The hills are…steep

Vernazza terraced slopes

We got our hiking tickets or park-entry permits so that we could leave the town and explore, just a wee bit, the foot-trails for which this area is famous. Actually, we set out on one trail, which took us high above Vernazza, and among the agricultural terraces I’ve been admiring from below. A few terraces had kitchen-gardens, with tomatoes, peppers, and other vegg, plus crops like olives and grapes. Among the rocks stacked (not mortared) to make the retaining walls, I often saw oregano, or perhaps its cousin marjoram (not sure I can distinguish; both are Origanum spp.). I do not know how old the terraces are, but many are currently being maintained.

Tram rail trail

Extending quite a distance up and around the hill is a single-rail tram(?), rather like a motorized wheelbarrow that can deal with the steep slope. For a bit, its rail followed the foot-path we traversed.

Tram rail vehicle

The tram-rail vehicle is quite something, with a motor, seat, and cargo containers that are like trailer-carts bringing up the rear (if going uphill). Personally, I prefer the trails; riding that thing looks just plain…scary.

Glamour shot pier

For another sense of popular activities here, Vernazza’s harbor-side is a popular place for Asian women in fancy dresses to get their pictures taken with their fella. Or that’s what we assume. Not all are in white, like this lady; we saw one in a fuchsia dress.

Almost forgot to mention that this morning when we checked the harbor before we sat down to b’fast, we several schools of fish both in the harbor (also sea urchins) and along the pier where the taxi-shuttles pull up for passengers to debark and climb on. Down on the bottom a kindly local fellow pointed out a barracuda, long and skinny, on patrol we thought but not apparently on the hunt. FEESH!

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