Musim semi dateng lagiiii!!! Minggu lalu (17-23 April), cuaca di Belanda menghangat sampai 25 derajat. Tahun ini memang kerasa banget perbedaannya dengan tahun-tahun lalu. Tahun ini, musim dingin sangat panjang dan spring datang terlambat. Jadi saat Belanda menghangat, disitulah terlihat orang-orang Belanda bertebaran di luar.
Sebenernya sudah mulai akhir maret taman Keukenhof (taman tulip di Belanda yang terkenal) buka, tapi biasanya di minggu-minggu pertama tulipnya tidak berkembang dan berwarna maksimal. Mulai awal april, bunga semakin banyak berkembang dan puncaknya saat cuaca menghangat. Jadi saat kami berdua melihat weather forecast akan menghangat, Damar punya ide untuk bersepeda ke padang tulip. Kebetulan akhir pekan itu adalah akan menjadi akhir pekan kami sebelum Damar business trip selama 3 bulan.
Pertengahan April adalah waktu yang pas untuk jalan-jalan melihat bunga tulip. Ada dua macam cara untuk menikmati keindahan tulip, melalui Keukenhof atau mengunjungi langsung padang tulip yang dikelola langsung oleh petaninya. Kalau menurut saya Keukenhof memang worth untuk dikunjungi paling tidak sekali. Tapi padang tulip lebih memorable dan menarik untuk saya, dan kali ini saya memutuskan untuk sekali lagi berjalan kesana.
Tiketnya sekitar 17 euro
Moda transportasi yang sudah dibuat untuk ke taman ini
Setiap tahunnya, Keukenhof memiliki tema-tema yang berbeda
It is beyond tulip. Banyak bunga-bunga lainnya dan bermacam varian.
Padang tulip petani (+)
Banyak sekali spotnya dan bisa berpindah-pindah
Cenderung lebih sepi
Bagus untuk foto karena hamparan yang luas, hampir seperti ada di lautan Tulip
Bisa menikmatinya dengan bersepeda dan melihat alam sekitar
Di bawah ini beberapa tips yang bisa dijadikan informasi kalau berkunjung ke Belanda dalam di musim semi dan ingin menikmati tulip:
1. Beli tiket di depan
Saat musim semi tiba, orang-orang dari seluruh dunia berlomba-lomba untuk datang ke Belanda dan merasakan perasaan amazed dengan apa yang dilihat. Jadi bayangkan seberapa banyaknya pengunjung taman Keukenhof setiap harinya. Karena alasan inilah, sangat disarankan untuk membeli tiket dimuka. Darimanapun (online atau Schiphol) harga tiketnya sama. Selain menghemat waktu antrian, kalian juga bisa menghemat biaya transportasi umum karena ada diskon untuk yang membeli tiket kombinasi publik transportasi dan tiket masuk ke taman Keukenhof.
2. Bawa bekal
Keukenhof itu gede banget dan jalan kaki mengelilinginya akan melelahkan. Walaupun banyak restauran dan kafe di dalamnya, tapi harganya cenderung mahal karena sudah disesuaikan dengan harga turis. Kalau bawa bekal sendiri juga bisa lebih sesuai dengan selera.
1. Cek radar tulip untuk melihat dimana ada padang tulip
Ceknya di flowerradar.com . Disitu bisa dicek dimana letak padang tulipnya. Bisa dilihat juga padang yang tempatnya paling konvinien dari rumah atau tempat tinggal kalian. Kemudian bisa dicari di google map gimana caranya kesana. Kami kemarin memilih Hillegom karena letaknya tidak terlalu jauh dari rumah dan lebih sepi ketimbang Lisse (daerah sekitar Keukenhof).
2. Bawa bekal
Karena sebenernya memang padang tulip ini tidak didesain untuk tempat turis, jadi memang tidak banyak pilihan konsumsi. Dan kalau ada pun pasti harganya mahal dan penuh dengan plastik. Bawa bekal adalah salah satu cara untuk ber-zero waste atau mengurangi sampah. Juga lebih mengenyangkan karena pasti kita bawanya sesuai keinginan. 3. Bawa sepeda dari tempat kalian tinggal
Di Hillegom tidak ada tempat penyewaan sepeda. Jadi orang-orang membawa sepeda dari rumah masing-masing, atau bisa menyewa di kota tempat kalian tinggal. Perlu diantisipasi bahwa saat cuaca bagus, tempat sepeda di kereta akan sangat penuh. Di kereta di Belanda, ada gerbong khusus untuk tempat sepeda jadi bisa kebayang betapa ramainya saat semua orang ingin bersepeda.
4. Cek kapan Bulbflower parade-nya dimulai
Setiap tahunnya ada parade yang disebut Bloemencorso. Di websitenya ada jadwal-jadwal khusus rute paradenya dan pukul berapa dia akan berhenti di satu tempat. Kemarin kami mau mengejar ini juga di Hillegom. Walaupun tidak melihat sampai selesai, tapi seru juga melihat orang dari penjuru belanda bahkan dunia kumpul untuk menunggu dan menyaksikan parade yang hanya satu tahun sekali ini.
Selamat jalan-jalan dan menikmati tulip di Belanda!
Akhir pekan lalu adalah akhir pekan yang panjang karena libur paskah. Keluarga saya dan keluarga kakak saya memutuskan untuk menyewa camper van untuk perjalanan ke Ardennes, Belgium. Ardennes adalah sebuah region yang terdiri dari wilayah hutan yang luas, medan yang naik turun, bukit yang terbentuk dari fitur geologis pegunungan Ardennes dan cekungan sungai-sungai yang mengelilingi. Perjalanan dari Den Haag tempat kakak saya tinggal memakan waktu sekitar 4 jam. Damar dan saya sudah lama sekali ingin berlibur menggunakan camper van dan begitu pula kakak saya. Perencanaan trip ini lumayan last minute, tapi semuanya berjalan dengan baik.
