Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sunny day hike

As I thaw out from an hour spent shoveling four inches (and counting) of snow, it seems like a good time to further reflect on our recent Italian holiday.
Our last day in Vernazza dawned sunny with a promise of warmth. We were so delighted because we wanted to hike a section of the Cinque Terre National Park trail, which connects all five towns in the area. Monterosso al Mare, the next town, was quite close as the crow flies or as the boat sails. To walk there we had to climb up and over and out and around the mountains through olive groves, vineyards and even homes tucked in the steep cliffs. It was breathtaking- the vast sea stretching out in so many shades of blue under the sun, the surf crashing against the rocks far below us.
When we arrived in Monterosso, we visited the weekly farmer's market and bought picnic supplies, then ate on a bench where we could watch both the bustle of townspeople and the waves rolling onto the beach. Later we rolled up our pants and walked in the sand, dipped our toes in the water, collected sea glass and reveled in the feeling of having nothing better to do with our day. At a beachfront cafe, we joined other tourists at the outdoor tables for a glass of wine before starting our trek back to Vernazza. We got back in time to sit on the terrace above our hotel and catch a lovely sunset. It was a perfect day!
But it's still snowing here...