Friday, September 28, 2012

Cinque Terre - Five Lands

The Cinque Terre region is located on the northwest Liguran coast, and it's an area in Italy that has become extremely popular with tourists... it's easy to see why. After taking a weekend trip to the area, we left in awe! If you're a "bucket list" kind of person, add Cinque Terre to your list! Someday you'll be glad you did. We rode the train, about a four-hour journey from Como - Milano - Monterosso, the town where we stayed overnight.

The five small, colorful towns dot the Mediterranean coast and are connected with hiking trails. Some of the trails are steep and not exactly "baby-friendly." Fortunately, there are also ferries that travelers can take to reach each of the towns. Our first day was spent on the beach, Eva's first sea-side experience! The water was cool, but the warm sunshine and sand were so relaxing! Such a nice day. We finished up by eating fresh seafood for dinner overlooking the coast. :)

On day two, we decided to venture out of Monterosso and check out the other towns in the Cinque Terre. We knew from a short walk along the beginning of the trail from Monterosso - Vernazza, that we couldn't hike with Eva and so we opted for the ferry ride. We rode from Monterosso - Riomaggiore. We then walked along the coastline from Riomaggiore - Manarola. This walk, called the Via Dell'Amore (Walk of Love) was stroller-friendly and about 25 minutes long... Literally, a paved/stone pathway that was a very easy walk. We were rained on for part of the walk, but continued to be amazed by the views along the way. It was gorgeous!

We stopped in Manarola for lunch and coffee - milk for Eva. During our meal, we saw a helicopter fly overhead and commented about how beautiful the views would be from above. We also talked about the possibility that they were flying in to pick up injured hikers. We assumed that any hikers who got injured would have to have been on a more difficult path, but actually somewhere behind us on Via Dell'Amore there were four Australian women injured by a small rockslide. (We thought this happened Sunday, when we were there... but news reports are all saying Monday. So our helicopter may have been sightseers and not a medical trip.) A helicopter came in to transport the women to a local hospital. After returning from Cinque Terre, we later saw several news articles, including this one - here  - with a little more information about the accident. The Walk of Love has been temporarily closed until they can determine what caused the rocks to fall... they are saying it's due to the summer drought.

Along our walk to Manarola - you can see others walking along the right side. What a scenic train ride, too!

A view from the ferry - we believe the rockslide happened just to the right of this walking bridge. 
Bottom line is this: we are thanking God for keeping us safe on our trip... A scary incident, for sure, and an example of how mighty and powerful nature can be. We are so blessed to have had a safe and positive experience! And so thankful that the injured women are recovering. It was certainly news that made us catch our breath - and count our blessings. Life is short and precious for sure.