Cinque Terre: Manarola + Monterosso + Vernazza


Woke up extra early to walk up half a mountain to get a reservation at this restaurant I saw while I was coming down the hill a couple of nights before.




Some vista point while climbing up the hill.




Yet another.




Some building near that restaurant.




More view stuff.  I think I was coming down the hill after eating.. sorry no pics of the food… I do have some but the food was underwhelming and overpriced.  maybe my expectation was too high.




Just about to get on a boat.




On a boat from Manarola to Monterosso.




I think that’s Corniglia.




I THINK that’s Volastra.




Vernazza.  I think they call it a castle. Looks like a fort to me.




“downtown” Monterosso.




Some church.




Eye of Providence in that church.  Why is it there?








Oh I am at Vernazza.




Cinque Terreans having mass.




See the flower?




I passed by some restaurant while climbing up Vernazza yesterday and passed by a restaurant with amazing Pesto smell.  BTW, Pesto is from Cinque Terra, forgot which village it was.




I am yards away from the restaurant and there were tons of photographers and a few painters at this vista spot during sunset.




So, although I took a bunch of photos at this same spot the night before, so I joined in.




The food wasn’t too expensive but was, again, underwhelming.  My expectation was really really high this time because the food smelled great last night and it tasted touristy this night.

Quiz:  What is that thing in the pic above the fold?

  • Phonow

    re quz. a particle from hadron collider about to go supernova? the eye of providence at night?

    • etane

      good imagination on the collider. that eye pic was shot in the afternoon. never understood white people’s fascination with pyramids and eyes in pyramids.

      • Phonow

        pyramid/eye: a pyramid is a symbol of hierarchy– top dog needs to see who he is trickling down on.

        am trying to think of symbols asians are fascinated with. coming up blank. lol.

        • etane

          chinese symbols… i saw this documentary on general tso’s chicken on netflix. it’s pretty good. probably not as good as the thrashing going on at now.

          dragons, phoenix, ying/yang, panda express…

          • Phonow

            Jennifer Lee gave a funny Ted talk on general tso’s chicken–it’s on youtube. Strangely enough, I have never noticed general tso’s chicken on menus here.

            ok. i tried googling it, and it appears to be served in a few restaurants here. I’ve never had the dish.

            i admit i love Panda’s Express. It’s all tasty! I don’t know what the brown goop on to their chow fun is, but I love it. haha. I’m like grandpa on this video:

          • etane

            yah jen lee did the general tso documentary i talked about in previous post. the documentary talked about not only the origin of cho’s chicken but also about the evolution and decimination of americanized chinese food – how it took on a life of its own. so, although i don’t particularly enjoy americanized chinese food, i have a bit more appreciation for it after watching the documentary.

            although, i still have to say, most fusion food just don’t work. panda express, i don’t know whether their quality is not as good as it used to be or my taste buds’ changed but i can’t quite stomach it as i used to. it was a staple during college. not just panda express but also busy bee which is another american chinese place near on campus. when i was in paris, i went to a restaurant that served fusion french/korean/japanese food. prefix $100 per person. i thought i tasted something a chef did for as an experiment in school.

            i never have good luck with fusion especially when the chef is trying to mix something asian with european.

          • Phonow

            Did you go to school (college?) in Paris? I remember you telling me once you went to (high school?) in Taiwan.

            I have never been to Asia– so i don’t really know if the Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Filipino/Vietnamese/Thai foods I eat are Americanized. I always assumed–well, if the owner/waitresses are speaking C/J/K/F/V/T, it MUST be authentic. lol. Maybe not.

            I am having difficulty defining what is or is not fusion food. If I make a kim chee burger, or if I fry tempura batter with american parsley, is that fusion? French roll with vietnamese curry? Where is the line, if any, drawn?

            TO be clear, I understand what you mean by lousy fusion restaurants. i don’t care for fusion food–if the cook, um, *tries too hard*. For example, if someone tries to throw raw fish on a pizza. Not good. French/Korean/Japanese fusion food restaurant you mentioned sounds like the chef is trying too hard. haha.

