Sunday, October 17, 2010

I was told via my parents that my grandmother was angry with me due to my lack of updates. Not wanting to lose my title as "Greatest Grandchild," I'm now forced to write something.

Last weekend a few friends and I hiked the Cinque Terre. It was nice...overpriced, but nice. I'm happy I went, happy I got the experience, happy to get out of Perugia; though, not too happy with the price tag. Without a doubt the best (not to mention cheapest part of the trip) was the water-front hiking trail which connected the five villages.
After staying in Riomaggiore--where we slept in a hostel which is probably the definition of "s%!#-hole"--we began our trip along the coast on Via Dell' Amore ("Street of Love" or "Street of Lovers", sorry my Italian isnt that great). As the name implies, this place is a hot-spot destination for newlyweds, dating couples, and the occasional American college student. Attached to the steel fence made to prevent hikers from falling into the sea were hundreds of locks with the names of the aforementioned lovers inscribed upon them. The largest collection of these "love locks" was a white fence midway between the first and second towns.

Once we reached the second town we were somewhat bummed to hear the seaside route to the third town was closed due to construction--leaving us with the option of either taking a train to our next destination or hiking up and over the construction before descending back down. Not being one to forgo adventure (or willing to spend the money on a 5min train ride) I voted for the hike. Fortunately, my comrades all had the same mentality and we unanimously decided to head for higher ground. In hindsight, this would probably be the decision that made the trip. The route we took was unbelievably nice as we hiked up first through a forest of olive trees, across the mountain through nothing but grape vines (and the occasional backyard) all before going down through woods which, if not for the fact the we're in Italy, could have been straight from my own backyard in MA.

I feel the need to use a lot of pictures for this trip since most of it consisted of just enjoying the view.

This contraption and many more like it could be seen all across the side of the mountain. In case you cant tell, its a motorized rail-car-type-thing-a-majig which carried the newly harvested grapes along the steep slopes. A pretty ingenious idea if you ask me given that I was pretty tired just walking the trail alone....I can barely imagine doing it everyday with a bundle of grapes strapped to my body. The best part was how these rail cars would traverse any slope, even those which seemed impossibly steep.

In the end we hiked about 9miles...needless to say my feet were hurting. Fortunately though, all my pains were forgotten over dinner where I had the pleasure of dining on some awesome risotto and local seafood. MMM

Then we returned to the hostel where I slept like crap, woke up early the next morning, and took a seemingly endless train back to Perugia....oh the joys of travel.

Until Next Time,


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