Cinque Terre, Italy was another stop on my 2005 Europe tour, right after Vienna and before heading into Switzerland. It was a near perfect three days: I didn’t have any grand plans for my time there other than hiking, eating my favorite kind of food, and enjoying the gorgeous scenery.
I accomplished those goals, no problem.
Cinque Terre is the name of a group of five villages on the northwest coast of Italy: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso, all perched above the Ligurian Sea. My hostel, in the central town of Manarola, was wonderful: I made friends with my roommates for the three nights I was there, enjoyed dinner in the attached restaurant, and the views could not be beat.
I hiked between the five villages each day, feeling so lucky to be in this corner of the world. (A railroad line runs along the coast via tunnels between each village; this is the recommended mode of transportation over driving)
The sunsets weren’t bad either:
I made friends with other travelers while I hiked (though again, no other single females), and a middle-aged couple from New Jersey even treated me to wine and a snack once we arrived in Vernazza (ver-NOT-zuh) one day when they said my adventurous spirit reminded me of their son. The wonderful thing about the Cinque Terre was how much of a local feel it had: virtually no commercialization, certainly no chain fast food restaurants, and high-end, big hotels could only be found in the northernmost village of Monterosso.
Everyone visited the Cinque Terre for the same reason: to enjoy the landscape and charm of the seaside villages and eat good food. I’d highly recommend a visit there if you’re planning any Italian travels, and September was the perfect time: not too many tourists like in the heights of summer, and wonderfully mild, sunny weather.
Thoughts on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge
Have I mentioned how glad I am that the A to Z Challenge is over? Oh man. I’m glad I did it, don’t get me wrong, but whoa, what a lot of work it was! Six posts a week was a lot; three or four posts a week is just fine with me.
Somehow, I felt like it limited my blogging. I felt pigeon-holed, even though the only specification for each day was a certain letter! I felt pressured to go and comment on a lot of other people’s blogs, as well as all my usual blogs that I follow. I’ve put off a bunch of topics I wanted to write about because they didn’t fit a certain letter.
I realize there are so many things I want to talk about: more mental health topics, like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults (because doesn’t it seem like all the focus is on kids with ADHD?), vegetarian breakfasts and lunches (I’m all about the sandwiches), free things to do around the Hudson Valley/Catskills in the spring and summer, plus more new destinations in the Great 2014 Northeast Tour.
But I did it! I published 26 posts last month, one for each letter of the alphabet. My views increased (yay!), I’m following some new blogs, and I added a lot of good content to Sweet and Savoring, which probably wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t done the challenge. Thanks again to Kate of Another Clean Slate for motivating me to join!
Gratitude for the Week
I must be crazy for squeezing so much into one post! But I haven’t done a Friday Gratitude post in awhile, and aren’t you guys wondering what’s good lately in the Life of Christy?
- Spring, of course! I’m happy! I’m active and loving the green leaves popping out everywhere, loving the magnolias and daffodils and tulips in bloom and increased daylight hours.
- State parks. With spring comes the desire to spend oodles of time outdoors. Andy and I have started a morning jogging routine again, but we’ve also been visiting a lot of parks and hiking trails recently. I’m so happy we invested in the Empire Passport, which grants access to all of New York’s state parks and pays for itself with only eight visits. Recently, I’ve been to the Rosendale Trestle & Wallkill Rail Trail, Bear Mountain State Park, John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary, and Caumsett State Historic Park.
- Two words: plans and possibility.
- My close family members are all healthy. Pretty sure I take this one for granted most of the time.
- The ability to express myself in writing. I’ve started carrying around a small notebook with me, and the other day in the car, I got a good bit of writing done for a future post while Andy drove. In my closet, I have a box of all my old journals, going back to when I was sixteen. Sweet and Savoring is going strong after twenty-one months and I’m so happy that I’ve kept it going. Where would I be without the ability to express my thoughts in this way?
What are you grateful for this week? Have you ever been to Cinque Terre? What excites you about spring?