A Travellerspoint blog

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Manarola


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Manarola

Manarola is one of the 5 tiny towns on the Mediterranean just south of Genoa; known as the Cinque Terre. They are known for their picturesque charm and trekking trails. You can only get to them by boat or train, so they have kept their wonderful character by keeping the cars out.

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Each town has its own unique character. Here in Manarola, they have a very tiny harbour, so the fishermen haul their boats up into the city every day after fishing.
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But the harbour is not only for fishing, tourists love to play there too.
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If Nice is known for its beautiful people, Cinque Terre is known for its fit people. Both locals and tourists do a lot of walking here. They have a wonderful walking trail network between the towns. Unfortunately the 2 costal walking trail between Manarola and its 2 neighboring towns are currently closed due to rock falls... so I took the high hill route to Cornigilia... yes it was mostly up... or so it felt, but I got some great views! Unfortunately, when I got there I took the 1,500 steps down, not realizing it was to the train station and not the the town itself.
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Here is the sunset from the Manarola harbour... I hope to do some more trails tomorrow.

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Posted by tedvanrossum 12:13 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

Riomaggiore


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Riomaggiore

Yesterday I trekked to Corniglia, today I felt good, (knees seemed to have recovered ...), so I thought I would trek to Riomaggiore. The say costal trail was closedd, but again I thought, how hard can this short walk be...?
I saw people on the trail, so I said, "Lets go!"

As you can see, the trail is pretty much up ... and at this point, I had the opportunity to stop and take a picture... after this it got steeper and I always tried to have a hand hold on something as I went up.

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After Up comes Down... And you can see Riomaggiore in the distance, as well as the vineyards in the fore ground... but there is a lot of down ahead, and they are also tough on your knees.

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Well I finally made it... and the views was worth the trip.

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So now I'll take the train to Monterosso and see what that town is like.

Posted by tedvanrossum 00:53 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

Monterosso, Vernazza and Corniglia


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Monterosso

Each town is so different from the other. Monterosso seems to be the party town. It is bigger and has some limited car accessibility. It also has a very active beach as you can see... and yes, the water is fairly warm.

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I had a great pizza with tomato sauce, cheese and pesto for lunch by the beach. They also have beautiful bougainvillea there because they have so much sun.

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But being the Type A (also masochistic ) person I am I had to walk to the next town, Veranazza. This trail is one of the longer ones, but it was also supposed to be one of the easy costal ones, so I thought I still could punish my knees a little more... (Thea, I'm sure you would love this trail... and so would you Katy, with your new and improved knees). So when I started thee trail, it went inland and straight up! Then it went up some more... and when I thought that it had done "all the up in the universe", ... it did some more up! And this just wasn't regular stairs up, no, it was more like "bend over and hold something type of up"...
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Vernazza

But then we reached the top and could see Veranazza down below... It was amazing. As Veranazza came closer, my knees began to tremble a little ... not because of the beauty of the scenery, ... no, they were letting me know, in no uncertain terms, that this was the last trail of the day.
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Veranazza has a wonderful little harbour, and you can see all the fishing boats are lined up, ... they even have their own mermaids and mermen on the rocks... or that's what it looked like from high above....
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Corniglia

Even though my knees mutinied, I still wanted to see 5 out of 5 towns, so I took the train back to Corniglia. (I accepted doing 3 out of 4 trails.) I counted the steps up to the city his time, and it was only 300,... my knees accepted the punishment without much more complaint. This town is quite small, but they also had some great views where you could sit and sip a beer.... Tomorrow is Florence (I here they have some pretty impressive towers to climb... don't tell my knee...;)
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Posted by tedvanrossum 08:39 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Firenze


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Frienze

Firenze is my favourite place I've visited. It has architecture, it has street life, it has loads of tourists... (except if you have to wait in line, this is a fun thing).

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As you can see from these pictures, the only high rise buildings are the churches and civic towers. It is not exactly as it would have been in the Renaissance, but the skyline would be pretty close. And the narrow streets are full of tourists eating and drinking at sidewalk cafe's... me included.

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This is also a high fashion town. On Saturday evening the high fashion stores are open and they pamper their guests with champagne and canap├ęs as they shop...

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Another fun thing here is the night market, near the train station. Here they have food, drink and luxuries like silk shawls and lavender products... The pictures speak for themselves.

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You've probably noticed that I haven't discussed any of the tradional tourist highlights... These wonderful sights need a blog entry of their own.

Posted by tedvanrossum 22:38 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Firenze Duomo


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When I saw this a building in the late afternoon light, with the sun glistening off the white marble, I got the shivers; it is so beautiful. Only one other building affected me like this, and that was the Taj Mahal... and like that building, it is the beauty and the craftsmanship that take your breath away. The Taj Mahal has beauty in its simplicity and symmetry; this building has beauty carved all over it.

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Everywhere you look there are intricate stories carved in stone and bronze.

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And the different colors you see are from different stones... the inlay work is perfect!

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And the Dome, that is a wonder of engineering... It is huge, and you can climb up and look out...

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Myself, I chose the tower; the view from there is equally impressive, and the climb, though high, is slightly less stressing on my poor old knees...

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Even at night it shines.

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Posted by tedvanrossum 22:59 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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