Friday, 13 January 2017

Cinque Terre 2016

We caught the 8.10 am train from Milan to Cinque Terre by the time we arrived at Monterosso it was close to lunch time. Our accommodation wasn’t far from the station but up an extremely steep hill. We dropped our big bags there and quickly packed our daypacks with the necessities for two nights. By the time we had completed this a late lunch beckoned.
We had our lunch, bought some water and started out on the 3.9 kms. walk to Vernazza which is supposed to take 1.5 hours. The day was very hot and this was the most strenuous part of the walk. It felt as though we walked up a million steps, the sweat pouring off me and close to sunstroke we made to Vernazza after about 3 hours.
That was it as far I was concerned, ferry it to Riomaggiore where we were going to stay the night. The sight of the villages perched on the steep hills hugging the coastline is a beautiful spectacle. We enjoyed our evening in the town and wandered around it the next morning before we continued to Porto Venere by ferry.
Porto Venere is a delightful town and our accommodation in the old town was great. We had a wonderful view of the coast from our window.  We then explore to town. There is a ‘Poet’s Grotto’ from which the poet
Lord Byron had supposedly swam to the next town. It was enjoyable wandering in and out the intriguing laneways and there was also an interesting church to visit.
The following morning we returned to Monterosso on our arrival we explored the town, had lunch before returning to our accommodation. Up very steep steps and the hill we arrived to be about cancellations through which amounted to our room now being unavailable. The proprietor arranged another accommodation for us at the same price, which turned out to be a better option anyway.
Apart from the less than auspicious beginning we loved the Cinque Terre, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. As it was a busy time I needed to pre-book accommodation. What I should have done was have the first night in Monterosso then start out early the following morning before it became too hot, then I think we could have made it to the towns that were still accessible by foot then a ferry to Riomaggiore in a day stay the night there. The next take the ferry to Porto Venere which is just outside Cinque Terre area but definitely worth visiting.

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