          • etane

            i didn’t go to school in paris but andrien did! i did some grade school in taiwan.

            no wonder you love spam cuz u never had real asian food before! jk.

            so i was speaking more to those $$$ fusion restaurants in my previous post. however, there are some food truck fusion food and recently lots of $$ fusion restaurants opened in my area. you know the kimchi burger, kimchi quesadilla types. it’s one thing that they cook it very well then it’s perhaps worth the premium. it’s another thing to charge me triple for the same dish i can buy at a chinese restaurant except it’s donned a fancy name plus a dash of sriracha sauce. i guess it’s a food hipster thing.

            last time i was in taiwan, an americanized japanese restaurant just opened up in taipei. and, it was very successful. actually, any food that has the label “from america” does very well at least during it’s grand opening phase. so, it was taiwan’s foray into dynamite and dragon rolls. i honestly thought about opening an american sushi and maybe a souplantation type restaurant in taiwan but thought it wouldn’t work but who knew it would take off. i guess it’s all in the sizzle.

          • Phonow

            re: matriculating in paris: i read: ” but also busy bee which is another american chinese place near on campus. when i was in paris.” haha. Pho’s reading comprehension shows need for improvement. :)

            it’s hurricane season in balmy hawaii. Spam “glorious spam!” is flying off the shelves. Trop storm Guillermo hits Hawaii Island on Wednesday, and Oahu on Thursday. Am hoping for the best.

            yeah, I hear you re $$$ fusion restaurants. me, I like the ma n pa’s. little hole in the walls that put out amazing food. i mean, i like alan wongs as much as the obamas, but for $100+, i can eat out all week.

            Quit your job, and open a dim sum or Pho restaurant on any of the outer islands in Hawaii. :) Honolulu might be saturated, but the outer islands are hurting. You’ll never have time to sleep again, but people will love you.

            Heck, webattorney (he lived in Honolulu for a while) told me that Southern Cal’s dim sum is “not good, not cheap.” Open dim sum restaurant in Cal.

          • etane

            haha that paris statement is in a different sentence!

            dimsum restaurant isn’t easy. you need to hire the right chefs. you can’t just put some shrimp in pastry and call it dimsum like you could in…. hawaii haha. a hole in the wall dim sum place near me just closed down last month. that place was really good and cheap too. so, good dimsum that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg are around but they are not as well known as the more famous chain store ones like capital seafood. and, unfortunately, these smaller ones are less successful too.

            i could never open a restaurant i don’t think. i like to have a life outside of work and restaurants is hard to do…being your own boss is hard to do. have to deal with health codes, licenses, managing shifts, cooks.. i mean i’ve seen those restaurant shows on tv where they dramatize the chaos in the kitchen. not an enviable position to be in. in fact, i don’t think i’d do well in the service industry.

            you, however, have background with food not bombs. that’s not too far from opening up a vegan pho spot = P

          • Phonow

            haha. darn. there IS a difference btw a period and a comma.

            yeah, restaurant business is too hard. esp the small ma n pa’s. they go to sleep late and wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning to start all over again. There is one pho place i loved–watched their little girls grow up. I know one is a pharmacist & i think the other a CPA (not sure). They worked so hard and had to close– but not before both girls got a good education & a foot up in life.

            hmm, vegan pho? there is a part of me that wants to try… will tell you if i actually do. lol. We did have a good Chinese vegan restaurant here. very good dim sum. It lost money, but the owner kept it open for his mother. (mom was vegan–Buddhist) His other restaurant made enough money it was okay. :)

            No dim sum restaurant for me. haha I tried making sticky rice w/pork wrapped in lotus leaf. Pressure cooked it WAY too long. haha. the rice might as well been made of flour. :( too heart broken to try again.

