Thursday, April 18, 2019

Cinque Terre - Bonassola and Levanto

I have wanted to visit Cinque Terre for a long time, and finally we spent 7 nights in the region.  We stayed on the north side, a town called Bonnassola,  of the five villages, and used the train to travel from village to village.

The train ride from Selerno to La Spezia turned out to be exciting, as Weiling and I missed the train when we got off to buy bottled water from a machine.  The train only stayed for one minute and left without us.  Well, live and learn.  Hope had the good sense to just wait for us, with all our luggage plus her own luggage, in the station of La Spezia.  She took a picture of us when she saw us heading toward her after getting off a later train we got on.

Bonassola is a nice little town by the water.
Our home away from home in Bonassola, which is a short walk from the train station, and close to the "downtown" and the water front:

We did not spend too much time explore the town, but it has some interesting sights:
, like a church and a waterfall in the distance, a nice beach and a fort:
 Our home away from home is tugged away behind and narrow alley:

 Part of the fort:
 A quiet beach:
The old railway tunnel, now a walking/biking path heading south toward Levanto.  We walked through this tunnel quite a number of times. It is about 20-30 minutes walk to Levanto.  The scenery along the walk was gorgeous!

Levanto is a town to the north of the northern est town of the official Five Villiages of Cinque Terre.  But the unlimited Cinque Terre train ride ticket allows you to ride to Levanto for free.  So a lot of times we walked from Bonassola to Levanto via the tunnel and to catch the train in Levanto.

When we came out of the tunnel, we walked along the promenade, and saw bikers, swimmers, and surfers!

One morning we also went to check out the local flea market just like the locals.  Each of us bought some scarf and socks.

The most memorable was our hike from Levanto to Monterosso, on A DAY THAT RAINED!
The day did not start raining, we walked along the promenade, and checked out the church and castle while it was only cloudy.

 The inside of the church was simple and quiet, the kind I like!

 We passed this castle, which was closed.
The we saw this sign and thought the hike would be a piece of cake. Only 2.5 hours to Monterosso.  I think in the end it probably took us 4-5 hours!
At first everyone was smiling:

The trail looks easy too:

Then we had to take out our rain gears, and the trail becomes rugged.
 Finally we could see Monterosso in the distance:

 Going downhill now, not too far now, let put more gas on the peddle!
The flower of friendship was pretty and in full bloom!
We reached Monterosso!  But all restaurants were closed (off season), so we just had some beverage and pastry in a local pub, with a few male locals staring at us.

I had to say I enjoyed the hike!  The rain did not really bother me that much.  I am pretty thankful!!

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