Soal camper van, katanya setengah populasi orang di Belanda ini punya camper van lho. Makanya jadi pengen nyoba the hype, apa sih yang bikin orang belanda seneng dengan kegiatan ini. Salah satunya ya karena bisa memboyong rumah mereka kemanapun mereka pergi dan tentunya faktor pelit/hemat 😛
Kami bertujuh, 5 adults (saya, damar, adek kami, kakak saya, suaminya) dan 2 anak kecil (anak-anak kakak saya) untuk camper bermuatan 6 orang. Untuk perjalanan pertama menggunakan camper, rasanya semua menyenangkan walau di awal-awal kami perlu benar-benar harus cek bahwa barang di dalam camper aman dan tidak akan bergerak mengikuti laju camper. Kami berangkat pukul 5 sore karena memang peraturan dari camptoo.nl dimana kita menyewa camper, camper hanya boleh dijemput di atas pukul 3 sore. Kebetulan camper yang kami pilih berlokasi di luar kota, jadi perjalanan penjemputan sendiri sudah cukup lama. Camptoo ini kurang lebih memiliki konsep sama dengan snapcar atau airbnb, jadi campernya milik orang dan disewakan saat tidak digunakan.
Di jalan lumayan mati gaya karena nggak bawa banyak mainan. Untung saya bawa buku dan earphone jadi bisa dengar podcast saat yang lain tidur. Setelah 5 jam di jalan, akhirnya kami pun sampai di camping site yang kami sudah book sebelumnya, namanya Parc La Clusure yang terletak di Bure (Tellin). Pemiliknya orang belanda, kami memutuskan menginap disitu karena ratingnya yang bagus plus tempatnya yang friendly untuk anak-anak. Fasilitasnya termasuk kolam renang, play ground di banyak titik, dan lain-lain. Setelah sampai, reception-nya sudah tutup tapi bisa bel dan salah satu dari kru mereka keluar untuk membantu kami cek in sekaligus menjelaskan hal-hal standar soal camp site mereka. Servisnya bagus dan ramah sekali..
Hal pertama yang harus dilakukan saat sampai di camping site adalah mengisi air dan menyambungkan ke listrik. Tujuan untuk mengisi air adalah untuk heating, kamar mandi, dapur, sedangkan menyambungkan listrik adalah untuk penerangan dan juga kulkas (yes mbak Vicka sudah menyiapkan banyak makanan yang pre-cook dari Belanda, jadi bisa runyam kalau sampai bermasalah dengan ini). Listrik oke, karena bisa dengan mudah dicolok di parkiran camper. Tapi karena hari sudah gelap, kami memutuskan untuk tidak pergi ke camper station untuk mengisi air toh juga karena kebetulan tempat sanitasi dekat sekali dari tempat parkir kami. Saat itu kami tidak tahu bahwa air juga berhubungan dengan sistem pemanas. Alhasil, semalaman kami mengginggil kedinginan, untung beberapa dari kami membawa sleeping bag. Lesson learned: Always consider these things! dan karena ini bukan camper kami sendiri, selalu make sure gimana cara kerja hal-hal esensial seperti ini.
Kami bangun lumayan siang hari itu, kayanya masih kecapaian dari perjalanan panjang. Note: Kita nggak boleh tiduran di kasur selama perjalanan walaupun kasurnya lega dan keliatan enak banget ditidurin. Dan karena ada 2 anak-anak yang wajib pake car seat, akhirnya saya, Damar dan Giras duduk dempet-dempetan di kursi yang seharusnya buat 2 orang hahaha. Lelah lah rasa otot-ototnya. Sekitar pukul 09.30 pagi, kami mulai beraktivitas, ada yang mandi, isi air, siapkan makan dll.
Aktivitas hari itu adalah HIKING. Dan ternyata daerah di camping site itu indah sekali, tipikal keindahan Ardennes. Mereka punya rute khusus sejauh 4 km (still okay for kids – Mbak Qila sama dek Dina itungannya hebat, harus selalu disemangatin). Dan kami pun mengikuti rute itu. Bagus banget nget nget ngettttt. Serasa kaya di New Zealand. Beruntung banget pagi itu cuaca cerah dan matahari nggak malu-malu keluar.
Total kira-kira kami berjalan sambil menikmati selama 2-3 jam. Nggak lama setelah kami sampai kembali di camping site, hujan mengguyur dan nggak berhenti-berhenti sampai malam.
Tips: Bawa bekal (minum dan makan), maps, dan extra sunscreen. Rute 4km is super worth it!
Kami berencana ke kota sebelah yang bernama Rochefort yang nggak kalah cantiknya. Disitu terletak gua Grotte de Han yang masih aktif (masih membentuk stalaktit dan stalakmit, juga ditinggali tumbuhan dan binatang) dan menarik sekali karena perjalanan ke gua-nya harus dengan kereta (sudah termasuk di harga tiket). Gua itu adalah hasil dari erosi bawah tanah bukit batu kapur oleh sungai Lesse. Di dalamnya sepertia sungai berliku-liku. Di area ini nggak hanya gua dan jalan kereta yang menarik tapi juga hutannya karena kita bisa melihat banyak binatang-binatang (tiger, babi hutan, beruang dll) yang pastinya dipagari tanpa menghilangkan habitatnya. Safari ini bisa dilakukan berjalan kaki ataupun dengan kereta. Juga ada playground besar untuk anak-anak main. Semuanya happy! Hanya saja hari itu hawanya dingiiiin, sampai saya kembung hahaa.
Main di playground
Kami kembali ke penginapan sekitar pukul 7 sore dan dilanjutkan dengan makan dan istirahat untuk siap-siap bangun pagi keesokan harinya. Rencana keesokan hari adalah berfoto dengan camper van di salah satu titik tinggi untuk menunjukkan keindahan alamnya. Kami semua harus bergegas karena peraturan camptoo untuk pengembalian adalah selambat-lambatnya pukul 12 siang. Itu pun kami terlambat dan hasilnya dicharge ekstra satu hari. Peraturan tetep peraturan, ah yasudahlah.. yang penting kami semua have fun!
Tips: Beli tiket di tempat kamu menginap karena lebih murah dan tidak perlu antre.
Rincian biaya pengeluaran (4 hari 3 malam, 6 people*)
Siapkan makanan dan bahan makanan, kelebihan dari camper van adalah nggak ada maksimal bawa barang. Jadi bebas! Meal planning dan meal prep play a big role untuk berhemat uang dan waktu.
Cek cuaca untuk bersiap bawa perbekalan. Sleeping bag akan sangat berguna di waktu-waktu dingin in case heater-nya mati. Kalau cuacanya bagus bisa bawa barbeque, kalau cuacanya jelek bisa bawa ekstra peralatan bersih-bersih haha
Bawa lighter untuk menyalakan kompor.
Bawa mainan atau time killer (ipod, buku, dll) untuk road trip.
