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Europe 2017

Cinque Terre-Here WE COME,First Stop, Manarola

ITALY | Friday, 7 July 2017 | Views [525]

 

We decide to take the boat to visit the quaint little towns which make up Cinque Terre. These are the five villages along the "Italian Riviera" that have gained fame as a result of their charm and beauty as well as for the rugged paths that connect them, or used to. Manarola is the first port that we visited today. Like the other 4 little villages, it is a fishing town and it presents a picture perfect view as you approach it from the sea.The walking path, high up in the hills was one of the "easiest"' to navigate. It was built in the 1930's along the footpath used by the workers who put down the tracks for the railroad. However, in 2012, there was a rock-slide on the trail and it hasn't been cleared yet! Gosh, and that was the one that we were planning to scale. ( And if you believe this, I've got a bridge to sell you!) This path was very popular because it was one of the shortest and in the best condition. The others, not so much.There are no railings and the "paths" are not particularly well maintained. But, lots of people like the adventure.So, you see them high above and I assume they have great photos if they make it down in one piece. If not, I know just the hospital they will be transported to...
 
Manarola is the oldest and the second smallest of the towns in the Cinque . Their church dates back to the early 1300's and draws many visitors.
There is a small harbor on one end of the island and it is extremely rocky. Even getting off the boat was an adventure as the gangway kept rolling as a result of the rough outcrops of rocks and some small breaking whitecaps.Remember, the boats don't go out if the sea is too rough and now I understand why.
Streaming down the hillside are multi-colored houses and  grapevines. Can't imagine how the house were constructed! And as for the grapes, picking them must be a real adventure. The local wine is supposed to be quite good and we were planning to try it, but it was so warm, we opted for freshly made gelato! (Good choice) We figured, we can always try the wine here in La Spezia.
 
There is no real beach, but there is a ladder that reaches down into the water. But, because the water is quite deep right off the dock, teens like to jump from the high rocks to the water below. It was certainly warm enough to make it inviting and the water was clear enough to see that the landing area was free of rocks.There were hundreds of teens dressed in bikinis, either in the water or burning themselves in the sun, on the very uncomfortable looking rocks along the "swimming hole".
 

According to our boat schedule, it was time to re-board another local ferry to our next destination. There is a formally printed boat schedule, but it is really more of a suggestion than an actual timetable! An important fact to remember if ever in the region!

 

Other photos in gallery

Yes, we actually

Yes, we actually "docked" here

 

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