            Haha. don’t knock Hawaii’s dim sum restaurants until you give it a go! mmm. picture of hawaii’s shrimp put in pastry:

          • etane

            that’s called ha gar! or xia jiao!

            maybe that hawaiian dimsum restaurant stole that picture from a california restaurant’s website.

            that place is called legend seafood because they are there to see food they only heard about from distant land such as california.

            which reminds me once my friend picked up his friend at the airport. she just arrived from new york. and, every other word coming out of her mouth is “this is not as good as new york”. just the same, when i go to hawaii, i will be saying “this is not as good as california”.

            my boss happens to be in hawaii right now for a 2 week family vacation. that’s why i didn’t come to work until 10am this morning. well, got a bit of sun stroke yesterday, so sleeping in really helps. actually, coulda stayed home if i wanted to… hmm…

          • Phonow

            i was just looking up the origin of the word “manapua,” which is what hawaii people call char siu bao. One guy explained it as “Char siu bao immediately became a favorite among the locals, and was given the name
            manapua, or mea ono pua’a (“mea ono” for cake or pastry, and “pua’a for pork).” “mea ono” and “pua’a” is Hawaiian (language)

            lol. yeah, our taste buds are “trained” according to what we grew up with. But for exotic foods, we are less biased. For example, i can easily say that indian or Mexican food is much better/cheaper on the mainland (as more Mexicans move here–the quality is improving).

            Oh dear. your boss may experience a bit of trop storm guillermo. The storm has weakened, but still expecting heavy rain–and some parks have closed. Hope they still have a great time nevertheless. (tell them to eat at Legend and that you heard the dim sum is much better than California’s).

            Gads what were you doing to get sun stroke? (if you are on salary, go home lol)

          • etane

            manapua = “delicious pork thing.” (wiki)

            by definition, isn’t this also manapua?


            so you speak hawaiian? how do you say “i have sunstroke and am on salary so adios”? i was playing basketball after work with coworkers. every tuesday. my white complexion doesn’t do well in the heat/sun. the 10 lbs i packed on during this past year doesn’t help either.

            i previously arranged a 2pm meeting so have to stay here to prepare for it. will start any minute now.

            i am so sorry that a storm is raining on my boss’ vacation.

          • Phonow

            in pidgin english, tell whoeva “i no feel good, so, laters.”

            long version: “ho man, i no feel good. i wen get sunstroke yestadey. i all bust up. so den i goin’ fo stay go. laters.”

            oh, and by the way, the kalua pig recipe sucks–way too much liquid smoke. will look up a good recipe if you want one.

            lol. mea ono pua’a has to be taken in context–if the hawaiian guy went up to a chinese vendor, he was asking for the tasty pork thing with cake/pastry. it’s like me going to a mexican restaurant and asking for pork with green sauce. lol

          • etane

            the dialect is familiar to indonesian/malaysian/singaporean english. and, the enunciation sounds similar to pikey from that movie snatach.

            in fact, the ryan guy looks like he’s really in character for the brad pitt character in snatch. you’ve seen the fight scene in the farm where he rips off his shirt and so on so on…

            what’s equivalent to pork with green sauce? chile verde asado?

          • Phonow

            i meant chile verde. pork cooked in tomatillo sauce. i had to look up asado (roasted). is there a difference between chile verde and chile verde asado? is it whether or not they roast (vs boil) their tomatillos?

            interesting. while in grad school, a person from alaska asked me if i was from indonesia. She said that although I spoke standard english, i had an accent she could not place.

            i looked up indonesian recipes on youtube, hoping to find an authentic indonesian speaking english. i found a person named mariska lim. To me it sounds like a filipino accent. who knows? mariska may be a Philippine national of korean descent living in indonesia. :)

            lol. the posturing of two males about to fight is universal. this video reminds me of KH– before and after mod steps in.

          • etane

            no matter how big or small that bird gets, his talons are scary as f*.

            indonesian english has similar pace, cadence, mannerism as hawaiian pidgin english. i actually don’t know how tagolog sounds.

            i think i am ‘accentless’ but my lack of accent is actually considered an accent by people who actually have accents. like when i am in taiwan people think i sound like american because i don’t have a taiwanese accent, and taiwanese people in america think i sound cantonese. i cannot win. don’t they know they are the ones with accents?

            and i don’t really speak spanish i just know how to read off the menu haha.

          • Phonow

            were you born n raised in taiwan? i always considered you 2nd generation–with english being your first language.

            here’s a filipino speaking english:

          • etane

            born in taiwan raised in ca. i suppose i am first gen. my mom would be first gen too but we came about the same time. so i am still first gen? not sure how this works.

            i only heard that flip say broccoli and beef in english and his enunciation kinda sounds french actually.

