Europe 7. Ciao Lerici, we beseech thee, Flo was not fond of your Iced Peach Tea, but each of us will miss your beach, even when we reach Rome Termini

day by day, train by train: the story of our European adventure

And so went our last day in Lerici, which was naturally spent, rather than Lerici, out-of-town trekking in La Spezia and the first of the Cinque Terras. Our first stop raiding the local supermarket, we then explored La Spezia with our packed lunches for the day waiting patiently in our bags. It felt like we were teachers in charge of our own school trip.

We did eventually make it to the train station, but not after coo-ing after every dog (and pigeon, in Maddy’s case) that trotted by, as well as a quick browse of Tiger

what a menagerie


The train to the first of the fishing villages wasn’t too long, and we spent a good portion of the day sitting on the rocks by the equally rocky waves, eating our lunches and watching the most arrogant but agile 12-year old that I’ve ever witnessed slice through the waves and climb up (Ed Gow-smith style) a cliff face, only to jump back in, encouraged by a number of screaming (in horror, rather than encouragement) onlookers. I took inspiration from this immortal attitude and risked a dive in, scuppering my left leg as I tried to time my exit from the water with the climax of the wave.

As the other girls found shade, I lay out in the sun, probably accumulating the splatter of mosquito bites I battled not to itch the day after.

Our last few hours in the village (as the path to the next one was closed) were enjoyed in the shade, performing the stereotypically girly gossip and chat that we all do so well.


When late afternoon came upon us, we headed back, facing a train which typically unloaded half of the Italian population, and did a touch more exploring of La Spezia (and Tiger, again) whilst Kaila met up with her Italian amigos. Kaila persuaded Flo, Larissa and myself to buy a portion of chips mixed with frankfurters and ketchup, for only €2 – an objectively correct decision in the short term, but we will have to see whether this satisfaction lasts in the long term…

Flo and I struck again as the bargain rosé queens, and we returned to Lerici for the last time and (they, not I) cooked a wonderful meal of pesto + pasta with salad and left over schnitzel from yesterday. I felt so independent that even a mere glass of wine zonked me for the evening.

Eyes struggling to stay open, I stumbled into bed, too tired and anxious of bursting balloons to blow one up myself while Kaila went out for a midnight swim to welcome in her 18th year. Although I was again able to relax with a full belly, I spent a restless night drenching myself in anti-bite spray and accidentally knee-ing Kaila’s 18-year-old arse.


Lerici will surely be a highlight of this trip. I can see why Kaila misses her home so much. It sort of feels like everything that had gone wrong (or rather stressfully pear-shaped) up until this point which, although added to this tremendous experience, was all so that we could spend a few, peaceful days in Kaila’s beloved home town.

We shall miss you muchly, Lerici


Memory sparks:

  • I tried to bandage up Larissa’s finger but it looked like a turban, labelled ‘pathetically phallic’ by Florence
  • Maddy: ‘you are so fine’ (to distressed 5 year old girl with 50m high suitcase, crying ‘somebody pleaaaase help me’ to get off the train.
  • ‘To recount Kaila’s adventure road walking from San Terenzo to Lerici because Larissa is an idiot and waited to get onto the bus before checking whether I had turned off the stove & I was too dumb to get off the bus immediately, but rather waited to get to San Terenzo.’

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