Salty Seas and Treacherous Cliffs

Trip Start Aug 25, 2012
Trip End Jan 04, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Italian Riviera,
Sunday, September 9, 2012

I took a day trip to Cinque Terre with my friends. For those of you who don't know what it is- its essentially these 5 small cities that neighbor each other. Each one is (probably) known for something special, but to be honest I didn't see all 5. I can tell you that the 4th and 5th town (the most famous of the 5) are the most memorable for me. 
Let's set the scene: temperature: well over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Sweat isn't an option- it's a requirement. Scenery: gorgeous views of some of the most clear water you'll ever see. 
The first thing that you do upon arrival is walk through "Lovers Lane" as I'm calling it. It's this cute little walkway to get to the 1st town that has addable sculptures and graffiti covering the walls. While graffiti may not seem as an aesthetically pleasing site, in this case, it was; the drawings were mostly amorous expressions, with the occasional Garfield thrown in there to mix it up a bit
After arriving in the first town, perspiration already coating my face thoroughly, I decided to go check out the water while everyone else searched for a bathroom. Rookie mistake. Or should I say tourist mistake. Apparently my Pumas aren't built to save me from the humiliation of slipping on algae covered rocks along the shore. The event itself happened in such a blur. One moment I'm walking toward the shore and the next I'm sliding down the rocks and scraping my knees while my glasses fly off my face and onto the ground. I slowly attempt to get up and recover from this humiliating event, which has all unfolded in front of authentic Italians sun bathing might I add. As I'm attempting not to slip while getting up, all I see is this elderly woman running, or walking quickly I should say, shouting "gli occhiali" while pointing at my glasses. Now I had taken enough Italian at this point to know what she was saying thankfully :) I think the thing about this even that boggles my mind the most is how my brand new white shirt came out completely unscathed while my black pants were covered in algae. Fate? Luck? Whatever it was, I was thankful. 
I then traveled to the 4th town where I enjoyed a DELICIOUS pesto pasta; I will add that Cinque Terre is KNOWN for their pesto products! However, I then made the fatal error of agreeing to do a 1 hour and a half hike to the 5th town. Before eating my meal, I was completely sure I was going to refuse doing the hike, but dang peer pressure will always get you- mostly I just wanted to prove to myself I could do it. It didn't end well. I made it maybe a solid 30 minutes of hiking the MOST RIGOROUS hike I've ever done. Ask anyone who has survived this- or even attempted it- and they will all say that it's not for the faint of heart (even though you get surpassed by old people saying "IF I can do it- you can too!)- great motivator and slightly depressing. Long story short, I ended having to turn around and take the train to the next train. However, I'd like to point out that it wasn't because I was too out of shape to complete the task- it was the stupid error of trying to attempt such a hike after eating a heavy and filling meal like Pesto Pasta. 
So while my friends continued on without me, I wiped the sweat from my brow (and face, and back, and arms- and pretty much every inch of my body) and took the train to town number 5 where the beach awaited!
The beach was like an enormous Ice Cream Sundae- I couldn't wait to dive in. I stripped down to my bathing suit and flung myself into the sea. The enjoyment quickly halted once the saltiest water I've ever encountered entered every open orifice. The plus: I could float with ease, the con: my eyes and nose had never burned so much! 
That pretty much sums up Cinque Terre. 
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