We decided to do a little hike today. The best and most panoramic one.
We started by going down to the harbour to get ourselves some breakfast. And since I was here and the view emptier of tourists – and the locals in full force:
After that we headed to the railway station to get our day pass for hiking and the trains.
First stop was Riomaggiore. We wandered around town checking out the sights.
After that we headed off to Manarola. We wandered around here for a while and stopped for a coffee and toilet break.
Eileen bought herself a hat and we started on our first (and what was to be our only!) hike.
It was brutal! The views were, however, panoramic and fantastic!! It nearly killed Eileen though! She had to take lots of breaks. I was fine even though I carried the backpack with the drinks and our stuff in it. The trek through vineyards and olive groves was nearly straight up – steps, goat paths, some more precarious than others, until we reached Volastre….but the views!!!
We stopped for lunch in Volastre. The hike had taken us more than twice as long as it said at the beginning of the trail! The place we stopped at was quite small and the staff barely spoke any English (Google Translate for the win!), but the food was good and the beer was very welcome in the heat!
We investigated Volastre a little since we were here and all and found it’s been settled since 177 AD, mind-boggling!
We’d toyed with the idea of catching the bus back to Manarola, but I’d overheard the restaurateur telling someone (in Italian, but lots of gestures 😉 ) that it was an easy hike down to Corniglia, nothing like the steep climb up from Manarola. I confirmed it with the waitress (via Google Translate) and we decided that we’d do the hike after all. It would only take us 1 1/2 hours, she said.
It took us two, but was well worth it, and not nearly as strenuous!
We checked out Corniglia a little:
And then walked down to the station – all 377 stairs! Wah!
We saw a bus that we could’ve caught if we’d known. We saw an Asian couple coming up the stairs with their luggage and I told them about the bus, but they persisted with the stairs. Poor guy.
We got back to our accommodation and had a shower and a little rest, and then went looking for dinner. Nearly everything was completely full, unfortunately. But we did find a little place that had little snack type things and really good wine, so we were happy.
We could barely hobble our way back to our rooms (up those steep stairs! Noooooo!), and slept like the dead!