I took a lot of photos from the same spot on my first evening in Manarola. I was feeling pretty lazy and spent the evening on my hotel balcony. This was one of the last, just before it got too dark to keep taking pictures.
You can see a loaded ferry seemingly on a collision course with the rocks in this photo of Manarola’s harbor. What’s actually happening is people are boarding as the ferry is nosed up to the “ferry dock”. I put the ferry dock in quotes because it’s less a dock than a rocky coastline with a couple of cleats on it. The ferry noses up to it, and the crew roll out a gang plank for people to climb aboard as the boat pitches and rolls with the waves.
On my third day in the Cinque Terre, I decided to walk from Manarola to Corniglia. I knew that there would be some walking up involved as Corniglia is on top of the cliffs. I asked at my hotel where the path started and they pointed towards a steep flight of stairs heading up the hill. I asked if that was the extent of the walking up involved and he told me it flattened out at the top of the hill. What I didn’t realise is that you couldn’t really see the extent of the hill until you were at the top of that first set of stairs. It was far higher than I realised!
Still, the uphill walking resulted in a lot of photos as I needed an excuse to catch my breath.
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.
When planning my Cinque Terre trip, there was something about Vernazza that made me decide I had to stay there. This was despite the fact that there was a dearth of hotel accommodation in the town, I was only booking a week in advance after all. The end result was that I booked into a two star hotel next to the train track. Upon reading the reviews, it seemed like it was clean enough but that I’d be greeted by a grumpy old lady at the front desk.
Sure enough, after 24 hours of traveling via two planes, a bus, two trains, and my feet, I arrived to meet the grumpy old lady on the front desk. I think the fact that I expected a cold greeting softened the blow a bit as I sat, chuckling to myself, while she finished whatever it was she was doing on a computer. Ten minutes later I was being rushed up the stairs and into my room, where I was shown the light-switch, bathroom, and balcony and was left alone. I was on the top floor – at least if I was in a crappy hotel, I was in the penthouse of the crappy hotel. I stepped out onto the small balcony and was shocked to discover a family of four sat on the balcony right next to me.
Anyways, I loved Vernazza and want to go back. On my first night I walked down the central port for dinner. I ate, surrounded by locals, under the multi-coloured umbrellas you can see in the shade down there. Pesto and local pasta to start, which was the best I’d ever had followed by veal Milanese. It was fantastic. It was then that I discovered that I was in a restaurant renowned for it’s seafood… naturally I went back the next night to try out the sea bream.
This photo was taken from on top of the small fortification guarding the town. While up there a helicopter with video equipment passed over me a few times. If you spot me on the travel channel, let me know.
I know, it’s been awhile… and no, I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth. I just ran a bit low on time and as a result, ran a bit low on photos. I’ve kept traveling though and have a lot of photos to share from Vietnam, Spain, France, Morocco, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy and Switzerland.
I’ve got travel plans for 2017 too. I’ll be kicking off the year with a return to Marrakesh and a weekend in Berlin where I hope to add to my collection of pictures. In addition, I’ll be taking a couple of more adventurous trips through the year, though I haven’t thought about where yet. Suggestions in the comments below are welcome. I’m thinking South East Asia, South America or maybe even Egypt. I’ll be doing my best to get back to regular postings.
My most recent trip was to the Cinque Terre in Italy. It was my third time trying to get there. On my first attempt, the towns in the area were beset by landslides so I had to cancel my plans. On the second attempt, I was driving from Piedmont and stopped at a service station where my car was broken into and cameras, laptops and passports were stolen.
My third trip wasn’t without a hiccup either. When I went to check into the airport in Bermuda for my flight to London, I realized that I’d booked the wrong date for my connecting flight and it had actually already departed! I actually got onto the London flight without a connection and had to quickly sort it out the next day.
In celebration of the New Year and of finally making it to Cinque Terre, please enjoy this photo, taken from my hotel balcony in Manarola while sipping from a bottle of Prosecco.