When we have each other, we have everything.
We slept in this morning. Much needed after our crazy day of hiking. We enjoyed breakfast at the same cafe. We had croissants, a DELICIOUS fruit salad, and a hot chocolate, which was literally a melted Hershey bar. So good! We explored Cornilia a little more and while we were taking pictures, a "yogi" type of person approached and told us that he was from Hawaii and a little island called Kauai. He was traveling the world playing his 20 compositions on his wooden flute and would serenade us. If we liked his song, he said he would appreciate a small donation of a euro each. He even told us we could take pictures! Oh boy... we told him he could play and we did end up giving him a euro even though he wasn't that good. We are too "Minnesota Nice." The hilarious thing was that we kept running into him in various areas of the city and he always played the same composition. Not sure if he actually knew more or not.
Hopped on a really busy train to Monterosso. Upon arriving in Monterosso, Google Maps told us that it was a 30 minute walk to our hotel. So, we started walking. After not too long... we got the distinct feeling that we were headed in the wrong direction. We asked one gentleman for help, but the language got in the way. We asked another and he was able to point the way for us. Our bags were pretty heavy, so Melanie stayed with our bags on a bench while I went to locate the hotel. It was a little confusing because we were supposed to check in at a different location than we were staying. I located the check in area, but after listening to the housekeeper speak Italian and repeat the same phrase over and over, I figured out that I should come back a little later. Melanie and I ate our leftovers from the day before with our hands and drank wine from one of the bottles we had been lugging around. So classy. It did the job though. I returned to the hotel shortly after and the owner was there to check me in. This is where things got a little weird.
He said Melanie needed to come to the hotel because that is where we were staying. I told him that she was sitting by where our actual hotel was and that I just came here to check in. I showed him that our reservation had a different address, but he said that was just the legal address. I didn't believe him, but decided to get Melanie and figure it out later. He checked us in and took us to the room. The room smelled like cigarette smoke, which I commented on, but he said that no one is allowed to smoke in the rooms. Hmm... that doesn't mean that people don't smoke in the rooms. When he left, we looked at our reservation again. It said that a staff person would walk us to our hotel 250 yards away, it said we paid for a deluxe room with breakfast included, and on the back of the door it said breakfast was not included. We decided to go talk to him. When we told him that we were supposed to be down the street, he said that the bathroom was broken. Melanie said that was fine :) and he laughed and said that we needed a shower and a toilet. I asked why he had told me that it was just the legal address... that is when he said he didn't have other rooms available over there. We knew we weren't going to get anywhere with him. We decided to take a walk to the address of our "supposed" hotel. One of the units was open and it looked extremely nice. Too nice to be a hotel. We determined that he uses the outside of that building and location and a different name, to draw in customers. Then he takes them to one of his rooms and tells them that the bathroom doesn't work. It is a total bait and switch. LAME! We had such success until now. I felt that something wasn't right about the situation, but what were we to do at that point. At least we had a roof over our heads. The room was still nice, but definitely not what we thought we were getting. I will be calling Expedia when I return and making sure he gets flagged.
We didn't want that creepy guy to ruin our day, so we brought our valuables with us to Bagni Fegina (Fegina Beach). We were able to rent two chairs and an umbrella for 15 euro...even though I think we could have just taken the chairs without paying or with someone noticing. Oh well, it was the perfect day to relax and take in the sunshine. The ocean was a little rough. Not great water for swimming, but still refreshing. We napped and picked up dinner from Bar Focacceria Antonio. It was delicious! We enjoyed it on the beach back at our chairs! Had to turn away the ladies offering massages constantly! One of the things that I loved about lounging was hearing the variety of languages spoken around us.
After baking our bodies for a good 5 hours, we headed to the hotel to clean up. We went out for cocktails and ended up at a bistro by the water. We chatted for hours and enjoyed the view and fresh air. Back at the hotel, we made sure our bags were packed so that we could depart ASAP. We both still had a weird feeling about the accommodations, so minimizing time there was crucial.
Ben, Julie, and Amelia