Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cinque Terre: 5 lands of adventures!

Ciao! from Cinque Terra! Adventures from Cinque Terre start here!

Ciao Bella! Haha, no I haven't had anyone (any man) say that to me yet, but I do find it fun to say to my friends. They aren't creeped out by it... I don't think...I'll get back to you on that one.

From Friday to Saturday pretty much our whole class took a trip to Cinque Terre, Italy. It is a string of 5 small cities along the coast of Italy that are all connected by a hiking/walking path. We did the 11 km hike in about 6 hours. It was pretty intense! Reminded me of my hike down to the Grand Canyon with my Dad and sisters earlier this summer.

The hiking paths go along the ocean and the rest is up in the mountains, but whichever path you are on it always opens up to some of the most amazing views!

At the end of the hike we treated ourselves to the most amazing seafood I have had, maybe ever! It was great! The next day I resolved to do nothing other than relax on the beach. And that I did.

All the towns in Cinque Terre are so bright and colorful. They are itty bitty compared to the other cities we have been in. Each on had a church right in the middle, with a bell that rang every hour to remind its residents of it's presence. Oh how I loved this place.

(Side note: You have probably seen pictures on pinterest. It's all over the place!)

Our very first view from the train. It was breath taking! All you could hear from our car was a chorus of oooo's and aaaah's! Truly God's work of art.

The first part of the hike was Via Dell'Amore (The Way of Love). I didn't realize how funny this sign was until now. I hope you get a laugh at the naked baby chilling in the pasta. If that's not love I don't know what is!

All over the trail couples put locks on walls and chain-linked fences to symbolize their love never being brokesn.  Cheesy? Yeah. But cute? I think so!

Look at all those "Locks of Love" =] (Pun intended.)

Becca and I. We had to document the crazy hike we were embarking on.

Don't know what this sign means other than "You are on the right path." It was a life saver, and kept me from walking many unnecessary miles.

Theresa, Jenna and I taking a break with a great view! 

Grape vines everywhere! They didn't taste as good as I had hoped, but I'm sure they will make great wine! 

Angela, Emily and I on the beach. It was a perfect beach day! The beach was also my time experiencing "European style sun bathing." Quite interesting. I felt like men and women were confused. The men were wearing bikini bottoms (aka speedos) and some women weren't wearing tops. Gender role reversal? Interesting.

The dock at Vernazza. I wish I could just jump in one of those boats and take off! Such a picturesque little town. 

Amanda, Kendra and I adventuring through Vernazza. Little did we know what was to come! Later we spent the night finding our way back to the Villa after missing the last bus and getting on the wrong one. Oops! That's what traveling is  all about though, living and learning.

No this cat is not dead, but it just goes to show how many stray cats there are all over Italy! This one is chilling on a restaurant patio.
Having an amazing time in Vernazza! Hopefully I'll be back to Cinque Terre someday. Anyone want to join me?
We also met a few really nice people while we were there. One really sweet couple took a picture for us. She was from Australia and he from Great Britain. They chatted with us for a bit and told us they were moving from Hungary to London. The other was a nice taxi driver named Andrea, that took us 3 lost girls back to the Villa after an intense evening of traveling. He taught us a little Italian and enjoyed our attempt to speak back to him.

It has been quite a cultural experience so far. I am enjoying every part of this adventure. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers! I really need them! You all are in mine! 

God bless!

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