Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cinque Terre, Italy

We start a journey to Italy today, starting with Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera. Cinque Terre, the five lands, are five villages on the sea that are connected by a train and a hiking trail. It was one of my favorite places to visit in Italy for 33 years. I started going there in 1979 before there was a train service or roads and before there were a lot of tourists. We used to catch a ride on the little milk train that brought foods to the area. We hiked the trails and the only people we met were some hearty Germans. Now the place if overrun by tourists including Americans who discovered the place through the Rick Steves video series.

The last time I was there is represented in these photos and it may be the last time I will ever be there. I was so distraught by the hordes of tourists that it was a rather unpleasant experience. The towns, particularly Vernazza, were overwhelmed by mudslides about a year ago and are now recovering and open again to tourism.

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