Bawa bantal, sprei dan selimut
Siapkan wadah untuk sampah
Untuk reduce sampah plasti di perjalanan dengan camper: Bawa masing-masing botol minum, cuttlery dan kotak makan untuk bekal. Karena untungnya di dalam camper kami sudah tersedia peralatan makan.
Di camping site kami, wifi hanya bisa digunakan oleh satu orang. Bisa bawa router untuk memecah wifi.
Pergilah dengan orang yang kamu nyaman, karena lingkupnya bakal disitu-situ aja. Gak banyak tempat untuk escape. So bringing intimate friends or family adalah pilihan yang baik.
Bawa sabun cuci piring dan sponge-nya!!!
All in all, it was a very cool experience!!! Selamat mencoba!! I’d say this is one of the things to do before you leave Netherlands 😉
Les Gorges du Verdon or often called the Grand Canyon of Europe is one of the must-see natural wonders of Provence. We heard from Damar’s friend about this place for the first time. He suggested to go there for camping and he was right!! Frankly I never thought there is such place in Europe. I know I underestimate the nature that Europe has to offer too much. One of the reasons I think that way is because I am used to the flat ground surface of Netherlands.
Gorge du Verdon has such a great vibe. It is very touristy especially in the summer time. During summer time, you better try to catch the river quite early to avoid the crowd. It is worth visiting by anyone in need of a reality check on the passage of time. You should trust me when I say that floating along the lake Gorge feels super majestic. Just imagine centuries ago, it used to be a gigantic mountain and dropped little by little with water until it is split and become a beautiful blue flowing river. It’s called persistence! And I got to float on it 🙂
In this post I will walk through our activities in the 5 days 4 nights stay. Believe me, there’s no shortage of activities in Gorges du Verdon unless when the weather does not allow.
We arrived in Nice airport in the morning and directly fetched our rented car that were awaiting. So happy that we got a car with open roof in such a sunny day. We stopped on our way to get all the utilities and food+water we might need in the camping site. On the way, we visit convenient store Intermarche in the city we passed by. The purpose was to be well stocked for our way and for the first 2 days in the camp at least.
We continued to take the route below, which is one of the most scenic drive in Europe. The last thing you would do is falling asleep in that type of scenery. Prepare a good playlist to listen while enjoying the beauty of nature or just have a life (or even trivial) talk with whom you have the drive with.
One of a lot of stops we made on our way to Gorge du Verdon. Take your time and stop as much as you want, because the way back would be different and it’s worth the air you breath.
After around 2,5 hours we finally arrived in our camping site. I was quite surprised with how western takes camping life to the very next level. Most of them are French, Dutch and German (obviously). They literally had every single thing ones have in the house except toilet. Whilst, our are just one mini tent that did not allow us to even stand tall. Luckily we both are small.
Somehow we were so tired, so after building up our tent, settled in and took a visit to the the close ‘beach’ that is just in front of our stay site, we fell asleep and woke when the sun was reaching to set. Look how beautiful it is.. We enjoyed it for a bit, cooked rice, instant noodle, and pouched eggs in our teeny tiny pot. Ahh the feeling to be in nature was just so worthwhile.
We got ready at around 9, but unfortunately the wind was not very cooperative with our plan to hike. So we had to wait.. The sport activity was even all cancelled due to the bad weather. We just walked around the camp and played table tennis until around 1, then we had lunch with our canned and instant food. I don’t know why but in camp situation where food are limited, canned and instant food taste so good!
When the wind got calmer around 1.30 pm we headed to route D71 and started our hiking there. It was not an official hiking track or anything. We found this route on google as I looked for level easy for 5 miles. We started quite late, so to be safe we took the easy way. Turned out we ended up in the military terrace that is prohibited to trespass. Yes we did not reach the peak, but it is okay, because the purpose of me hiking is to engage with nature and be in wild just with Damar (and wind sound + bird chirping). I got all that and sweat was bonus, so that made me very happy. That was just how I always picture the kind of relationship and experience I want to go through with Damar.
After that we just go back on our way further to D71 and enjoyed what we encountered on our way
If you go around September, you should start checking the weather forecast in order to plan your activities. You will eventually find it by the feeling of increased temperature or rain or by the sport activities worker telling you not possible to play with water. But before all efforts you make, keep yourself updated with weather forecast as Summer has slowly gone in that period.
We were planning to do the sport activity but the wind was too severe that day. So we went up there and drove along the villages nearby the camping site location.
Moustiers- Sante- Marie
Do not underestimate this village!! After we parked our car in a street parking spot, which was easy to find, we made a wrong turn and ended up in the only restaurant we could see. So we took a break and had coffee. I thought at that time, how small this village is. It is up the hill and it let you see the scenery to the green forest area in the lower level. Nice but tiny.
Little did we know, there was another turn to the city that we eventually took. The view I was looking at was mesmerizing. There was a spring flows through the cliff in the middle of the town and creates a waterfall which is provides water power. There were many pottery shops which made me gasps, so incredible. I can’t imagine it’s all man-handmade and supposedly by the local people. The village was built on terraces and you can hike meters up in the side of a cliff. See the video in this link.
Above the town, a gold-painted star hangs on a 225m-long chain suspended between two cliffs. Its origin, according to a legend popularised by Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral, lies in the 10th century; the original star and chain have been replaced several times since then. The current star is about 50 years old. Ten years ago it fell after the chain snapped, and was rehung using a helicopter. (Source: Wikipedia
The beauty in this experience is not the village itself, but the road we passed to get through this village. Actually I always want to go to the Lavender field, and we surprisingly drove through it!!! I only could play with my imagination how even more beautiful it would be with full lavenders. No wonder I already found a lot of lavender based products in the other village. Well, after all it’s Provance.
The fully bloom time would be around Jun-Jul and Jul-Aug for harvesting period. I guess there is always a reason to come back 🙂
Lavender field without lavender
Finally, although this is the day we would leave Gorge du Verdon, but it was exciting to do Kayak/Canoe in the beautiful famous Sainte- Croix lake. We went to the Bae de l’etoile. There are also another boat rental company in the opposite. Start early, but make sure that sun is already up to make a good picture lighting and also to give warmth.
We chose canoe out of ignorance. After that we learnt the difference and next time we would take kayak. The difference is canoe paddle has a blade on one end, while a kayak paddle is bladed at both ends. Canoe has the raising end in the boat and kayak has only one, the other end is flat.
By the way, the water was quite cold, but it’s worth to jump!
