Sunday, June 12, 2011

Italy: Part One is Continued

During our last day in the Cinque Terre - this means "Five Villages" - we took the tiny local, local, local train that runs between the towns. The train system is rickety, very cheap and follows the steep and rocky cliffs along the sea. The views are breathtaking. Read the instructions carefully about taking the trains and be sure you have all the correct tickets that you need.

There are spectacular, scenic hiking trails that hug the cliffs along the coast and connect each of the five villages together. There were many serious hikers to be seen: most appeared to be German and they were heavily equipped with walking sticks, backpacks, and properly expensive clothing and shoes. These are the professional hikers. We three were only interested in walking the lower, "easier" trail, which was remarkable enough. This is the trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola. It lasts about one hour,is mostly flat and snakes along the mountain providing the walker with unbelievable panoramic views of the villages, the sea and the mountains. The fee one pays for access is well worth it, for it pays for maintenance and safety, along with the view.

The photographs here show a typical sunlit shop in a Cinque Terre village, as well as my view from the trail.

On my last day, I sunned on the rocks and dipped my feet into the refreshing water at the beach. There were many locals enjoying the sun and the water, too, and it was lovely to "melt" into the Mediterranean, and be as one with the sea, the sand and the people of the town. Ah.......

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