30. Cinque Terre, Italy
(Actual Date: November 10-11, 2010)
Looking back now, I have to say that I made a good choice coming back to Cinque Terre. My first time there was a hectic half-day that ended in a Milan disaster, but my second time consisted of two relaxing days filled with laughter and good food.
After meeting with some other friends early in Barcelona, taking the scariest plane ride of my life which came with side orders of the worst turbulence ever and having myself drenched in whatever liquids fell from the cart, we finally arrived in the city of five villages checking into our apartment there we had all to ourselves.
Too bad that night I had to lose my phone to a Cinque Terre train after saving it from a pick-pocketer in Spain. Oh, how I love irony…
Tranquility rolled through the roads squashed between nimble shops with stands out in front tempting tourists with their luscious fruit. The skies were clear blue and the distant sounds of ocean waves crashing against the piers and smooth, ornate rocks lulled a deep sense of harmony into our bodies. The sun’s rays were smooth and comforting, playing across our skin and the rims of our sunglasses as we sat in a casual order on emerald benches, savoring our pesto pizzas. The mini but highly decadently sweet strawberries gleamed in a red sheen in its green box and the home made pecan sweet pies filled with some sort of delicious caramel oozed onto the plastic covering. Bowls and bowls of rich mussels enveloped in their hard, black shells reigned the dinner tables complemented by large plates of spaghetti tossed with clams and prawns.
Amidst our apartment, raucous laughter and voices bounced off the walls as we ran around, ducking under bed covers and playing Fishbowl all night. Conversations and hugs went around only to be dulled into the late hours of the evening by sleep’s powder.
The steps of Corniglia extended upwards, rendering us breathless as we climbed. The bobbing boats and pier lights enchanted the surroundings of Vernazza. And somewhere in a bustling restaurant is a kitten rubbing its paw against its face and snuggling contently against the legs of customers, turning its docile eyes upwards.
The waters at night roared in the distance, creating the perfect imagery of a biblical storm or the ending of the world. Darkness fell heavily over the waves leaving only the swinging dim lights of lanterns lighting small patches of the angry waters. Swishing back and forth they came up and crashed heavily against the solid objects around, tempting death to all those who cascaded in.
But by day and by setting sun, they gurgled and moved around side to side with ripples. Streaks of pink and orange and red blended together against the sky, casting evening breezes through our locks. Only moments later did the blend of colors swirl into darker hues, streaking across the sky in a differentiated pattern, leaving way for the land of turbulent clouds to inch in.