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Manarola

Adorable Chick

ITALY, GREECE & MONTENEGRO Diary : Day 3 - 04th May 2018

The Manarola Town/village is the 4th hamlet of the Cinque Terre (lands), running from North to South along the western coast of Italy. Known for its sweet wine, the iconic picture of this colourful village displays its buildings huddled atop a big mound of rock. Its harbour features a boat pier and a swimming area. The surrounding mountains are home to terraced vine yards running great lengths. Few of these 5 villages are often referred to as a town due to the development and change they have undergone over the years. The first settlements were found on the hill top, which gradually moved towards the sea to explore possibilities of better life.

We decided to skip the town of Corniglia, which lies in-between Vernazza and Manarola due to lack of time. The train from Vernazza got us to Manarola within half an hour. We reached here in time for lunch. The platform of the train station was open to the beach side. Part of the train stood inside a tunnel. We had to pass through a pedestrian tunnel to get to the village centre.

The structure & colour of the buildings were similar to that in Vernazza (read VERNAZZA). However, the layout was a bit different. Clearly the town ran from top portion of a hill to the sea, with its buildings hugging one another and the streets curving gently up & down mounds. With many views points, walking trails and the best wine, there is no reason to miss this town. There was a two-way stair case in the centre connecting one side to the other. We had to cross this to get to the sea side. The shops on either sides displayed various colourful objects. One of the shops displaying unique clocks, wall hangings and other colourful stuff caught our attention. We had another 18 days of the tour to go, so we didn't load ourselves with purchases.

Tidy Desk

As we got closer to the sea side, we noticed that at least one boat lay anchored at the foot of each building that we passed. We were welcomed by a huge seagull that had perched itself on one of the boats. Restaurants on the road side were decorated aesthetically with beautiful, colourful flowers. It was amazing to note how little spaces were so well managed and cleanly maintained. Sloping down we got soon got to a flat cemented land near the sea side.

To our right stood a fortress type, white fenced, stone walking trail, that zig zagged all the way along the mountain side to the top. Bunches of green stood out randomly adorning the rugged mountain areas in-between. We stood on a cemented, rectangular, open ramp that was fenced on its side facing the water.

Looking over these railings, we were smitten by the sight of the azure green waters down below. The entire scene created such a lovely colour code in front of us. A well controlled crowd was scattered all over the place. The beautiful rock formations caused due to the water slapping them for centuries, were noteworthy. We spotted a restaurant on the hill top, amidst the walking trail. Unfortunately, we didn't have time on hands to explore that side of the mountain. Walking further down, we found a ramp sloping to reach the sea side. We continued our walk on it, crossing a few more beautiful boats until we hit the huge rocks sitting on the waters of the Ligurian Sea.

The iconic picture of MANAROLA flashed right in front of us at this point. We clicked as many pictures as possible. It was a really rocky experience. The cemented ramp that we had crossed seemed so distant from here.