Friday, May 29, 2020

Arriving in Monterosso al Mare (Cinque Terre) and Hiking to Vernazza

We catch a flight from Frankfurt to Milan and take the train from Milan to Monterosso al Mare, the northernmost town in Cinque Terre, on the Mediterranean between Genoa and Pisa.  On arrival, we drop our luggage off at Hotel Villa Steno, where we stay and truly enjoy our visit every year, and start up the trail to Vernazza, the next town south.

 A few quick views of Monterosso

Heading to Vernazza

The trail leads up from Monterosso's old town, heading quickly up to the ridge along the Mediterranean and then along the ridge for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours (individual speeds and times may vary) to Vernazza.  Along the way are tempting views of the sea, the coast, Monterosso in the rear, and Vernazza ahead.

 Along the path

We've done this hike every year for the last ten or so years and it never ceases to show us new sights and to offer us new delights.

 Continuing the hike

Soon, Vernaza starts to appear in the distance, growing larger and larger as we approach, rounding corners and getting quick peeks of the city through the trees.

 Vernazza growing closer

Entering Vernazza, we descend the steps through the narrow city streets to the piazza at the harbor, where people are playing in the water and relaxing in the cafes.

 Streets and piazzas of Vernazza

Catching the train back to Monterosso, we find that an art show has set up in Piazza Garibaldi, between the train station and our hotel.

 Art on the way back

We've had another great introduction to Cinque Terre and are ready for a few days of exploration and fine dining on delicious treats fresh from the sea.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

An Afternoon in Frankfurt, Germany

As we exit the main train station in Frankfurt, we find the street leading to the train station converted into a market with all kind of tempting delicacies.

 Street market outside train station

From there, we pass the Euro sculptures outside the European Central Bank.

Euro sculpture on arrival and a little later

Our next stop is the Gummi Bear store to load up on candy to take home.

Gummi bear store

Down the street, another market is evenly split between produce and food to go and food (and beer) to consume on the spot.

 To go and for here

A few blocks past the market, the Frankfurt Cathedral has pictures showing the extend of the damage after World War II and the relics that survived.

 Frankfurt Cathedral

A few more blocks along, the Römer is a medieval building that was sold to the city by the Römer family in 1405 for use as the Frankfurt city hall.  The hall is currently used by the city for functions and sits in a beautiful square.

 Römer and nearby buildings

Walking down the Zeil shopping promenade, we find people enjoying the day and some making music for others.

 Music on the shopping promenade

Just off the promenade, the Frankfurt Kleinmarkthalle offers indoor shopping and dining, with 156 market stalls that have been operating since 1879.


Nearby, we find an Alsace Wine Festival in full swing in a small square.  We settle in, listen to the music, and purchase dinner at the stalls:  mussels, a herring sandwich, and a bottle of Riesling.

Alsace festival and dinner

It's been a great afternoon in Frankfurt!

Returning to the train station