When I think about it now, I am doubtful whether that day was a significant one for the people of Riomaggiore. The next day we set out to explore Manarola, which is also a fishermen based village, sharing many similarities in the geography of the village of Riomaggiore. The colorful architecture atop the rocky plains, the vast light blue sea, the array of mountains behind the rocks all reminded me of the pictures we see in the calendars. We were curious to see whether the color of the windows are just what we expected to see. They were. Green! We came across people climbing large rocks lying adjacent to the sea and diving straight into the waters. Something funny happened after that. We entered a small food store named 'Pavlos' to have food for the day. After having the food while getting the change for the amount paid we noticed that instead of receiving Euro we got Thai Baht. The coins of the 2 euro and 10 Thai baht look very much alike and things like these are bound to happen. When we brought the issue to the attention of the store owner, he apologized like he was caught committing a big crime, and to his satisfaction we were bid adieu by him with two bottles of water!
The oldest of the five Cinque Terre villages, Manarola is extremely popular for its wines. It also is somehow very crowded, so try and go a little early. Getting There: A Cinque Terre Card, available at the La Spezia train station for around 12 Euros grants you free rides on trains connecting the villages up to the town of Levanto. If in case you are not walking along the Blue Trail, Manarola is the second stop from La Spezia and the ride is approximately 11 minutes long. If you do not have a card, tickets can be bought for about 1.5 Euros at La Spezia or any of the other villages and require validation. The train mostly runs through tunnels but even the smallest glimpse of the sea is breath-taking.