourselves.
But then after just 2 nights it was on to Camogli. This is not the slow part of the trip, but it has been interesting. Camogli is such a contrast to Vernazza. There are TONS of Italian tourists and hardly an American or English speaking tourist in sight. Yesterday (Thursday) was a holiday, so the beach was packed. I have never seen anything like it. Just wall to wall sun bathers.
I guess it is just like summer. The weather sure is. Yesterday evening we sat at a small bar right on the harbor and had a drink and snacks and watched the sun set. It was one of the most beautiful moments of the trip. The town is absolutely amazing after dark. Most of the people here are daytrippers and we feel like we have it to ourselves when they all leave. Today it is yet another gorgeous sunny day. We will explore Camogli a little more today and then tomorrow we are off to Milan and then Paris. The trip is starting to come to a close.... hard to believe. But we still have a couple more days of Italia to enjoy and a lot to look forward to in Paris.