Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A slice of unreality

Cinque Terre: five villages of coral and goldenrod buildings spilling off of vineyard covered cliffs into the aqua water of the Mediterranean; beauty that cannot be described by words or pictures. I’ve been trying to find a way to write about it, but I am at a loss for words. So, in light of my writer’s block, I will do what I can with some of the 500 pictures I took in the past two days to illustrate this little slice of paradise.

The beach in Monterosso, the northernmost village where we stayed.

Looking south along the coast during our hike from Monterosso to Vernazza.

Vernazza, the second, and my favorite, village.

Vernazza...so full of life; the pure embodiment of "Italy."

Manarola: Where we picnicked on the rocks for lunch.

Riomaggiori, the southernmost village.

Our time in Cinque Terre was a perfect intermission between our visits to some of Europe’s big cities. Somehow we got lucky and had almost 2 full days of sun, which was perfect for hiking from town to town and lounging on the rocks by the sea. We stayed in the northern-most village, Monterosso, at a lovely hotel with helpful and friendly staff, and from there were able to hike or take a train to the other 4 villages. Besides the friendly people and beautiful scenery, we ate like kings between eating fresh seafood and local wine at quaint restaurants and seaside picnics complete with just-baked focaccia and cheese. And to round off our escape from reality, we were able to lay on the beach at night, drinking lemoncello around a bonfire, gazing at the stars.
I’m still not sure if Cinque Terre was a real place, it was all too perfect to fit into my conception of reality. Nevertheless, we’re off to see more of what Europe has to offer…at this point all I have to say is: bring it on.

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