Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt with its street scene in a Cornish fishing village takes me back to 2004 when my daughter Jordan and I took a trip to Italy. The narrow downward slope of the street reminds me of almost every street in the Cinque Terre.
The Cinque Terre was our third stop in a 10-day tour that began in Rome followed by a weekend in Venice with my other daughter Zoe who was lucky enough to be studying abroad that summer. After we said our arrivedercis and ciaos, Jordan and I boarded the train for La Spezia located along the Ligurian coast. There we planned to hop on the local train to the town of Manarola where we had reservations at La Toretta B&B.
Unfortunately, we arrived in La Spezia too late to take a train to Manarola, so we hired a taxi. The driver deposited us in a dark parking lot at the top of the hill off the one main road that connects the five towns of the Cinque Terre. He assured us – in his broken English – that we would be safe finding our way through the town despite the total absence of lights. I am glad for the traveler’s tip to carry a penlight.
A man in the street?? If this had happened in the United States, we would have been scared and possibly would have refused, but here in the Cinque Terre, it all sounded mysterious, funny, and even quaint.
Our apartment was cute and quite comfortable. In the Cinque Terre, buildings cling to the cliffs so it should not have been a surprise to find a huge boulder in the bathroom. I suppose their policy is if you can’t get rid of it, just build around it.
|The rock in our bathroom|
Beautiful blue tile though!
[Please excuse the poor quality of my photos. These are pictures of pictures in my scrapbook.]
|A look back at Manarola from the hiking trail|
|Clothesline system on the balcony of our apartment|
In the morning, I was finally able to get a close-up look at the clothesline system that I spied only in flashes as we traveled by train. I wondered how clothes could be hung from a window.
Since we allowed only one full day to hike the five towns, we started early. Around 10:00 in the morning, we wandered into a little bar just outside Riomaggiore. A large, friendly Italian tourist waved us in.
|Jordan and a friendly Italian tourist|
(although he doesn't look very friendly in this picture!)
Not speaking any English, he gestured enough for us to understand he was encouraging us to order some wine and food. He even offered us a sip of his wine. Strangely, we accepted as if drinking out of a stranger’s glass was a normal and safe thing to do. He then offered Jordan a bite of his food. In her simple Italian, Jordan asked what it was. The gentleman turned to the waitress and asked, “Come si dice le acciughe a inglese?” She answered, “Anchovies.” Everyone in the bar laughed and roared in unison, “Anchovies!” as Jordan tried to find a polite and discrete way to spit it out.
We lingered a short while at this bar enjoying the atmosphere among locals drinking wine in the morning, but there was more hiking and more towns to visit before time to catch the train to our last stop in Florence.
Why not stroll the colorful streets of Sepia Saturday and partake of the delightful treats in story and photo? I doubt there will be anchovies.
© 2016, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.