It was too early even for my daily wake-up call from the bell tower. Up and out the door, creeping as quietly down the steep flight of stairs as unwieldy bags would allow, we emerged into the fresh salty air of pre-dawn.
Wincing as the click-clack of our wheels disturbed the tranquil silence of the morning, we pulled them as quietly as possible across the piazza and up the little main street, past silent shops towards the tiny train station.
A few other early travelers slowly dribbled in, waiting bleary-eyed for the train’s arrival; soon we were all comfortably settled into our seats. The Cinque Terre and the sea beyond flashed in and out of sight as we sped in and out of the tunnels, hurtling away from this magical land. I strained for one last glimpse before it was gone.
As we picked up speed and were well on our way, I sat back and did something I rarely do on a train. I closed my eyes.
And let lingering images of the Cinque Terre play through my mind…
**AS YOU GAZE UPON THESE PHOTOS, PLEASE TAKE TIME TO GO TO THIS WEBSITE: http://savevernazza.com/ VERNAZZA SUFFERED A TERRIBLE DISASTER IN OCTOBER, 2011, FROM WHICH IT IS STILL TRYING TO RECOVER. PLEASE HELP SAVE THIS MAGICAL PLACE! Grazie!
(And it’s worth your while to also check out Jerry Garrett’s great blog about what to expect in 2012. Excellent updates on the progress of Vernazza’s recovery.)