Nicole O'Neil Photography
I had trouble falling asleep Tuesday night. I think I had reached a point of being overtired and excited all at the same time. So, I felt even more exhausted when I woke up Wed than I had on Tues. And my calves were SO SORE. Apparently, I don't work them enough at the gym since the rest of my muscles were perfectly fine. I decided the best way to loosen muscles is to keep them moving so I got up and started my day! I went with a better breakfast of cappuccino and a prosciutto and cheese omelet with tomatoes on the side (um, I said it before and i'll say it again...best tomatoes ever here). After breakfast, I set out. I had a plan to take a hike from the next town, Manarola to the third town, Corniglia. I decided that rather than take the train which was a 15 min wait and then 6 min ride, that I would just walk Via dell'Amore since it's only 20 min. The seas were extremely rough today so the waves crashing and the intense color of the water were great to walk alongside.
The hike is about a 2 hour hike. In Manarola, you start off on this tiny path and make your way across a road to stairs...and then the stairs just keep coming. They are steep at times and pass by gardens and old stone buildings. I took little side paths to get a view of the ocean and towns below. Here are pics from that first path.
Hey Moms, you can show this to your kids and tell them this is where "Mommy's juice" comes from. ;0 There are little vineyards everywhere. And as you walk along through gardens and vineyards, all you can smell is flowers and herbs.
I took a pic of this because, I was trying to figure out how in the world it got there. Below and above this were only stairs and not stairs wide enough to fit this. Hmmm....
At the top of the trail, you walk into a small village and then the path goes left. The beginning barely looks like a path and then you come out and realize you are right on the side of the mountain. The path is narrow and, for much of the walk, there is nothing (fence/wall) on the left hand side except a 6 ft drop down to gardens. It then appears to fall right off, but I'm pretty sure there are gardens below that. For someone who is a little afraid of heights (at least when not feeling completely secure/closed in), it was challenging. However, I just watched my footing and stopped to take in the AMAZING view.
So, it's one thing to pass other people coming toward you on this path because there's literally no where to go for most of it. On the left side, there will be a drop into a garden and on the right, a huge step up to a garden that is surrounded by wire or fence. Then, there are random obstacles such as the one below. Not bad. You just go under and make yourself low enough that your backpack doesn't get caught. ;)
And then, you're suddenly in someone's yard. The trail loops around one side of this house to the other.
The third trail is right through the woods, but still on the edge of the mountain. No more flower smell and many of the trees are brown, an effect of the large rainstorm and flooding that hit the area in the fall. Again, random obstacles. This one had a strip of wood to cross over...right on the edge..um, no thank you. I climbed over.
Once you get through the woods, you start to see Corniglia. It's one of those, "Look how close it is now. But it's not." moments ;)
Lunch was cappuccino and a salame e panino al formaggio.
The next two areThe oratory of S.Caterina over Largo Taragio. It was the most beautiful church I saw this week...at least to this point.
Today's gelato selection: Coco e Caramel (no need to translate, right?).
When I got back to Riomaggiore, I decided it was a good time to rest and enjoy the view. I sat out on the rocks in the harbor for a while listening to the crashing waves. Heaven again.
I finished my day with a quick trip to Vernazza. The town is still rebuilding from the devastating floods in October, but they have come a long way. Monterosso and Vernazza were hit hard and had a lot of damage. This is just a picture from the harbor.
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