When it comes to Cinque Terre, I think I can let the photos speak for themselves — with one major disclaimer: You’re going to feel the burn if you want to experience those views! The current trail detour that takes you from Manarola to Corniglia is hella vertical and we were completely soaked through our jeans by the time we made it up to the vineyards. The trails between the other towns were all pretty challenging as well, though that must partly reflect our state of fitness as we saw some rockstar olderfolks powering up the endless stairs.
Gui eagerly pulled back the curtain covering the window of our Matterhorn-view hotel room after our alarm went off early Saturday morning and saw… nothing. Well, not exactly nothing: We could see the town of Zermatt, complete with its adorable Swiss chalets, but the spot where the Matterhorn should be famously looming over the town was covered in clouds.
After the car debacle, my dad had the unhappy task of taking the bus back to Inverness Friday morning to try to procure another rental car to transport us back to Edinburgh to catch our flights Sunday morning. A bit drained, my mom decided to spend the day relaxing at our adorable Airbnb, leaving Gui, my sister and me to craft a plan for the afternoon. Gui discovered at roughly 11:30am that the only bus of the day that would take us onto the Isle of Skye would come through Dornie in 20 minutes, so we layered up, filled our water bottles and dashed to the stop. The bus showed up about 10 minutes behind schedule — it’s amazing how much lateness freaks me out after my year and a half in Switzerland — and we climbed aboard, but not before embarrassing ourselves by asking for roundtrip tickets and then realizing we didn’t have enough cash to cover the cost. Whoops.
Our first house guest arrived from London late Friday night with grand plans to spend the weekend hiking the nearby mountains and sailing Lake Geneva, but Saturday’s weather refused to cooperate (rain, rain and more rain). When we woke up Sunday to a forecast predicting a few dry hours, we shoved some breakfast down our throats, took a quick bus ride to the Swiss-French border and walked past the security hut into France. We arrived at the foot of Mont Salève a few minutes later, determined to get a hike in before the sky opened up again.