Riomaggiore (Cinque Terre, Italy)

The unofficial headquarters of the five cites (Cinque Terre) on the Northwestern Italian Coast is Riomaggiore. Our bed and breakfast was located on the opposite side (in Monterosso al Mare) so we never had the pleasure of exploring Riomaggiore except from afar while taking a boat ride to give us better views of the five coastal cities.

Riomaggiore (Cinque Terre, Italy)

Riomaggiore (Cinque Terre, Italy)

Is it summer yet? It’s only 40 something here in Chicago today so I don’t think Mother Nature got the memo. As a result, I stayed home most of the weekend (even sold my Cubs tickets yesterday since I didn’t feel like sitting out in the cold temps for four hours) with hopes of catching up on work and the blog. Unfortunately, my router/modem had other ideas and is being a major pain in my ass – my upload speeds which used to hover around 4 mbs range but all of a sudden within the past ten days its been less than 1 mbs which means anytime I try to upload anything website times out. I’m losing patience quickly!! Anyone better with techie stuff and know what I’m supposed to do here?

The image above I had to shrink the quality pretty drastically just to get it to load properly which is mighty annoying!!!

Riomaggiore from a Sailboat in Cinque Terre

While in Cinque Terre we spent an afternoon cruising in Mediterranean Sea. The weather for most of the day was pristine until a late afternoon storm kicked up some rain for a brief spell. Otherwise the views we had overlooking the five cities from the deck of a boat were amazing. This is the ‘first’ of the five cities of the Cinque Terre – Riomaggiore – and is often cited as being the most beautiful of all the cities in the chain (some say it is the most beautiful city in all of Italy). I’m not doubting that given all the colorful houses and at dusk I’m sure it looks amazing. We unfortunately were unable to spend an evening there as it sold out long before we started planning our trip a mere months before. We stayed in Monterosso which is on the other side several miles away and which in my opinion was just as beautiful.

Riomaggiore from a Sailboat in Cinque Terre (Italy)

Riomaggiore Cinque Terre Italy

Alot of people take a day and hike the five villages of Cinque Terre from Monterosso to Riomaggiore but unfortunately the rains from 2011 wiped out a large chunk of the ‘easy’ hiking path cut along the coast. As a result the hiking route was a much more lengthy (with many more up/down hills) that would have been challenging for even the fastest hikers – let alone two city folks from Chicago. That’s the primary reason we decided to go the boating route which was much, much more relaxing. I think it was a good choice!

The Future of Flying….and I’m not looking forward to it

This morning on a private jet Gogo – the company that has brought wifi to thousands of planes in the air – unveiled their newest technology….an app that will allow passengers to text and talk while thousands of feet in the air. Thus, the future of flying involves hearing that annoying conversation at an ‘outside’ voice level instead of the current (relatively) quiet and peaceful hum of airplane engines. This is the technology I knew would ultimately get here but I’m dreading the roll out of it. Why is it necessary? Can we not go 3 – 4 hours without being on the phone? The wifi technology allowed for the use of email, Facebook Messenger or other ways to stay in contact if in that rare instance it was absolutely necessary to be somewhat available but in all reality who is that important? Maybe the people on private jets need the technology but if you are flying commercial like me and coach at that you are not that crucial and neither is your conversation. Do what I do and take the time to focus on reading a good book without all the distractions – TV, music, email, etc… – that seems to get in the way in our day to day life.

Photo of the Day – Twilight in Cinque Terre

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I snuck over a fence that walled this path off from the main trail. This is the usual trail along the Mediterranean Sea that most walk from Monterrosso to Vernazza. However, because of the 2011 floods that hit the area the trail was still under construction when we visited in April. I was a bit nervous when I crawled under the fence and had to scamper over some downed trees to get to this viewpoint. However, watching the moonrise over the Mediterranean was worth it. In the distance you can see the towns of Volastra, Manarola and Riomaggiore.