We rented the canoe for 2 hours (30 eur) and once finished, we drove towards Castellane. On this way, we got hitch hiked for the second time during this trip. Funny enough, the 2 hitch hikers speaks quite a bit Indonesian. Damar and I were really surprised because they are French. They love Indonesia and they had lived there for 2 months. Oh what are the chances! For this hitch hike subject, I’d suggest to do it only when you feel comfortable. You’ll find a lot of them waving in the street.
My one and only thought, do something good and greatness will come back to you. Also as my dad says, be kind and positive, everything will be okay when your intention is good. We have extra seats and we love getting to know new people while listening to their stories. So why not? 🙂
It is a small town in the Provencal Alps on the Route Napoléon. Castellane has about 1,600 inhabitants. It has the distinction of being the least in population sub-prefecture of France. It is quite big comparing with the other villages, unfortunately we did not have much time to go around. But if you have more time, it’s a must to explore! We aimed to pass the cliff side before dark.
Because we had such an early flight, we wanted to find a city nearby in which we could also explore a bit. We drove via D2 towards Cagne- Sur-Mer. We do not have pictures in Cagne-Sur-Mer but I completely fell in love. It’s so petite, beautiful and warm. There’s a castle in there and we stayed just next to it.
In Gorge du Verdon: We stayed in a camping site called La source. Highly recommended. Price: 28eur per night
In Cagne sur Mer: We stayed in Chateau Le Cagnard. Price: 60 eur per night
Getting Around: Do yourself a favor and rent a car. You’ll be glad with that decision.
Pack: For Verdon Gorge you’ll definitely want to bring snacks and water. For more, check out my other blog post.
Kayaking/canoeing: We paid 30Euros to rent for two hours. The price includes a life vest and parking is free.
It is no doubt that South of France is a must destination to visit especially in Summer time. I had been there once and stayed in Nice as well as visit Monaco with my friends. Now, it would be a total different kind of experience since Damar and I wanted to go for camping. We always wanted to go camping to see how we liked it and if so, to repeat it in the future. Both of us love nature so much, so we started from the friendly one. Camp in the Camping Site is a friendly step,note that it is not allowed to wild camp in Europe. Although, we met a few hitch hikers who did such, BUT only for a night.
The nature was jaw dropping and I literally had so many breath taking moment. Gorge du Verdon is located in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. It is a river canyon that is often considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. The Gorges du Verdon is about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) long and up to 700 meters (2296.59 feet) deep. At the end of the canyon, the Verdon River flows into the man-made lake, the Lac de Sainte-Croix. The gorgeous turquoise-green color river.And oh! not forget to mention, the road trip via Napoleon route was a moment I would never forget.
Where to land?
We chose to fly to Nice, some people also goes to Marseille. More or less it takes around the same duration. We chose Nice because the flight was cheaper (obviously! :P). Why pay more, when it’s not more efficient?
*Please note that the map is only to show the duration, not necessarily the exact same route we took.
We intended to rent a car there in France. However, we had only a narrow option due to no credit card. None of the car rental would rent out their vehicles without a proof of ownership of credit card from the rider which is understandable. It is not a good example, but Damar finally found a way. He found the ‘snapcar‘ version of France, which is called ouicar. Knowing neither of us had no credit card, the owner was still letting us rent. I do think it’s against the rule of the company, but we were really lucky! Luckily also, we got a very cool car with open roof. We rode along the road feeling like a millionaire (just a little!).
So rent a car and arrange before your flight so you have a security once landed in terms of transportation. Public transportation is not recommended and it is quite difficult too to be flexible.
Here you can find some of options of car rental in France.
Road Trip and Route
Prepare yourself mentally and your photograph gear because this road trip would be one of the most beautiful car journey. It is one of the finest, most scenic and exciting mountain drives in the world. There is no other mountain road route of such duration and awesome beauty so rewarding to drive. Damar and I often gasped after making a turn, because what we saw next was more and more beautiful. At over 730M up we could see down into the gorge.
Source: http://www.alsgodinzuidfrankrijk.nl/nl/routes/la_route_napoleon. The Route Napoléon is the route taken by Napoleon in 1815 on his return from Elba.
Our pose on our way
Driving the Verdon Gorge puts the car on the mountainside of the road. Some people wonder whether or not it is safe to drive along side the mountain. From Damar’s perspective, it was not as scary as he thought, because with the narrow roads, there were still barriers on the cliff side. Just make sure that you stay in the road and be extra vigilant with other cars. Sometimes they who come from the opposite way do not want to share the road.
From people’s review, during Summer (end of Jun, Jul, Aug), there are usually traffic jam where cars are in line, so maybe avoid it? That is when the people with manual car is tested with their driving skill 😉 It’s worth every nail-biting moment though.
A MUST PASS ROAD: D71, D952
Skip to 2:00 to see how the view in the road.
Where to camp?
There are literally a lot of camping site options in this area. We went to ‘Camping La Source‘ that rates 28 euro plus 5 euro of electricity. We had no complains, customer service was so good, the sanitary was always controlled hence super duper clean. I would suggest to search a camp in the area of the lake. Our camp site was just 2 minutes (100 m) away from the beach lake. Most of the time it was more quiet than the main lake, so you could have your own quality time with yourself, partner or family.
The camp site had some entertainment options, they had kayak-canoe0-boat rental as well as table tennis. It’s the heaven of water sport and the camping provided your needs. Too bad we did not have chances to use the rental facility due to the time restrain and bad weather.
Tips: Bring your own dishes cleaning tools! And no need to take electricity if you only need it for your phone. You can do this in the reception.
A view 2 mins away from camping site
What to pack?
During the period of September – October, the weather might be unstable. I did not really this coming because I assumed that South of France will still be relatively warm. During the day, sun was out but being in a shadow would make you chilled. And it could be windy as well which what happened in the 2nd day we were there. In that case always bring extra sweater, socks and some layers!!!!!
Tent + sleeping bag
Flip flop – for going to the toilet etc. Don’t bring the fancy expensive one as it would get wet
Sneakers or mountain shoes
Lunch or food box
Plastics for dirty clothes and bin
Water, food, snacks, rice can be bought in the supermarket there
Sunblock + swimsuit + sunglasses
Stove + gas (in our case, we need the cable connector to connect French gas and Dutch stove)
Where to shop?
The campsite backs on to the village of Les Salles sur Verdon which means that campers can make use of the many shops (bakery, supermarket etc. ), restaurants and other service.
You can buy your groceries at 8 à Huit which is 3 minutes driving from the camping site.
