I hiked partly back up the trail towards Monterosso to take this picture as the sun set in Vernazza. I was joined up there by a family who had brought a few big beers up with them, which they were good enough to share. It worked out pretty well for me.
If you google Riomaggiore you’ll find photos taken from this spot numerous times. It’s one of the viewpoints that first got me to notice the Cinque Terre and eventually decide to give the area a visit. While I try not to take the same photos taken by everyone else, I don’t think anyone can disembark from the ferry to Riomaggiore and not stop to take this picture.
Typically, the idea of eating seafood at a street food stall would not even be up for consideration for me. However, Cat Ba island is known for its super fresh seafood. So, we stood looking at the array of street kitchens that line the harbour you can see below. Eventually, a German family of four gestured us over and told us that the clams they had just eaten were incredible. With that unsolicited review, we decided that would be the spot. Sure enough, the clams were incredible.
I took this photo the next morning, as we prepared to ship out back to Hanoi.
During the UEFA Euros, I was stationed with family and friends just outside Aix-en-Provence. I arrived later than most so when I drove up to the house in my very sharp looking, rented Audi A4, after nervously snaking my way up the steep, tight, windy driveway, I was greeted by people waving from up on the roof. Taking a moment to compose myself and hide the terror I had just gone through, I stepped out of the car and waved back. At this point a couple of friends greeted me from the front door, and immediately began gesturing wildly at the car. I turned back to realize it was rolling backwards down the driveway. As it turned out, the automatic handbrake was not switched on. Luckily I hadn’t closed the door and was able to dive back in and get it under control.
The next day, feeling confident in my ability to drive this car I decided to spend my afternoon in the seaside town of Cassis. With the car full to the brim with people we set off. I successfully made it down the terrifying driveway only to drive straight into a hidden rock at the bottom that I had been warned about but promptly forgot. With the car suffering a significant gouge I pushed on, and it was worth it.
Cassis is a beautiful little town that, at the time, was not as overrun by tourists as we had expected. In the photo below, beyond the traditional fishing boats, you can see the waterfront, loaded with restaurants, across the harbor.
As we kick off the 2017 working year, it seems fitting to post a photo of the lady that got my Vietnam trip going for me. As I was sat, tired from the long journey, and queasy from the small boat I was in on my first day in the Mekong Delta, my mood was lifted by my first Vietnamese coffee. It was delicious and gave me a jolt of caffeine that set me up for the day. It also resulted in me talking non-stop for the next hour, as my travel buddy can attest.
The coffee is being served by the lady in the small boat in the middle of this picture, who stopped to deliver her wares to each boat at the market. She had everything she needed to make hot or iced coffee on board, and blend it with super sweet, condensed milk. I’m pretty sure my face looked a lot like the kid on the left before I had a cup too.