          • Phonow

            omg. lol. if you used the word “flip” in hawaii, it’s fighting words. i remember this debate happening on continental u.s. thought it was okay; hawaii and Philippines were upset at the use of the word. lol. i find myself flinching each time the word is used. Anyway, his accent was very thick, but i understood about 70% of it–enough to make his recipe. really wish he would get rid of the sound track. lol.

            hmm, i would consider you 1st generation–born in Taiwan. i’m not absolutely sure though. :)

            re accent: you’re in that grey area where you’re fluent, but “something” is not quite right. lol.

          • etane

            so kh is from hawaii? things are starting to make sense. cept i don’t think anyone ever called him a flip.

            i don’t understand why that word is so offensive. i think those tough guys are a wee sensitive about names.

            i would say my accent is “traditional”. older generation cuz i speak chinese mainly with my parents and relatives. younger generation has their own accent which i never picked up on since i hardly speak chinese to younger people. and, my relatives don’t have taiwanese accent hence…

          • Phonow

            lol. I mentioned that the *transformer owl* reminded me of KH (not the filipino recipe video). kh puffs up in regular conversation, then “makes small” when the mod steps in to break up the fight. have no idea where kh was born.

            the only members who lives/d in hawaii (that i know of) is webattorney, Ttt, MEL LIN, “something”Sam (female), maybe LAJane. LAJane is funny. She tries to give the impression that she is familiar with hawaiian words and concepts, but her usage is definitely wrong. lol. she sounds like she read a new age hippie book called “Huna: Ancient Hawaiian Secrets for Modern Living.” roll eyes.

   was going nuts over whether or not jordon clarkson (filipino/black mix) was considered asian. A person used the word “flip” and the debate began. lol. i guess “flip” is okay to use on the mainland u.s. Use the word flip in Hawaii, and you will get shocked/angry looks.

            Gosh. looks like a typhoon soudelor is about to hit taiwan. spooky. i hate el nino years.

            trop storm guillermo pretty much dissipated. yo boss has blue skies on his vacation.

          • etane

            i recall there were a lot of mamas in hawaii. like 5 that one day we started talking in forum when u mamas were going on and on about the storm or something.

            not a lot of people consider clarkson as asian cuz he doesn’t look asian and has a caucasian last name. so, he hasn’t endured the same backlash other asians experienced when on the basketball court. kinda interesting there were lots of race discussion during the past few days. off season banter.

            just my boss’ luck. guillermo dissapates but hurricane hits taiwan.

          • Phonow

            lol. i remember that. we were “outing” each other as females. i remember “sam”‘s name: it was findersam– don’t know if spelling is correct tho. i think it was just three of us in hawaii. wu kong joined in, but she is not from hawaii. iirc, you said you were female also. haha.

          • etane

            did you have a nice weekend? i said i was female? were you fooled? for how long? i think most people thought i am whitey there. kh kept saying i am white pretending to be asian. this was during 2012 i think.

          • Phonow

            had a nice weekend–relaxed at Hickam (air force base). Hickam is amazingly beautiful–sandy beaches & palm trees. Not crowded-since you need base privileges to enter.

            How was your weekend? Any photography? Any great LS double handed shaq dunks?

            hahhah. i am *very* sure that no one thought you were female. You stepped in when we were self-outing ourselves as female. it was a very “etane” thing to do. haha i can’t remember if anyone replied to you. strange how memory works. why do i forget most conversations, but remember that snippet?

            oh gd. I wish you were on KH is absolutely driving me nuts with his psycho troll accusations. you have a gift for “zingers.” other people try to reason with him.

            Kh thought you were white? haha. mod really should ban that guy. then again, kh is always good for laughs. Uncomfortable laughs, but laughs nevertheless. i notice that psalm emailed kh to come back to the portal. psalm is suffering from “size” problems. has twice the number of posts he does.

