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Cinque Terra Day 2 ...to Vernazza

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I got up early, mainly because the guy next door was one of those rude Americans you hear so much about... or maybe just a really dumb college student... anyway... I couldn't check out for a couple hours so I decided to climb up trail #3 to a church that overlooks the town.
The trail turned out to be very cool... pretty much straight up, with one switchback, through the terraced vineyards above the town.
Now, I was not prepared for the terraces to be a source of interest, but they were amazing. All done with no mortar over the course of thousands of years.
"Man" terriformed thousands of hillside acres, by manual labor, into usable land. I have not seen Macchu Picchu, or the Pyramids yet, but this was impressive.
Keep that in mind when viewing the rest of the pictures... all done by hand, without an engineer in site... miles and miles and miles.
This is a kind of simple cog/rail line that is normally used to move things up/down through the vineyards or olive groves. In this case it was used to take people up the hill to the church. Reminded me of something Jake had installed in HLN a few years back.
Whew... ok, so from up here I could pretty much see my journey, and how often can you say that? The cities (minus Manarola) are visible, ending with Monterosso in the distance.
A little closer look at Riomaggiore... before heading back down.
Via dell' Amore

So, the section of trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola is named the Via dell' Amore. This is probably a marketing scheme, but it is also the only section of trail where you could actually walk hand in hand.

Several "artists" at other locations had made suggestions that the female figure was either very well endowed or possibly pregnant. Fortunately this first section was the limit of the normally unlimited graffiti.

The "entrance"... looks like something out of Riven or Myst.
...and in short order you arrive at the train station for Manarola, which is very unattractive.
Nothing really appealed to me in Manarola... probably too early... so I just kept on going... here is a look back.
The trail remained pretty easy as I went on towards Corniglia.
This nice little garden was below the town...
And then the "amore" ran out... 370 steps up to the town... what were they thinking? Reminded me of section of a Grand Canyon trail I walked with my cousin Monte a decade ago... it didn't make things better just because it was paved.

I picked up a gelato (because the owner was playing a Bjork CD ok?) but when I went next door to contemplate carrying a bottle of the towns legendary wine, I was greeted by a set of bottles with the likenesses of Mussolini , Stalin, Marx etc... if it was a joke, I didn't get it, so I moved on.

...on the trail out of town... on to Vernazza

Nope, that is not a mirage...

Busy town... groups of school kids on field trips... each train would take a load and drop a load, but as in the case of Riomaggiore, all but a few gone by 5pm.
A very cute harbor with next to the public square and a small beach.
I got a room up near the fortress (see first pics)... and these are the views I had out the window.
Yup, you thought you had seen the last of that symbol. Vernazza has a communist mayor. How you could tell, I have no idea. Capitalism was in full swing.
I will have to double check this, but I think this is a monument to those men from the village who died in WWII... from BOTH sides.
Views from the fortress tower.
The view from my chair as I had Spaghetti al Pesto and an order of grilled shrimp. Yummers!