Monday, February 22, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010: First Cinque Terre Hike

(Sandra) Vernazza, Italy. This morning included looking out from the veranda and pinching ourselves to check reality. The view is spectacular. The crashing waves are both hypnotic and therapeutic. This apartment comes complete with ‘breakfast’ – something we discovered this morning. Italians believe in breakfast in the same way they believe in flossing (many older Italians have few teeth). The breakfast included a delicious cup of steamed hot chocolate and one stuffed or sprinkled croissant – Nutella and white pudding filling and walnut and chocolate sprinkles. We decided to go for a walk to the local cemetery up on the hill opposite from our apartment. They apparently have the best view ☺. Along the way we noticed the weekly Tuesday market of produce, cheeses and clothing. We thought we would pick up some of the beautiful produce on the way back from our walk. The steep step labyrinth pathway was fascinating. The cemetery was amazing. The oldest person there was 98 years old and the oldest grave was 1912. There are signs of older grave markers but no years/words are able to be read. No scriptures on any stones. This was a great math opportunity, calculating the age of many there (we fit math work in many different ways). We hiked further along terraced grape vine walkways. These were precarious in parts. I was amazed that my legs could do this hike. I reflected on the time when I was 17 years old and the doctors mentioned the possibility of me not walking. I appreciate how inaccurate the medical system can be. We heard buzzing bees, lovely songbirds, dogs barking, and flowing water. We smelled sweet flower fragrances and lovely earthly smells, not available in any perfumery ☺. When we returned, the small market trucks were closing up and they would not open for us, even for a few tomatoes. What a disappointment, since their produce looked beautiful, and the selection of cheeses was more than what Vernazza is able to supply at this time of year. Oh, well, plan B needed to ‘kick in’. I then went into the local grocery store, called the Coop 5 (Cinque) Terre, to buy some supplies. The employees seemed impatient with me. After the store door was closed and locked behind me, I realized they had wanted to close their shop when I had arrived. I then walked to the bakery to buy some basic bread, but the door was closed. I then remembered what I had read about the Italian siesta. Therefore we had an interesting evening meal of granola and milk, toasted raisin toast with peanut butter, hot water from the tap mixed with soup base, and apple with nutella. For the evening, Alexander and Dieter went down to the water to do some beach combing while Karannina and I stayed in the apartment, watching an Italian detective show with a cute hush puppy dog named ‘Johannes’. Karannina now has the head cold that I had, while in Rome. It makes us slow down – not a bad thing. There are no museums here. We’re a little ‘museumed out.’ There are no tours. There are only hikes from tiny town to tiny town – something we’ll attempt tomorrow. Arrivederci and good night for now.

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