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Cinque Terre

Written on: Friday March 23rd, 2007

A journal entry from: Rouen

Today I planned for a whole day of hiking.  First Tina, Jess, and Ryan and I had the three euro breakfast at the hostel that was really good.  The coffee was very strong, but delicious and they had cereal and yogurt and croissants with jelly in the middle.  We then met Nate who spent one night in Biassa then heading to a different hostel in Riomaggiore ( one of the five villages of the cinque terre).  We then caught a bus to Riomaggiore which is the first town of the five.  There I bought some snacks and lunch for my hike and decided that I would start from the furthest village of the Cinque Terre (Manarola) and work my way down along the coast. Tina and Jess were leaving to catch a train to Geneva, so we said our goodbyes, and I started my Journey. I took a train to Manarola and explored the village a little.  Manarola is the most touristy of the five villages due to the beach in the area.  I then began my hike from Manarola to Vernazza.  The hike started with steep steps alongside terraced vineyards of lemons and oranges.  Most of the hike was spent alongside the coast, providing beautiful views and pictures.  Truthfully, the hike is not a leisurely one, and I was surprised I saw people in casual clothes and unproper footwear.  I for once did not wear my favorite choice of footwear, sandals, and wisely wore sneakers, layered teeshirts and some workout pants.  This was good because I broke a sweat as soon as I hit the hills, however there was a slight breeze so it was nice. This portion of the hike took me about an hour until I arrived at Vernazza.  Vernazza was my favorite of the five villages.  Vernazza has a little cove of a harbor and I was able to sit along some rocks on the harbor and eat some lunch.  After taking a break here I explored the village a little then headed for Corniglia.  The beginning of this trail was definitely the hardest because of the steep climb as well as the fact that most of the hike wasnt along the coast, but deeper into the trees, meaning there was less of a breeze. Also the trail was more rocky, and to my surprise I saw a woman in HEELS!!! I was very surprised. This hike also took around an hour and I arrived in Corniglia.  Unfourtunately the trail connecting Corniglia and Monterosso was closed due to falling rocks, so I had to take a train to monterosso in order to continue my hike to my final destination of Riomaggiore.  This hike was definitely the easiest for it was mainly flat and along the coast line.  Overall the hike was a great experience.  The views were amazing and the paths were well tended to and not too busy which was very nice.  After spending all day hiking, I headed back to the hostel. 

 Overall my travels in Italy were quite enjoyable.  It was fun to return to Florence after visiting it in High School.  Florence was one of my choices for study abroad, and though after visiting there, I sort of did wish I studies there, I am very happy with my decision to study in Rouen.  I love Florence, but after awhile I think I would get annoyed with the constant crowds of tourists day in and day out. It was unfortunate that it rained in Naples and we were unable to go to Capri, but Hannah and I did have fun and visited the birthplace of Pizza.  And the Cinque Terre was amazing.  I am happy I was able to "rough it" and travel.  Theres a sort of a peace that one can attain when they travel solo, because you are able to make your own decisions and you have tons of time to reflect on what you are experiencing.  However, travelling with other people is exciting as well, because you will forever have a person to share that memory with.