La Spezia and Manarola

I am in the Cinque Terre (five lands) National Park in the town Manarola in Italy. It’s a beautiful warm day and I’ve been swimming in the Mediterranean sea. The water is amazingly warm and it must be very salty as I float high in the water. It’s amazing how free sunny warm weather can make you feel especially when you can cool off in the water.

Water (Manarola, Italy) resize View of town 2 (Manarola, Italy) resize exposure

Above left: Swimming in the Mediterranean sea was really nice and much warmer than swimming in Norway earlier in my trip. Above right: View of Manarola looking back from the track that runs along the cliffs by the sea.

Below left: The pastel colours of the houses in Manarola. Below right: A tree that I sat under.

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Above: A light in the town.

Manarola is one of five small coastal towns in the very small national park. The towns are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore. A railway line runs between the towns and for the sum of 1.70 Euros I caught the train from La Spezia outside of the park to Manarola. Houses in pastel colours are perched on the cliffs. American tourists roam amongst the cafes. It’s the shoulder season now which is a good thing as I wouldn’t want anymore people than there already are.

[Morcheeba – Enjoy the ride] [ATB – The Autumn Leaves]

Kiwis unite

Another run in the morning up the hill into the woods. I wasn’t eaten by a bear. Later, we met four couch surfing Kiwis at the couch surfer meeting point, i.e. the fountain in the square. Mark, Sylvia, and I had been scheming practical jokes to play on the unsuspecting Kiwis but we refrained. Ben and his three friends headed off to find a hostel. Mark and Sylvia stole away to get a thank you card for Raluca and her and I walked towards the festival that was taking place in Brasov. The festival was named “Oktoberfest”. Hmmmm, suspicious. I think I’ve heard of something like this before.

Mark and Cris doing the birdy dance (Brasov, Romania) resize Raluca sitting on the grass (Brasov, Romania) resize

Above: Mark and Cris do the birdy dance at the “Oktoberfest” festival while Raluca watches wearing her best hat.

Below left: Sylvia did not listen to the warning about bears in Brasov and gives this one a big hug, barely noticing the danger she is in. Perhaps she had drunk too many beers to understand her peril. Below right: Sylvia, Cris, and Mark work the camera at “Oktoberfest”.

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The others returned and we spent the afternoon consuming doughy tubes and wandering around with the Kiwis. We visited the two towers on the hill beside the town and then walked all the way up to the Brasov sign.

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Above left: Kiwis unite in Brasov. Above right: Close up of the Brasov sign.

Kiwi Ben has an interesting job. He proof reads scientific papers and travels in his remaining time. It sounds like a good existence. The Kiwi couple in the group live in Czech Republic currently and I think they’ve spent time WWOOFing about the place. The remaining guy works in Milano in Italy which was handy as I’m flying there tomorrow. I haven’t mentioned anyone’s name besides Ben’s in case I get them wrong.

We looked out over Brasov and snapped many photos. By the time we had returned to the town it was dark. Poor Raluca had been feeling ill all day and Mark and Sylvia needed to catch the bus back to Codlea so we abandoned our plan to eat out. Instead we were enticed by the devil and ate at Mc Donald’s purely because it was quick and they accept payment by card. I stayed in Raluca’s dorm in preparation for a speedy departure to Italy in the morning. We chatted, swapped photos, and drank tea.

Raluca had been so generous over the last few days. A better host you will not find. Thank you.

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Above: Us milling around at the top of the hill. Below: Walking back in the dark towards town.

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