Sunday, July 10, 2011

Italy-A Life-Changing Experience|Cinque Terre June 5th-6th

Italy|Cinque Terra
June 5, 2011

We started this day with an early morning shoot at Trevi Fountain, a cappuccino and chocolate croissant. It was amazing being able to soak in Trevi Fountain without the distractions or crowds of hundreds of people. It was so beautiful.
I left Rome full of history, awe, excitement and a different outlook on my purpose called life. We've only been in Italy for 3 days and I was so overwhelmed and excited that we still had 7 days left! We had our packed lunches for the trip to our next destination and we boarded a train headed to Cinque Terre, "The Five Lands". A few words you will hear me repeat to describe this city are:
Fascinating, Refreshing, Beautiful, Fabulous, Natural, Relaxing, Charming,
 Angelic, and Amazing.
We got off the train, legged up a pretty steep hill, 20lb pack on back and all, (which i must say was not the easiest task), to our hostel at the top of the hill. We stayed in one of the five cities named Manarola. This amazing view and refreshing breeze was definitely worth every step up that hill.
Our hostel

 I have to say that every city we visited in Italy God spoke to me in areas I was lacking in faith or conviction.  Manarola being one of the major times Jesus did an amazing work in me and opened my eyes to some major issues I was facing and/or the lack of facing them.  I was able to reflect and meditate on a lot during this relaxing time in Cinque Terre.
 One of the views from the top of the hill where our hostel was located.
Cinque Terre is most popular for its Wine, Pesto and delicious Frocaccia bread. One of the charming aspects of Cinque Terre is the lack of visible corporate development. It was so natural. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars were unable to reach the city from the outside.

 On the first night in Cinque Terre we had a fabulous time out in this quaint city and we were able to do a night shoot of the coast of Manarola.
 Manarola, the coast and light equal an angelic shot. This image still cannot compare the beauty of Cinque Terre.

June 6, 2011
The hike from  Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza

We started this day walking the Via Dell'Amore|"Love Walk". A little history regarding the Love Walk is that Cinque Terre towns were extremely isolated until the last century. Villagers rarely married anyone from outside their town. After World War II, the trail was reopened, and became established as a lovers’ meeting point for boys and girls from the two towns.This new walking trail changed the social dynamics between the two villages, and made life much more fun and interesting for courting couples. As we walked the trail we would see several padlocks. You and your lover were to close the padlock in a romantic spot and it was to lock your love together. It was fun to see the graffiti of lovers on the walls and rocks along the pathway. It all added and made this Via Dell'Amore. 

Some of the few padlocks. So romantic. 

 The graffiti. 

 Two beautiful girls. Inside and out. 

So at first I thought: "We are in one of the most relaxing cities in Italy and I have the option to either relax on the beach and shop or hike one of the hardest hikes of the five hikes in Cinque Terre. ha" I decided to go with the latter. I did this hike because I was both terrified and curious if I could or could not do it. I laugh looking back now. God really used this time to show me that I need to depend on Him. I don't claim to be the most fit girl, there were definitely times I was crying out to God to get one foot in front of the other. But God never fails. I am glad I pushed myself. ha
 One of the beautiful views from the hike of Monterosso.
 Almost to the city of Vernazza. This view alone made this hike worth every step. 

 Heading down to Vernazza. Ha 

The amazing sunset from the  Via Dell'Amore
Jasmine, Angelina and I were able to hang out here on our last night in Cinque Terre. We had an amazing time talking and laughing about life.

 Goodbye Cinque Terre! Oh how I loved you. I cannot wait till the day I return to you.

Ciao for now!

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