Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cinque Terre = The Land of Stairs - 9/12

OK, Some people, let's say 100% of them, say "Cinque Terre" means the 5 Lands. Let's agree to disagree.
I Should have known that a destination requiring you to corkscrew down one lane cliffside roads just to reach the top of the town would come fully equipped with endless staircases. We found our apartment building after going down steps. Then we ascended to reach the room at the top of the building, a view stretching unobstructed to the rocky marina.
Up, down, up, up some more, stairways around every corner and nary an escalator in sight. But for all the cracking kneecaps, Cinque Terre is a hidden treasure. Anything working this much for is worth the tight quads.
These five towns, built to protect its citizens from ruthless Mediterranean pirates, lays tucked in coves and clinging to the cliffsides like children in a game of hide and seek. Each town boasts its own unique personality (a castle here, a beach there). But each village builds upon itself, the houses are the multicolored blocks of an unfinished game of Tetris. But the precarious nature more resembles the teetering blocks of Jenga, every house swaying and staring into the sea. They are varying apstels blazing and staggering up the seaside walls, like maybe they had too much local limoncello. The rail line runs from town one to five like one of the grape vines that terrace the hills above the towns. And each village hangs precariously from it like a fruit laden bunch full of color and potential,  swinging with the sea breeze out over the azzure Mediterranean.
After climbing the steps to our room we stepped onto the balcony. An ocean vista from which we could spot any pirates marauding our way. I see the value in stairs.

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