It is such a long overdue post as we went to Italy already went when Summer just started. Now, autumn is about to roll. Though, this would be the right timing to look back to remember how beautiful summer in Italy was.
Obviously Venice took part in our overall Italy backpacking trip. What are the reasons not to? Every cities in Italy has its own charm. But I have to say the experience in Venice was very distinct considering the city itself is super special. What captivated me the most was the richness of the water section, the labyrinth, and the local people.
As soon as we were reaching Venice by train from Florence, the huge open water field welcomed us in the view. Some said that Venice is touristy place and highly busy with its touristic activities in all corners, and some said that it’s relaxing to be there. This is why it’s important to travel- so that we can all have our own experience and form our own opinion about a destination. The fact is – Venice is both a busy and relaxing, because all the local people are relaxed. Damar and I spent our days walking around the island discovering various square, canals, and labyrinth stop. In total, we stayed for 3 Days 2 Nights.
What to see
Santa Margherita square – It’s a very local part of town, near the university. My Italian friend suggested to give the “Ciccheti” (typical snacks from Venice) and spritz a try. Since I do not drink alcohol, I only enjoyed the Ciccheti and a cup of coffee. Ciccheti includes tiny sandwiches, bruschetta, plates of olives, and other small servings food. In here, make friends with the local, they will have lots of stories to share.
San Polo – Small district with interesting sight, including the Rialto Bridge. San Polo is the smallest of the six sestieri of Venice. It is one of the oldest parts of the city.
Frari – This is one of the greatest church in Venice with lots of artworks inside. Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to enter this beautiful architecture. We only admired from afar which gives another feeling of satisfaction.
Basilica di San Marco – I am confident to say that this cathedral is the most famous in Venice and perhaps the biggest. You cannot miss this building. It is so special that you would stop completely and give your admiration by staring closely. They said it’s one of the best examples of Byzantine Architecture.
St. Mark’s Square or Piazza San Marco – It is often known as just ‘La Piazza’. Just take a seat and enjoy people-watching, that is what we did. Although, the heat was quite intense that day so we could not stay right under the sun too long. The surrounding buildings are breathtaking. It’s a busy and often crowded place. To enjoy the best views, go as early as possible. Or another way to enjoy it is a stroll after dark with music in the square etc.
Le Zattere – It’s along the water. Just walk while eating ice cream and enjoy the view.
What to ride
On foot! Literally!
Vaporetto – One-way tickets cost €7.50. The service is efficient and punctual, yeats boats on main lines get full fast and can be overcrowded during peak season.
What to eat
Try traditional dishes from the Veneto – like oca in onto (goose in its own fat) or freshwater lagoon fish done in saor at Antica Adelaide, get the best polpette (meatballs) in Venice at Ca d’Oro (Alla Vedova), and a strong selection of Venetian antipasti, including raw sea food, at Vini da Gigio.
The lagoon city has a long and glorious culinary tradition based on fresh seafood. A writhing, glistening variety of sea creatures swims from the stalls of the Rialto and Chioggia markets into local kitchens. Going with the flow of la cucina veneta requires a certain spirit of openminded experimentation. Not everybody has eaten granseola (spider crab) before, or garusoli (sea snails) or canoce (mantis shrimps), but Venice is definitely the place to try these marine curios. Go to Ae Oche for pizza
When we arrived, it was quite raining and dark already. While we did not really want to go out, we were really starving. We decided to go to a very good rating Pasta take away restaurant in trip advisor – Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta
Having black squid spaghetti in Dal Moro
Get lost as much as you can.
Map is useless anyway. To be honest, I do not get the map nor how the house is numbered because it does not make sense to me. But if I was asked what to change in Venice, that is certainly not it. It makes Venice very special. As long as you find some squares, you are fine 😉
No gondola ride. Merely enjoy it from the surface.
Besides it is expensive, sometimes you get traffic jam in the water too. I personally prefer to take a picture of the view with other people riding it rather than myself 🙂
Damar and I went merely for 2 days as a part of our Italy Backpacking trip which you can get the tips here. And surely 2 days are not enough if you want to take your time and enjoy its full beauty. Therefore, we went to get a quick look for the full experience. A must do if you only have short time!
By the way, Florence is one of the most walking friendly city. Everything is a walking distance so we did not spend any thing for transportation. YES!
Some of these tips I received from my Italian colleague, who used to study in Florence for a few months. Thus the place surely is pocket friendly (Indonesian: ramah kantong hahah) yet has been approved by local.
We arrived in the evening, we initially wanted to make it to the Hill (Piazzale Michelangelo) for the sunset but we were too late because we also wanted to go to the famous bridge. Well I guess, one has to choose. If you have extra days, it would be perfect.
Place to eat:
Go to the San Lorenzo market – a food market where they sell great Italian products and there are also a couple of places where you can have lunch. Just randomly visit, it’s cheap and nice.
Trattoria Mario near San Lorenzo – according to my Italian friend is also a fantastic place for lunch. You share the table with the other guests and it’s very simple but food is really really good. Apparently the Dutch queen liked it too and she had lunch there when she went to Florence. I do not think she shares table though.
Near S. Lorenzo (via S. Antonio) there’s another place called Bistrot la Capannina. It is a very good place for lunch, especially if you want a good pasta. We went here for dinner, I took the gnocchi which is so good. Their portion is huge. It’s a good value of money.
Near S. Margherita church there is a tiny place called Da’ Vinattieri. They have good wine and good food. They have only one table with stools but it’s nice to get a glass of wine and stand outside with all the locals.
According to my Italian friend, the best Italian gelato is from Perche’ No in via de’ Tavolini and she is true! Totally recommended! Take anything classics, it’s heaven!
Place to go:
Ponte Vecchio, the name sounds strange but all of you must know this one. It’s the famous bridge of Florence. It’s within walking distance with the center. You should go there during the day and before sunset as we talk about different experience. You will feel the romance of the city by the jazz/blues music played by the locals in that bridge. If you want some extra cheesiness, people sell red roses are also known in there, buy one for your loved one 😉
Piazalle Michelangelo, you will see a perfect panoramic view of Florence from this hill. It’s quite a hike, but super worth it. During a hot day, you don’t want to forget a bottle of water, sunscreen and sunnies. It was 25 degree in April when we were there. It maybe cliche tourist stop but it never fails to catch the heart of those who walk the path to the top. Prepare your camera and best smile.
