Naarden and the road to Cinque Terre

On our way back to Amsterdam to catch a flight to Italy we stopped off in Naarden. The quaint historic centre of Naarden lies within the ramparts and bastions of the starlike fortification built by the Dutch after regaining control from the Spanish in the early 17th century. 

The outlay is another example of French architect Vauban's design with a few extra dams and locks to keep the seawater at bay thrown in. The cobblestoned streets are leading along beautiful dutch facades, gorgeous shops and cafés. The roof of the Grote Kerk (Big Church) was built by the local fishermen from 1600 planks of oak. It’s basically an upside-down boat. Once in place it was left to dry for several years before meticulously painted.

So far we were enjoying ourselves, and headed excitedly to the airport the next morning. We checked in - everything at Schiphole airport is automatic, even the baggage drop off is self service - and waited to board the plane. Then we experienced the “cinque terrors” of travel. Our flight was cancelled due to bad weather. But KLM had it organised and we were given vouchers for a shuttle, hotel for the night and all meals, and a small bag with toiletries. The only thing we didn’t have were fresh clothes. The weather in Amsterdam was quite grey and rainy and the forecast for Cinque Terre not much better.

The next day we arrived in Genoa but our suitcase didn’t and we stood in a row of people with the same problem. Utter confusion on both sides. After filling in details and descriptions of our luggage we managed to find the right bus to the train station. Unfortunately the train to Cinque Terre was also delayed, but on the positive side, the weather was much better than expected.

4 days later - our suitcase is still missing and our clothes are not any fresher, although we bought a few necessary items. However there seem to be only tourist/souvenir type shops with T-shirts promoting Cinque Terre or shops with beautiful linen shirts and dresses which are not exactly practical for climbing the steep walking paths of CT or for boating activities on the canals.

But, who cares when the Italian sun is shining, the Mediterranean is sparkling and the Campari cocktails cold and fruity.

© Austin Robinson 2019