Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Fine Day in Portofino

On one of the two good weather days in Genoa, Easter Sunday Pasqua, we decided to go on the Portofino headland walk, correctly reasoning from past experience in Apulia here and here that Easter Monday Pasquetta would be more crowded.

We took an early train to Camogli, got on the trail right way, and headed south up the hill.  There was no one else on the trail. Towards the southern end, the trail turned to the east.  We found ourselves walking on the edge of steep slopes going right down to the water.  I had to learn to really use chains.  I used more chains than my whole life combined by an order of magnitude.  I dawned on me the meaning of the label on the map "passo del bacio"; walk of the kisses; one is kissing the face of the cliff.   We were getting passed by the several other folks who were behind us on the trail.  I was beginning to think the trail is more than I can handle...

Then we went down to the cove monastery of San Fruttuoso and saw almost everyone of the hikers that passed us -- I wasn't exactly left in the dust, what relief....  From San Fruttuoso, you have to go over another hill (~275m) to reach Portofino.  There were many people walking on this side; hundreds.  Portofino itself was anti-climatical.  It is physically minuscule compared to its fame. 

From Portofino, we walked on the trail north to Paraggi, then to Santa Margherita Ligure.  Santa Margherita Ligure was even more packed than Portofino, and deservedly so.  We were very happy for everyone that it turned out to be such good weather for the holiday.  The whole day, we heard German once and French twice.  Everyone else is Italian.  One team we spoke to came from Milan.

All in all, it was the best of day of the whole trip so far.


Out the door at 6:55 in order to catch our 7:11 train to Camogli.
Genoa, Italy

The sun is up but not yet over the hills as we pass Rapallo where Sun-Ling gets a shot of the setting full moon.
On the train towards Portofino, Italy

Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

We get off the train and soon enter Parco di Portofino as we follow the trail markers to San Roco and San Fruttuoso.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

It's after 8:00 am and the sun is still not over the hills.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

After San Roco we have some views back to just departed Camogli and to Genoa in the distance.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

See a bench, take a break.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

We turn east at Batterie and the hills are still blocking the sun.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

The rocks are wet and lengths of chains bolted to the sheer face keep us from slipping off the slopes and plunging to our deaths on the rocks below.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

More chains for a treacherous uphill.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

And it's worth it. After we turn a corner, the sun is shining, the water is shimmering.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

I have become an "expert of the chains".
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

We now have an easy descent through pines and olive trees to the Church of San Fruttuoso in a beautiful cove. It's somewhat crowded as it's a small place and is much more accessible (no chains) from the Portofino side.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Uphill to a viewpoint.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Then a very fine ridge walk down to Portofino with water views on two sides.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

And there is the tiny village of Portofino.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

But a long long flight of downhill steps to get there.
Walking to Portofino, Liguria, Italy

And that's it. We are underwhelmed by Portofino. But it was a great walk....so far.
Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Locals abound. Enjoying the best day of Spring so far.
Portofino, Liguria, Italy

Walking to Santa Margherita, Liguria, Italy

And finally, over the hill to Paraggi (no photo) and then Santa Margherita where the locals are strolling along the harbor.
Santa Margherita, Liguria, Italy

Santa Margherita, Liguria, Italy

Santa Margherita, Liguria, Italy



2 comments:

Kathy said...

That sounds like one scary hike! But gorgeous views.

john said...

@Kathy - Well of course I tried to use the most scary photos, but it was quite technical; no children or out-of-shape visiting in-laws on the first section for sure. -john