Cinque Terre_ paradise

The last free weekend in our schedule was reserved for Cinque Terre.  Although my friend and I should have been working on our final semester projects, we still went.  It was well worth the sacrifice. We had heard so many amazing reports of how beautiful it was and how amazing the terrain was to hike.  A very popular destination, later, our bed and breakfast owner said that in the high season (soon to follow our weekend) police will stop cars and make them turn around if they don’t have proof of a reservation of some type.  After all it is  Italy, and it is a tiny little place, so probably well deserved.  The whole five city area along the Liguria along the most northern part of the western coast of Italy is was made a National Park in order to keep some stability for the residents and natural systems.  Hiking the trails is only a low cost pass that goes towards the conservation of the area.  We stayed in Monterosso, the most northern of the five towns.  Going to Cinque Terre very high on the list for favorite places during my travels.

La Spezia train station, our second transfer of the morning.P1100388

First glimpse of the ocean off the train.P1100391

Monterosso beach on arrivalP1100392

Lunch in MonterossoP1100397

My partner in crime for the weekend, Jim.P1100393

At the trail beginning.P1100407

Trail from within vineyard at the top of our first ascent.P1100422

Shed on the vineyard terraces.P1100431

Vernazza, second city south.  A very popular photo for photographers selling work at art fairs in the US. P1100460

The first non-red poppies I had seen in Italy, and some lemons.P1100466

Vernazza harbor.P1100469

Rail line that connects all five cities and runs along the ocean.P1100475

Harbor of Manarola, fourth city from the north.P1100511

Dramatic swimming hole in Manarola harbor. P1100516

A map with north at the left showing all the cities.P1100522

Down the cliff from trail between Manarola and Riomaggiore. The easiest and most cared for part of the trail.P1100532

Cactus flowers.P1100540

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Geology meets the ocean.P1100559

Mural done by local artist as memorial for those who built the stone terrace walls that covered the mountainsides.P1100560

RiomaggioreP1100573

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Monterosso church very near our BnB.P1100595

Roof patio of BnBP1100612

BnB patio view to mountains.P1100611

Monterosso beach on SaturdayP1100614

Monterosso cemetery.P1100621

Castle fortress and German bunker from WWII.P1100637

Our few hours in the sun.P1100658

Patio to ocean past church.P1100659

Manorola vineyard hikeP1100674

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See the tiny people on their balconies?P1100689

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Sunday morning, storms rolling in.P1100702

Giant holding up the dance floor, or at least until it was bombed in WWII.P1100706

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Leaving paradise.P1100724

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