It was relatively calm this evening, though the wind was fierce enough around the head of the strand. As the surfers packed up, there was plenty of space for some wide & long exposures.
Bloomin midges up early searching for breakfast 😫
I stayed just long enough to look up the beach towards the castle, then glanced behind me to see what was going on.
And back again.
The midges had had their lot! Now it was time for my breakfast.
As the sun was going down and warming up the rocks below St Peter’s Church, I wondered what that huge tanker had been doing there all day, and would it ever leave.
Then suddenly it slid out of view, only to return a few moments later.
My last evening at Portovenere. I will be back, once the tourist season has quietened down.
Well, one of them 😉. Byron’s (now collapsed) Grotto lies beneath this stone framed window that overlooks the Bay of Poets. Certainly peaceful shortly after 6 am in early June, but no doubt thronging with sunbathers and boats as the day grew hotter.
By now the sun had well and truly risen. After days of non-stop sunshine and intense blue skies, a different light appeared.
For days not a cloud in sight, but when I went out early on my first morning in Portovenere, the weather looked set to change. Would those clouds drop and block the early morning sun?
The boats bobbing up and down in the foreground, constantly changing position, were mesmerising.
I waited in the morning silence for the lights to go off and for the sun to come up over the horizon behind me and light up the palazzata a mare. Not a soul in sight.
Gradually the light and sky changed.
But it was clear that on this particular morning, the sun was not going to tinge the buildings with its early morning light, as the clouds had dropped behind me.
Worth the wait nonetheless.
Up at 4.30, to wait for the early morning sun to light up the palazzata a mare in Portovenere. Far too early, considering that dawn was still an hour away, and the palazzata a couple of minutes’ walk. But the peace and quiet that comes with those early morning blues is unmissable 😉
In the village, the main street
The tall coloured buildings along the seafront, the palazzata a mare:
Looking across the Bay at St Peter’s Church from a spot not far from the Castle, I found it easy in the summer heat to imagine Byron swimming here. It was harder to visualise the sudden storm here in which Shelley is said to have drowned.
It’s not all that difficult – there are nooks and crannies where you can shelter from the scorching sun without having to cram into the shade of a bar along with the beer-drinking crowds.
You can read about the Atlantic Reach project here. The proceeds are going to the Samaritans.
My contributions to the project are below.
I hadn’t planned to shoot a series of postcards 😩, but that’s pretty much how things turned out in the first days of my first visit ever to Cinque Terre and Portovenere.
But once the tourists and the heat have subsided, I will be back, and I will enjoy the cool and peaceful dawns, the sea breeze, and have time to seek out a few less clichéd and crowded corners of this beautiful part of Italy.
A word to photographers: go on your own, or with 1 or 2 like-minded spirits. It’s so easy to get around – just be prepared for a fair bit of walking up and down stairs and hillside paths 😉
Instead of cooling off in the shade, we went trudging around in the afternoon heat. No wonder shuttered windows look so appealing in the summer sun.
Another attractive seaside village, although not exactly far from the maddening crowds, given the season and the weather. Here and there, vying for tripod or selfie space at the blue hour goes with the terrain.
… the Scottish seaside 😎
In the best possible company 😉
surrounded by welcoming signs 😳
Guarded by sentinels
and picnicking with the seagulls 😲
Some find it hot…
Others feel the chill
And some go paddling
Homeward bound at dusk
PS Shoulder out of action for another 6-9 months, making do with my phone.