          • etane

            relaxing weekend. didn’t get to go to any military industrial complex base nor use my camera but did get to catch up on some photo posting from my trip which i am not done editing yet. just stay home, did some shopping, listen to music in the play room.

            i don’t remember so many mamas coming out at once. usually it’s a bunch of guys at that forum or younger fan girls. i felt maternaly inspired and wanted to join in with the storm preparation fun i guess.

            kh is great for killing time and so was that other guy i forgot his name. i went back to the forum last week a couple of times and kh was again going on about how great these white basketball players are. he’s really a big fan of white basketball players. i think his fave player when he was younger was kevin mchale. so every player that has same size and complexion as mchale is a diamond in a rough in his book.

          • Phonow

            I am sure it is by accident (cough cough), but the military has the best beaches on the island/s.

            mmm, am looking forward to more of your pictures. I haven’t commented on them, but they are lovely. They make me want to go there and see those sights in person. (& eat some of that trofie!)

            have you ever experienced a typhoon/hurricane? i never have, but they scare me. i remember Iniki (cat 4?), hitting Kauai. Just awful. you see, Iniki was supposed to pass by the islands. Instead, it veered up and sat on kauai for hours. Damn, and currently, Taiwan got hit bad. i can’t imagine that much rainfall in so short a time.

            haha. let me see if i can find the quote:

            KH “Forget Jeremy Lin. These hot sexy women are the MAIN ATTRACTION in Charlotte!
            jennylin: Interesting over the top comment. My gaydar blipped.

            hahaha. i live for moments like that. hmm, kh really does worship white bb players. hmm.

          • etane

            oh just remembered psalm used to back up kh’s assertion that i am whitey by saying i am pretending to be asian in order to hook up with asian girls in the forum haha… how did he know…

            thanks for the compliments = D

            i’ve experienced quite a few typhoons when i was in taiwan but i don’t think i have experienced one quite as strong as the one taiwan is going through right now. i’ve seem some ridiculous pics of stuff flying all over taiwan.. some really heavy things either in the streets or bent out of shape.

            jeanatte lynn said some funny shit back to kh too. they make me proud haha… yah that “sexy women” bit is a tad over the top. i mean, they weren’t exactly attractive females… well people’s tastes differ. kh did publish his colorful dating history in the past. honestly that did hit my gaydar too.

          • Phonow

            psalm strikes me as someone who wants to appear goody-goody, but is vain/insecure, like kh. in some ways, i am happy that a bunch of people followed him. haha. certain people, i was “praising the lord” that they left. But i miss brent, arseium12, and a few others.

            wind is bad, water is evil. it’s the flooding from the mountains, and waves from the ocean: major damage/danger. thank goodness you were not hurt in the typhoon/s.

            sometimes, those guys surprise me when they comment on a female’s beauty (hotness). Geez, such harsh standards. haha.

            i actually think that kh is “seething quiet” in real life. he gets his frustration out behind his keyboard. thank goodness he has an outlet. in other words, i wouldn’t want to meet him in a movie theater.

          • etane

            i am not a fan of jeremy the evangelical. so i am glad psalm took the holier than thou group with him not that it matters since i don’t go to jl often and can’t even participate there. yah he appears goody goody. he’s very much right wing conservative so he scares me.

            the water did some good for taiwan. it teared down all the buildings that were not built to code. so lots of builders who used inferior material to cut down on costs were caught earlier rather than later. this happened for years since tawian built a lot of new buildings during the past 20 yrs or so. but, i haven’t heard of any downed buildings during this typhoon eventhough the winds are much stronger this time around. so maybe the previous typhoons got builders too scared to go el cheapo.

            well guys and girls have different things that are attractive to them. (some) girls like the security thing and (some) guys like whatever it is that kh (claims to) like.

          • Phonow

            lol. it is still bright & sunny in Honolulu. Maybe tomorrow it will rain on yo boss.

            no, i do not speak hawaiian. you just pick up words here and there from different ethnic groups. Locals speak pidgin english, Sometimes i will slip into pidgin, then backspace, and reply to you in standard “engrish”. lol.

            Ryan Higa is from the Big Island of hawaii. he did a video in pidgin english: comedic, but the intonation is perfect.