28 April 2013


After saying "see you" to Sonya, I trained along the Mediterranean coast from Nice to Monterosso, the first village in the Cinque Terre in Italy. It was pouring down rain but, thanks to the wonderfully diminutive size of the town, it was a thirty second straight walk down the street from the train station to the little flat I would be staying in. Not ten minutes after I was let into our room, my family arrived (!!!) and I couldn't have been happier to see them.

The next few days consisted of us exploring the Cinque Terre and finding as many dead ends as possible. Because we stayed in Monterosso, we explored it first.

On that first day, little by-the-wind sailors were lining the beaches. They've always fascinated me because of the complete and utter lack of control that they have and yet the wonderful places that they end up. Slight tip: they stain canvas shoes blue.

Atlas also frequents this beach. He used to hold up a dance floor but since it was washed away by a storm many years ago, all he holds is potted plants.

Up into the surrounding hills we went and, what do you know, we found a harbor. Each boat was handily tied bow and stern in what is sensibly called "med mooring," or "Mediterranean mooring." 

The castle above the old town, once used as a stronghold against frequent pirate raids, is now transformed into a cemetery. One could wander for hours in all the twists and turns only to realize that they'd been going in tight circles. Every single spare inch has been used and generations on generations of the same families that have lived in Monterosso for centuries are all close to one another.

Back at the main water break in front of Monterosso itself, my mom and I got to sit with our feet in the water as the drizzle came down. Being from Seattle, it didn't bother us a bit and gave us the whole dock to ourselves. While our legs weren't long enough to reach the water, waves came every so often that dunked them in and got surprised laughs from us. Nothing replaces a good talk with your mother after three months of being apart.

[all photo credit: jr]

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