Go to Piazza della Signoria late at night when all the tourist are gone. It’s empty and majestic. Such an incredible place when it’s empty. This is the L-shaped main square in Florence. It’s in the city and nearby Ponte Vecchio. Florence is a distance friendly city. So don’t worry, you will not miss it..
Another must see according to my collegaue is the Boboli Garden if the weather is nice. Too bad we did not have enough time to make. But next time, we definitely will.
Duomo di Firenze, you’ll be captivated with this gothic-styled cathedral that was built in 1296. It’s part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
San Lorenzo Market this is where you can find leather markets from all qualities. Be careful in choosing the real good leather. I will post a tips in choosing real leather from this market. This is sort of a traditional market, yet in general Florence is the place of a good leather product. Don’t hesitate to stop to one of the stores in the center. They are usually cheaper than retail store in other countries.
Italy trip this time is quite different as we decided to go backpacking. What I mean by going backpacking is literally going around, moving from one point to another carrying a proper backpack. Damar and I wanted to have a different concept this time. Also, because we aimed to reach 5 different areas of Italy. We thought it would be much more easily-mobile with a carrier in our back.
We think, Italy is quite good and easy going for backpackers. The weather is nice (we make sure we go in the perfect timing also). With a nice weather, we do not have to carry bulky clothes around!
I really love Italy! I think every time I go there, I just easily fall in love all over again. It is such an excellent country to visit. With its great food, beautiful landscape, fabulous coffee, friendly locals.
Hope this article will help learning some tips and tricks you need when travelling to Italy as well as some cost saving.
When to visit Italy
Summer period will be considered as the highest peak in Italy, everybody wants to get away from its own country and find a large exposure of sunlight. Summer in Europe happens in between May-August yet the hottest month will be August. However, people tend to forget that Italy is generally warmer than the rest of other countries in Europe due to its geographical location. Italy is in the South of Europe so for people from West Europe (like we are), no need to wait until Summer to visit.
We went to Italy in April, when the weather in Italy was just about right. Actually, avoid to go to Italy in the hottest period. It will not be that comfortable to carry around your backpack 🙂 And plus, plane ticket will be much cheaper 😉
Find a really good carrier
As we did also hike during our Italy trip, we chose a light backpack that covers all of our needs as well as good bone structure. I chose the smaller one, that Damar would carry in daily run (for the hike). Mine is from Fjallraven, which I am very happy about. The 32 liter size is perfect for a week trip and also for me who is just 155 cm tall. We looked for the material that is sustainable with recycled and organic garment. Damar got the North Face Terra 50. We got them in a very good deal (so lucky!).
What ever the carrier is, make sure it has the rain cover / water resistant, has a light bones yet solid. It is a good investment for your trip and your body structure, so more expense is worth it!
Bring one jacket and sweater, in case for any change of weather. It’s always possible!!! Yet pack the essentials, I usually bring 2 pants, 1 dress, and several t-shirts or light tops. Andddd done!! Don’t forget your sunblock and coolest sunnies.
Plan and Budget your daily activity
Italy is considerably affordable and cheaper, yet it could be very expensive if you get lost in the tourist area and just pop into a random places. I don’t mind paying more for a quality and taste that I already researched, yet no no no for a random drop-in. Quick eats like pizza by the slice, paninis, and light snacks will cost between 2-7 EUR. In Italy, there’s a sit down fee that covers service and bread on the table.
How to save cost in Italy
Drink the tap water – Ask for tap water or you will automatically get expensive bottled water included on your bill. Later on, you can refill your bottles of water at any of the drinking fountains throughout Italy. The water is fine to drink. You’ll be no different than the locals.
Get a city pass – If you are going to do lots of sightseeing, these will give you discounts to the top museums, tours, and attractions. They are priced to save you money when compared to buying separate tickets.
Go on a free walking tour – This is a great way to learn the history behind the places you are seeing and to avoid missing any must-see stops.
Eat panini – Eating out every meal in the popular cities of Italy is an expensive affair. Buy paninis and pizza by the slice for just a few dollars, and save a lot of money.
Buy RESERVED trein ticket online in advance – For regionale train (unreserved seats), there is no difference in the fare whether purchased in advance through the Trenitalia website or locally at the train station on the day of travel. If you will be using the RESERVED Trenitalia trains (Freccia or Intercity), there IS a difference between the advance purchase promotional fares (which you can purchase online as an electronic ticket through the Trenitalia website) and the same day fare (full fare) purchased at the train station (in the form of a traditional paper ticket). Their advantage is that you get to the station wait for your train, board and the conductor will eventually come by to scan your e-ticket. Hassle free!!!!!!!
Bring some cash with you
Usually I don’t bring any cash with me, except some coins I have in the depth of my purse. In Italy, you have to pay the tourist tax in the place you stay. And not all places have the machine to pay with your national card.
Pertama kali menginjakkan kaki di Masjid ini yang ada di kepala saya adalah betapa futuristik modelnya. Dari luar terlihat kaca dimana-mana serta bentuk kubahnya yang melengkung unik dari bawah. Lengkungannya tidak seperti kubah biasanya yang warna warni terbuat dari tiles, melainkan dari konkret dengan warna minimalis dengan bangungan yang tidak lepas dari bangunan dibawahnya. Bentuknya menyerupai kapsul kalau menurut saya.. Kata beberapa orang, terlihat seperti masjinya alien haha.
Jadi ceritanya, Komunitas Turki di Koln mendirikan masjid baru ini di tahun 2007. Letaknya di sudut Venloer Straße dan Innere Kanalstraße di daerah Ehrenfeld. Bangunan ini ditandai oleh kaca-kaca yang lebar, beton dan kayu serta kubah transparannya. Masjid tersebut diapit oleh dua menara setinggi 55 meter. Selain ruang sholat, pusat komunitas akan mencakup perpustakaan, kantor administrasi dan ruang untuk kursus pelatihan dan seminar.
Pada saat masjid ini pertama kali direncanakan untuk dibangun, banyak sekali kontroversi yang terjadi hingga mulai didirikan. Biaya bangunan yang melonjak hingga warna tema dari masjid itu mendapatkan tuduhan bahwa ada simbol kirstenisasi yang tersembunyi. Arsitek Paul Bohm dan Ditib, cabang otoritas urusan agama Turki, sepakat untuk melanjutkan proyek tersebut namun menunggu intervensi dari Walikota Koln pada saat itu yang sekarang telah pensiun.
