Amy has also introduced me to her friends here, many expats who I can actually have conversation with since my Italian sucks (I’m on a mission to really learn and this trip has helped with that). I’ve met many great women who I see on the street and chat with and have spent some more time in particular with two ladies in particular, Jennifer and Kelly. Jennifer (right in the pic above) is Chloe’s mom (from the shoot above) and is a spitfire of a woman; very outgoing, very sweet and beautiful. Kelly (on the left in the photo) is sort of the blond version of me; sarcasm, inappropriate humor (to the extreme), blunt, and no filter. So, you can imagine we are having some fun together. She’s also great to talk to as we also have a lot of the same beliefs and feelings on things and life in general.
Traveling for me is not just about the places I visit. It’s about what I experience, what I learn about the place and myself, and about the people I meet along the way. Many times, they are people I meet, spend time with or just chat with while waiting for the train or having a drink and never see or talk to them again. But I remember them all. Then, there are the people I know will continue to be my friends. I have that here. It makes me feel at home. I’ve never been a person who considers my “home” to be the only place I feel that way. I find this quote to be true:
I also have been enjoying the experiences I’ve had. I have truly immersed myself in the life of this village. I go to my regular place each morning for coffee. As I walk down the hill in the morning or any time of the day, all of the people who are familiar with me give a “buongiorno” with a smile and I do the same. I visit the same market for any daily things I need, go to the same bars and do my visits to the butcher where I get to practice my Italian a bit more. Tomorrow or Wednesday, I will write about one of the best experiences I’ve had so far.
Now, to Saturday. I decided to do my favorite hike, from Manarola to Corniglia. It is 2-2.5 hours and has the most amazing views. It’s not for those afraid of heights, as you’ll see from the pictures. There are many areas that are steep and even when it looks like one side of the path is not far down, that’s just because of the vines and they are actually drops of maybe 6-12 feet. I love this hike because it's beautiful, has amazing views and also goes through another village, Volastra, which is quiet and beautiful, high up on the mountain (you’ll see a pic from when I was below as well as pics from when I walked through). I was also able to catch some people doing their Vendemmia along the route(grape harvest). Here are all of my pics.