October 20, 2015

MANAROLA, ITALY (Cinque Terre)

Cinque Terre ~ Manarola

I have always traveled to tropical locations so this was a change for me.  My daughter has a history/teaching degree and it has been her dream to travel to Europe and see first-hand all of the places she had studied.  She & I both earned our degrees last spring ( I finally finished my degree that I started many years ago) so this was our celebration vacation.
From the moment I arrived in Rome, I felt like I had been transported to a movie set.  I kept looking at my daughter saying “we are in Italy!”  and proceeded to do this in each country.  I kept pinching myself to make sure I was awake.  This feeling increased when we went to Cinque Terre and Pisa on the first day of our cruise.  I has seen pictures of Cinque Terre and knew I wanted to go there some day.  I had seen so many pictures of these beautiful villages and I wanted to capture this beauty for myself, so with camera in hand, I stepped out of the vehicle and started down the hill of the first village.
We were on  a schedule so I didn’t have much time to explore each village.  I snapped photos knowing there was no way to capture the feeling of being there.  I remember looking at all of these colorful houses and thinking I could stay here for years and never get all of the photos I wanted.
I have vacationed in several tropical locations that I have fallen completely in love with.  Hawaii, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Mexico are beautiful, relaxing, and good for the soul.    I found Italy to be  fascinating but a bit overwhelming.  It’s busy and bustling and nothing goes at a slow, relaxing pace.  The traffic is a nightmare and as one Italian lady told  me “traffic lights are just  suggestions.”   Passing vehicles going around sharp curves, honking to let oncoming traffic know you are on their side of the road, and pulling in your side mirrors so you can pass a vehicle with a rock wall on one side and a house on the other is “normal” in Italy.  Part of me was terrified but for the most part I was fascinated by a culture that was so different from my own.
You can’t help but immerse yourself in its history and culture.  I can’t even find the words to describe the feeling of standing in the middle of ancient ruins  or staring up at massive, intricately detailed ceilings of cathedrals.    Fortunately I can take photos.  Even though they can’t convey the feeling of being there, they help me to hold on to that moment in time.
Cinque Terre, Italy ~ Manarola

These  photos are of the village of Manarola, the second village of our visit to Cinque Terre.  It is  the oldest of the towns in  Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338.  

Visiting Cinque  Terre was at the top of my bucket list.  Standing there taking this photograph after drooling over photos I had seen on Pinterest was surreal.  I told my daughter that if we packed up and went home only after only 2 days into our 16 day trip, I would be happy because I was able to experience this place.

Manarola 2 (800x533)

This beautiful mosaic was on a deck at the end of the city near the sea.
Manarola 4 (533x800)
I loved this little faucet.
Manarola 7 (533x800)This is my daughter Heather.  I told her she looked like little red riding hood in this photo. 

In the summer, you would see a lot of these boats in the water.

Waiting on the train  in Manarola

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