Flashback Friday | Gaining perspective whilst hiking in Cinque Terre

ooooo-wheeeeee…another recovered blog post.  This one is from 2006, when I was traipsing around Italy, walking the paths of Cinque Terre, eating my weight in pizza and gelato, hanging out at the Olympics, and drinking a vat of red wine….

Most of last year sucked. Yes, I graduated from school and got an amazing job, but other than that 2005 was shitty. Watching my father die, seeing my boyfriend tool around town with some floozy, having a fling with my boss, and moving to a new state–none of those things made me happy. I decided early on [like December 2005] that 2006 was going to be a much better year. I’m going to explore my new surroundings, take real vacations, go on actual dates with appropriate people, make new friends…you know all that stuff that is supposed to make life more fulfilling.

One of the things that always helps me to see things clearly is getting back to nature…getting outside and communing with the trees if you will. After being surrounding with throngs of people at the Olympics, I needed some alone time…Enter Cinque Terre, a coastal area of five little villages. This part of Italy is usually DEAD in the winter, but courtesy of the Games, some areas have opened up, providing a much needed escape from the Alps. Don’t get me wrong, mountains are awesome. The Alps are amazing, but I’d take a cold, sunny day on the coast over the snowy mountains any day.

One of the main draws to Cinque Terre aside from its location is the interconnect hiking paths. Some of them are easy, more like leisurely strolls through the woods.  Other trails are actual hiking trails complete with mountains and steep climbs.

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A lot of people just hike the leisurely trail;  I opted to hike the entire network of trails. Hiking the entire length of the trail took about  8 hours or so. I went at an easy pace; it was bright and sunny except for the early morning fog, and temperatures were awesome for February. I had a lot of shit to sort out in my head. So I walked. And walked. And walked some more. And snapped photos [2016 Michelle here: with FILM]

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I took the train back to my room after hiking all day and indulged in a massive plate of pasta, all the bread I could get my hands on, and a carafe or two of the most wonderful red wine ever. Of course I say that every day…today’s wine was the best ever…today’s pasta was the best ever…today’s gelato was better than yesterday’s gelato. And maybe, just maybe after living a lifetime here, I might actually be able to distinguish fabulous red wine from just good red wine, but today is not that day. But the hike, the hike y’all…the hike was amazing. The towns are something pretty specical too.

Non-sequiter award:  I am amazed at how green everything is.  You would  never know it was the middle of  February except for the occassionally freezing temperature, snow in the Alps, and the winter Olympic going on next door.
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