A Travellerspoint blog

Cinque Terre

The tour of Italy begins... with consequences

sunny

Cinque Terre... what a cracking place! So far we have had a few ups and downs in italy...

VIEWS;

Positive: We have possibly the best apartment and view in the whole of Manarola (in the photos). Pretty hard to leave the apartment with the place we have.
Negative: You need to climb about 100 stairs and a few hundred metres up to get to the view

WATER;

Positive; Awesome coastal waters and our swimming hole has some awesome reefs with plenty of large fish and other sea animals. Hardly ever busy so the place is practically ours.
Negative; Getting stung by a jellyfish so now I have a nice sting mark on my chest that won't go away... plus the a stinging feeling that lasted about 2 hours

FOOD;

Positive; They know how to make focaccia's and pastas...
Negative; They have done a very bad job with the pizza's thus far. An italian cooking pizza with pre-made bases and not in a pizza oven. Surely nonna wouldn't approve of that.

TREKS;

Positive; Plenty of nature treks across mountains over the water. Pick the harder treks and the tourists disappear...
Negative; Getting stung by a bee (doesn't sound that bad unless your allergic to them like me). Usually not a problem except we where only 3km into our 7km trek and all the medication was at home - at the top of the hill!

ICE-CREAM;

Positive; Heaps of Amarena ice cream
Negative; Stomach size

CINQUE TERRE;

Positive; An awesome place
Negative; We have to leave
Counter Negative; We get to go to Tuscany next

Posted by astroalex 10:38 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

Checkpoint #1

Trip so far

Instead of tracking km's travelled, as that is nearly impossible, I decided to track the modes of transport and other note worthy items along the trip. Here is the running summary..

Planes taken: 11
Boats: 2
Trains: 15
Buses: 8
Beds Slept in: 18
Taxis: 22
Bikes Hired: 2
Road Trips: 2
Treks: 3
Near Death experiences: 1 to jus
Muggings: 0
Wine Drunken: ?
Face Shaves: 1 to alex, 0 to jus
Pizzas eaten: 4

Posted by astroalex 14:11 Tagged the world Comments (1)

Madrid

Underrated!

sunny

Ola!

This place dominates over Barca... better food, cheaper drinks and less tourists (I consider myself a local now that I have been here for two weeks and my spanish vocabulary has extended to over 20 words).

Market food the way to go here... think of Paddy markets on steroids with the best quality you could imagine (except the beed). For some reason they managed to butcher the beef but everything else is great.

Weather is also cracking, only one complaint! I only booked in two nights in Madrid and should have stayed for a least a week to sample the thousands tapas and wine bars.

Last thing to do before I leave is check out the Real Madrid stadium...

Gracias!

Posted by astroalex 00:23 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Ahhh Rioja

Wine for brekky

sunny

You gotta love the way the spanish do things... wake up at 10... late breakfast (vino optional), then tapas lunch (wine mandatory), then late dinner (wine is the dinner).

Rioja, the best wine region in Spain. Good selection of 10 yr old wine... ranging from $2 to $10 for the top shelf. We are staying at a private vineyard and probably heard my favourite quote of the trip so far. "Just help yourself to the cellar and we can sort it out when you leave". Lucky the cellar only has 200,000 bottles...

This is where we get to the bit about Australia sucking... 49% tax to bring wine in!!!

In addition to wine, some cracking mountains to climb up as well.

Posted by astroalex 06:23 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Madrid

So many Tapas

it has been a while since a post has been made. Mainly due to the fact there are so many tapas bars to try and reds to drink.

The markets here are amazing, fresh food, croquettes, oysters, beers and of course the best selection of ham. I spent half the day today trying to understand the various hams. Apparently, iberico hams (the caviar of ham) is young pigs that have eaten sweet acorns for half their life, hence the nutty flavour in the ham. At 125 Euro a kilo, it better taste good.

Madrid rocks, dinner at about midnight and jazz bars and pubs everywhere. Would be a candidate to live for sure...

Posted by astroalex 10:02 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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