Setelah dialog yang intens, Fritz Schramma mengatakan bahwa partai-partai tersebut, yang dengan jelas dia anggap sebagai “kombatan”, telah sepakat untuk menyelesaikan proyek tersebut untuk menciptakan sebuah “masjid terbuka yang transparan”. Dia mengatakan bahwa dia berharap masjid tersebut “segera dipenuhi dengan kehidupan”. Saat ini masjid itu benar-benar sudah dipenuhi dengan kehidupan dan menjadi pioner tercampurnya banyak kultur dan agama di Kota Koln.
Jika berkesempatan atau tinggal di daerah Jerman, kalian harus mengunjungi Masjid yang dicanangkan sebagai masjid yang paling modern se-eropa ini.
Alhamdulillah, kita bisa merayakan hari kemenangan lagi tahun ini. Dan tahun ini lebih spesial karena bisa merayakan bareng dengan mama bapak. Mereka berdua datang dalam rangka berkunjung untuk Wisuda PHD mbak Fany (yang ternyata tertunda hingga November). Tapi karena tiket sudah terlanjur kebeli, mereka tetap berangkat ke Belanda.
Sudah beberapa kali belakangan ini saya menerima whatsapp broadcast group soal masjid baru di Turki yang sangat modern nan megah. Masjid ini bentuknya lain daripada yang lain dan diklaim sebagai masjid yang paling modern di Eropa. Bagaimana tidak, arsitektur dalamnya mencerminkan sisi progresif islam dan memutarbalikan anggapan bahwa islam harus melulu tradisional dan dibangun dengan kayu. Bapak dan mama were quite intrigued and so was I.
Sebenarnya perjalanan ke masjid ini sama sekali nggak terencana, tapi Bapak dan mama sudah berwacana minta untuk dibawa kesana. Saya terbuka dengan ide itu, tapi saat Bapak mengutarakan keinginan untuk sholat eid disana di H-2 lebaran saya agak kaget juga. Alasannya, karena Masjid itu bukan masjid Indonesia dan pastinya punya peraturan-nya sendiri. Apalagi saat saya buka websitenya semuanya bahasa Turki dan Jerman. Untungnya saya punya kolega Turki yang mau membantu untuk mengartikan bahkan menelponkan panitia masjid di Grand Mosque.
Ternyata di masjid Turki, sholat eid hanya wajib untuk pria, tidak bagi wanita (atau sangat jarang). Jadi pada umumnya, masjid tidak menyiapkan tempat khusus untuk shaf perempuan dan hanya memprioritaskan sholat untuk pria. Bahkan memberi kan ruang khusus wanita untuk pria-nya. Dan panitia masjid Grand Mosque pun tidak bisa menjawab saat ditanya apakah akan ada ruang khusus untuk wanita. Yang jelas, masjid akan penuh dengan pria. Terutama tahun ini adalah sholat ied pertama yang digelar di masjid ini. Kami pun tetap memutuskan untuk datang tanpa ekspektasi apa-apa dan sudah ikhlas jika memang tidak bisa sholat. Yang berbeda lagi dari masjid turki adalah sholat eid dilaksanakan pukul 6.15 pagi sedangkan masjid Indonesia di Belanda baru dilaksanakan antara pukul 09.00 hingga 10.00.
Dengan berbekal informasi itu saya dan kakak saya cepat-cepat menyewa mobil dan mencari akomodasi. Alhamdulillah semuanya dilancarkan..
Kami menyewa mobil dari snappcar dan menginap di sini. Dua-duanya super memuaskan. Untuk persewaan mobil ada hal yang perlu diketahui, Jerman adalah Green zone jadi mobil yang digunakan harus berstiker tertentu (green sticker), jika tidak bisa kena denda atau tidak boleh masuk. Tidak hanya Jerman yang menganut anti-air-pollution, tapi juga Austria dan beberapa negara bagian lain.
Kami tiba satu hari sebelum Idul Fitri dan atas usul bapak, kami sholat maghrib di Masjid Grand Mosque agar bisa menikmati kemegahannya dengan lebih puas dan tidak terburu-buru. Tanpa kami ketahui ternyata ada buka puasa yang diselenggarakan oleh panitia masjid tersebut. Kami ditarik oleh salah satu panitia masjid tersebut, wanita Turki yang baiknya masya Allah. Ah indahnya kebersamaan ini, rasanya tidak ada yang membedakan kita walaupun kita tidak mengerti bahasa masing-masing, tapi kami semua saudara. Kami merasakan sekali kehangatan di dalam ruangan makan itu. Makanannya pun enak sekali.
Keesokan paginya kami siap-siap dan ternyata Grand Mosque menyiapkan tempat untuk wanita sholat. Kecil sekali dan tidak sebanding sama sekali dengan di Indonesia atau masjid Indonesia di Belanda, namun saya dan mama bersyukur sekali bisa berkesempatan sholat Eid. Karena saking terbiasanya, jika tidak sholat Eid rasanya bulan Ramadhan dan puasa sebulan nggak afdol 😀
Ada satu perbedaan lagi yang kami temukan saat sedang sholat, mereka melaksanakan sholat dengan 5 takbir di rakaat pertama lalu alfatihah, kemudan di rakaat kedua alfatihah yang diikuti dengan takbir 3 kali. Karena saya nggak ngerti (dan nggak fokus) setelah alfatihah di rakaat kedua, bagian imam takbir, saya rukuk, kemudian berdiri lagi. Baru ‘samiallahu liman hamidah’ saat saya sedang sujud hahah. Dan anehnya orang-orang di bagian perempuan itu juga salah, yang berarti mayoritas wanita-wanita itu bukan dari Turki. Karena kebanyakan perempuan Turki tinggal di rumah dan mempersiapkan makanan untuk keluarganya.
Setelah trip ini saya bahagia karena bisa menghabiskan lebaran dengan keluarga, yang jarang sekali terjadi. Saya sampai sudah tidak ingat kapan terakhir kali saya idul fitri dengan mama bapak. Alhamdulillahh.. Selain itu saya tidak akan pernah lagi berburuk sangka akan perbedaan. Dalam hal ini, kami semua islam walaupun kami mempraktekannya berbeda, tapi bukan berarti salah. Saya ingat kata Ust Quraish Shihab soal pertanyaan mengenai bagaimana dengan Islam dan cara yang berbeda-beda. Beliau menggunakan analogi penambahan. 7+3=10, apa 5+5 bukan 10, apa 6+4 bukan 10, apa 2+8 bukan 10?
