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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cinque Terra and Catching up

I started this post on Tuesday, added to it on Wednesday, and it’s finally going up today{and blogger just deleted it at least once. here we go again}. It’s been crazy last couple of days. For that reason we're going to do a daily double today. Yep that’s right daily double coming right up (:

Cinque terra…beautiful, gorgeous, God’s marvelous creation. My friends and I decided not to go really early and take the hikes as they came. We took the train to the southernmost town {Riomaggiore} and then hiked the lover’s trail. There is a tradition where couples seal their love with putting a lock along the trail. I got to witness a couple locking their own lock to the trail. It had been their dream to come for a long time.

After walking around the 2nd town {Manarola} and watching other college student jumping off rocks, we headed on the train to the 3rd city. The trail between the 2nd and 3rd city was closed for repairs. After we got off the train we had to walk up a stair case that looked like the stairway to heaven. It was almost straight up in the eyes of someone who was sweating and trying not to get sun burnt.

After making it to the top we were in such a cute beach town {Corniglia} that we walked through multiple times before settling on foccicia bread. (Sense a theme here?) We then decided to hike down to the water and take a swim. We swam and relaxed on the rocks in the sun. Oh, to do that everyday!

We decided to start the trek from the 3rd to 4th city. This was a hiking trail! Ups and downs, tiny trails, and views of the sea we made the trip in under an hour. The sign said that it should take 1.5 hours and we set a decent pace.

We arrived in the 4th city {Vernazza} expecting to eat dinner but alas we are on Italian time where restaurants don’t open until at least 7.30 for dinner. We went into a castle that was more of a tower with a winding staircase.

We went to hike the last trail but apparently the trails close when the sun sets and we would not make it to the last town by sunset. We hopped on the train and arrived in the last city.

The last city greeted us with many familiar faces of fellow travelers. We learned from them that the ticket office was no longer open and the ticket machines were out of order. We had no way to pay for a ticket home! Uh oh! After talking with some other Americans traveling Europe we found out that it is possible to buy tickets on the train and that they usually cost more. Italian conductors can be a bit snobbish and fine you anyway, but there was nothing to do about it.

Our original plan was crushed, but we went and grabbed dinner. (I had pesto lasagna which was so good! I was a little weary at first.) It was a very quick dinner and then it was back to the train station to make it on the train. We didn’t have to pay much extra and arrived back in Santa Margherita to grab gelato and hop in bed. The gelato was key, because it was supposed to be our last stop originally.

The next day it was off to Portofino…
Check back later for another update about last weekend and this week.

Starting out How amazing is that?They are all this colorful. Spicin' up life!

Stairway to heaven or babel or...oh, only the next town

A little perspective for ya'llOur swimming hole

Trecherous trail

Yes I went up in a castle tower (:

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