Friday, July 01, 2011

Iceland/France/Italy Day 18: Hike to the top of Riomaggiore

May 16, 2011
Italy Day 18: Hike to the top of Riomaggiore

Today is our last full day in Riomaggiore. When we booked Casa Lorenza, it was unfortunately only available for 4 nights, so we booked a different spot for the last night. Lorenza was very kind and drove all of our stuff over to the new place, La Baia de Rio. They said "surprise!" when we got there, and actually someone had cancelled out so we had both rooms in La Baia de Rio instead of one there and one up the hill on Via de Gasperi. So that made things a little simpler which was nice. We dropped off our stuff, got acquainted with the new area (closer to the train station, which would be useful for walking to the next morning) and took off on a huge trek.

We walked to the top of the village and then to Santuario de Madonna de Monterno, the same place Ans and I hiked to 4 years ago on my birthday. The weather was fantastic. When we got to the top we found out that the bike rental/cafeteria/restaurant up there was totally closed and there was no apple pie (and more importantly, water!) to buy. We chilled up there for a bit and looked at the amazing view, and then hiked walk "3a" back! This was great, I was not sure exactly which hike Ans and I took back down but once we got up there I recognized the sign for 3a. This was actually the spot where Ans and I took a bunch of glorious photos of Riomaggiore city and ran into Crystine for the first time back in 2007! So that was fun to do a similar walk and the weather was so awesome.

Just as we were getting very thirsty and ready for some shade and a break, we found a bar on the side of a cliff (literally) and got a huge water to share and some gelato. Just in time! We walked the rest of the way back with some more energy and took a nice break at the new apartment for a bit. There are some great views of the city at the new place and I spent some time on the balcony trying out my new zoom lens, trying to catch cool photos of people talking on the rooftops and of seagulls soaring over the city.

For dinner we went to La Lampara, which I'd been keen to do since we arrived. That was the spot that Ans and I went to on my birthday and it was such a tasty spot. I got pasta with salmon for my entree and some frizzante, and we shared some beef carpaccio with arugula for an appetizer. We ordered fries cause they looked super good (and we were starving from the hike!) For dessert we had Tiramisu and a Lemoncello to share (which was the best we'd had). So tasty. The waiter was the same old man from 4 years ago and he was so funny, he kept coming back to check up on everyone and give people a thumbs up. It was great.

After a huge dinner we needed to walk it off a bit. We walked back to the mesmerizing and beautiful Riomaggiore harbour and sat there watching the waves for quite a while. That was perfect. After watching the ocean for some time and taking lots of photos, we walked back up the steps to our new apartment for the evening and had some tea back up in Mom and Dad's room. After a big, busy day of hiking, we went to bed nice and early.

View from the roadside near our new apartment that we're staying just for the last night in Riomaggiore
Lemon Tree
Wild Vines
We're walking alllll the way up there!
Hiking up
and up...
The secret other way down the mountain that Ans and I took in 2007!
We're at the top! Riomaggiore from the top of the mountain hill beside it
Tired and hot and thirsty, this Bar came along juuuust in time!
Uh, is this the way to Riomaggiore?!
Then we walked along the road for a bit
The Riomaggiore harbour from the walk
Getting closer to town
Laundry drying
View from our apartment
View from our balcony, back up to where we just walked
View out to the sea
Apartments across from us
Making good use of my new zoom lens! Two older women chatting on their balconies
Viva Italia
One of my favourite shots of the trip
More laundry
Awesome!! This is our apartment from the first 4 nights, Casa Lorenza. An amazing place!! Took this photo just as our Black Cat friend was walking on the roof.
Awesome colours
Window shutters
Then I spent a bunch of time with my new lens trying to catch some birds flying
Lounge chairs
Houses along the harbour
Mom and Dad with Tiramisu at La Lampara for dinner, the place I went to for my birthday with Ans 4 years ago
Harbour at night

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