Selamat Berlebaran semuanya.. Semoga ibadah kita diterima di sisi Allah SWT dan bisa bertemu kembali dengan lebaran-lebaran berikutnya. Aamiin aamiin yarobbal alamin.
Damar and I bought a ticket to Italy long time ago and had been waiting ever since. Neither of us had never been to Cinque Terre area, hence the excitement. Cinque Terre literally means Five Lands, comprise the five small coastal villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso located in the Italian region of Liguria. They are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List (source: Wikipedia).
Cinque Terre Map
Our plane landed in Milan at around 12 and as I had never been to Milan, we immediately headed off to Duomo di Milano. We just roamed around there, took picture, and people-watching. Three hours are quite enough time to get a little taste of the city of Milan. After being a full tourist, we went back to station to catch our trenitalia for our Cinque Terre ride. We booked it in advance and we recommended it as it is much cheaper!
The train was amazingly comfortable, no WIFI though, but really nice with arranged seats. Once we entered Liguria area, we noticed that we often passed by dark tunnels. And as soon as reaching the coast area, all I saw was mesmerizing and breathtaking view. We were lucky that the sky was blue and very clear. We could totally enjoy the nature landscape through the train.
How long to stay?
Three nights we stayed in which actually you could also do less. But we did not want to hurry. For some people 1 or 2 nights are enough. Actually you can also go explore all the lands in one day if you go by train. But we planned to hike and take the high road 🙂 This way you experience the nature more. If you do everything in one day, I don’t think you would be able to explore as much.
Where to stay?
We decided to stay in Corniglia as it is the most uncommon and it is located in the middle of the five lands. We thought it would be easy to 2 lands in one day and the other 2 lands the next day. T
Damar read an article stating that hiking from Corniglia to Vernazza is better than the other way around due to the amount of ascending. That is another reason why we chose to stay at Corniglia. It is a beautiful, quite and less tourist place to stay.
I stayed at Cristiana’s place, in which you can check the airbnb here. It was only the small bedroom available, thus we got that one and it’s more than sufficiently equipped. It is included breakfast and it is SO GOOOOOD! Try the chocolate croissant if you go there. The view is everywhere beautiful too.
Colazione (breakfast): You should try the pasticceria (pastry) of Italian. The creme, chocolate and apricot are the typical taste of croissant that makes it different than others. I love the creme or more like fla, Damar loves the melting chocolate. However, after tasting melting chocolate from Cristiana’s place, we had a new standar of delicious chocolate croissant. We tried so many times but we could not find anything better. Besides pastry, you should have coffee, no matter if it is espresso or capuccino. It is a perfect combination with the sweetness from the pastry. Be careful when you order “latte”, as they will give you milk. You should say it caffe latte instead.
Pranzo (lunch): Many places are closed during lunch time as it is considered as the most important meal of the day. Like in Spain, Italian people also have ‘siesta’ (an afternoon nap) after having lunch. Some schools allow the students to go home for lunch. However, nowadays they can also just go to closest Trattoria (an Italian place where simple food is served) or Pizzeria (Pizza place).
Panini is one of a good choice to have lunch, however me as an asian, bread is not enough as a meal. I always prefer pasta and my favorite is Gnocchi (potato pasta)! Cinque Terre is the best place that serves seafood. Thus, while there make sure you treat yourself with a very fresh, good-taste seafood. I must say the squid and muscles are the best! We love fried fish and seafood street way too!
A typical Italian though, they tend to really have a big meal. With first course (pasta or rice), second course (meat or fish), side dish (vegetable or salad) and dessert (fruits or sweets).
Cena (dinner): Italian dinner is quite light (soup, broth, salad or cold meat), but we cannot go light! We always end up with either seafood pasta or big pan of seafood pizza!
Check out my videos for some food footage 🙂
What to pack?
I will suggest to go there around Spring time as it is not that hot that you can actually enjoy the weather although sometimes it is quite unstable as it’s a transition period. Thus this will revolve around Spring’s needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Bring hiking or running shoes for the hike! And also some socks obviously!
Make sure to always bring sweater or warm stuff in case cloudy weather, it gets chiller and chiller, especially at night
Beach towels OR make sure your stay provides beach towels. Mine does 😉
Swimsuit or bikinis!
Sunblock! it can be really hot during hike especially when the sun is above your head
Leather jacket and umbrella
Bottles, to refill with mineral water
CASH! they prefer cash than card, and it is just easier. I always prefer cash when travelling, easier to give ourself budget
Books, podcast download, earphone – for the train ride and beach
Easy Jet flight ticket return
Train ride airport to Station
Train ride from Milan to Corniglia
46 eur x 3 days
Hiking entrance ticket Corniglia – Monterosso including train ticket to return to Corniglia
Return train ticket from Corniglia – Riomaggiore
10 eur x 6 lunch dinner
Mineral water 2 liter
1,5 x 3 days
Five Villages, from West to East
It is the only land in Cinque Terre that has a proper beach. We arrived and decided to sit by the beach and take a nap. We thought that was the only beach there. After taking enough nap, we continued walking and voila there was another bigger beach nearby the station!! So we spread our beach towel and continued enjoying the water and sun. Buy some fried fish that was served in a cone, also the anchovies is the best in this area!! Monterosso is the most accessible by car.
It is the fishing village of the area. There is a famous church called the Santa Margherita d’Antiochia which was built in 1318. It’s built on a rock right in front of the sea. You can just simply enjoy the view and have some snacks by the water.
Corniglia (morning or midday)
Its very tranquil and it is best place to stay in my opinion. There is a sea-facing terrace in the corner and nice small alleys that you should visit!
Manarola (late afternoon)
The hiking trail from Corniglia was closed unfortunately, thus we took train. Make sure that you go there before sunset. The sunset view is killer! And to experience before sunset is even better, you would see the slow movement of the sunset. There is a cemetery uphill to visit and you can also wait for the sunset over there. There are also cafes in the below layer hill, and you can enjoy the sunset while listening to music and sip some drinks.
Riomaggiore (morning or midday)
It is the largest and apparently the ‘capital’ of Cinque Terre. The buildings lined down very steeply and in a very vivid color (the brightest compared to others). It’s best to enjoy during the day when the sun is above your head. I do think there are more rocks by the water than other lands. You can buy panini nearby, we do not remember the name but it is pretty obvious as people always line up. Bring the panini and eat it on the rocks. You can go to the cafes and enjoy a sip of coffee and people watching. The center is just a walking distance from the small ‘beach’. You should wear colorful dress to look good in a picture 😉