I was pretty relaxed upon arrival to Cinque Terre. I was sat on the couch on my balcony enjoying a complimentary bottle of champagne. Then, I was sent scrambling for my camera when I noticed the sun shining out from behind this cloud.
On my last trip to Marrakesh I finally made it out to the Atlas mountains, or the foothills at least. To make this even more interesting we traveled through the foothills of the Atlas mountains on camels. It was definitely an exciting experience with camels going rogue to eat cactus, refusing to walk in the mud, and one even falling down with one of my colleagues perched precariously on top.
Once we survived this adventure, we were on our way back to Marrakesh when our guide pulled the car over so we could see this small Berber village in the Asni valley.
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.
While on vacation in Provence I took a fantastic drive to and through the Verdon Gorge. On the way, I passed multiple small villages. The route takes you through a large military installation but there’s no sign of it as you pass through the forested hills.
This small village, called Ampus, was one of the many we passed by in this region.
Setting out for Sisteron, France I wasn’t sure what I would find following the hour and a half drive there. I also wondered what the roads would be like. I was pleasantly surprised as it turns out there is a nicely paved highway running from Aix-en-Provence most of the way to Sisteron. Once we arrived there, it was immediately clear that the drive was worth it. The town is perched on the bend of the River Durance and works it way up the valley walls. At the top is the Sisteron Citadel, which has significantly hindered the efforts of armies trying to enter Provence from Roman times through to the second world war.
What you see here is the Devil’s Sentry, posted high above the valley on an outcrop of rock. It’s not difficult to understand why it earned this name, especially when you imagine winter winds whipping through the valley and directly into the sentry box.
We were making a bit of a mad dash back to Florence for sunset when I stopped to take this picture. Shortly after taking the picture, as we pushed on to Florence, I spotted a deer strolling through the vines of a vineyard near the road. I was shocked, I didn’t even know they had deer in Tuscany. It wasn’t until a half hour after that I realized it probably would have made for a good picture!
I wish I could say I’ve named this photo after a great experience in Ristorante Barchetta, but I didn’t hop off the ferry in this village. It looks like a nice spot for a bite though, or an afternoon beer. From the ferry I saw this lady in the green dress on her phone, while the rest of the world rushed by her. I wondered if it was an important call or if she was just having a a chat. What do you think?