Well, I broke my own rule and attached six pix to this amazing day...my birthday, as it was. About 10am I boarded a fairly high speed ferry to leave Levanto and dock in each town of the 5 Lands region. My last post described Monterosso, the first town.
The 1st pic is the next town Vernazza, a name similar to their local wine: Vemaccia, meaning "ours"(and mine). The ferries run each day and are staggered so you have a day pass to get from town to town. Still sober at this point but slightly staggered by the experience--I stayed on the boat.
The next town along the route is Carniglia. It's the only town without a seaport. I have pix but they didn't make the cut. It's a beautiful town set out on a ridge above the sea. I couldn't help but think it looked like a colorful fungal formation on the side of the mountain--like I said, I was still sober at this point. It's more cut off than any of the other towns and either side is where the trail was closed from the floods of 2011. I would love to hike there on the next visit using the inland trails.
Pic#2 is Manarola and Pic#3 is Riomaggiore, the last town to the south. In the travel books, they generally recommend hiking South-to-North if you're doing the whole trail. Since I was riding along slack-jawed like a dog with its head out the window on top of a ferry, I went North to South.
The 4th pic is of Porto Venere where we had the option to get off and explore that interesting city with a castle where Lord Byron lived. I decided to stay on the boat and view the 3 islands off the coast, first, before coming back to enjoy a calzone and ½ a carafe of vino rosso…or was it a whole one? Hard to say considering Lord Byron’s place seemed as good as place as any to light up a little of my small supply California happiness. A little more crowded than ideal but I just kept it moving through the intricate maze of stairs and passageways imagining he may have done the same.
The 5th pic is of a statue between the islands. interesting to consider the origination but the ferry drivers weren't about to dispense tourista info.
As you can see, it was a little whitecappy for this stretch and their mood had been as unpredictable as the weather. Notice the tall ships in the background. It just so happened that on that day they also had a tall ship regatta with regular cannon booms adding to the retro-seafaring feel of the entire day.
It did have to end but not until we enjoyed the sunset and smoother seas on the way back to Levanto.