textures

Textures: Cinque Terre by a zugunruhe

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Cinque Terre is a collection of five Italian cites along the northwestern coast. South to North, they are: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. Each city varying slightly from each other. Monterosso having that only sand beach of the five, Corniglia has an ungodly 382 steps from the train station to the town, and Vernazza has a beautiful harbor that is engulfed by the town.

All five cities are (or used to be) connected by walkable trails that guide you through vineyards and are serviced a train line that becomes easier to ride without a ticket as winter approaches. There is a majesty to the coastline and its basalt columns and rocky shores that recall the rough beauty of Iceland. Each town is very much centered around fishing and serviced by boats. It’s easy to catch workers cutting up the catch of the day and order it an hour later at a small restaurant.

Riomaggiore

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Manarola

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Corniglia

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Vernazza

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Monterosso

Textures: Pompeii by a zugunruhe

Pompeii always seemed like a staple in history books that would turn up in pop culture every once and awhile. Another place in the world that seemed as unreachable as outer space from my small hometown.

Walking around the remains of the city is an experience. The layout is eerie. It was a full on city, just gone by the whim of nature. There’s a vacancy that carries terrifying undertones that remind you how fleeting the sense of man-made structures can be. Whether physical or mental.

The walls are still decorated, the roads are still there, and some say that Pink Floyd still echoes throughout the ruins at night once the tourists leave.

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Textures: Venice by a zugunruhe

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Venice is defined by its relationship with water.

The canals and gondolas are iconic and inseparable from any thought of the city. But it’s the alleyways that amplify the charm. Meandering, aimless pathways that intersect in unpredictable ways, dead-ending into the canals with little fanfare outside of some rope or steps.

The free form jazz that is walking the city is a magical experience. You learn to enjoy and embrace something when you see it, because there’s a chance you won’t find it again unless it’s near a major landmark. The combination of of a timeless city and this need to interact with things the moment you encounter them creates a magical environment.

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Textures: South France by a zugunruhe

In comparison to the north, the south moves much slower. There’s a peace in the disposition that must drive Parisians insane.  

Pulling away from the more medieval north, there are overlapping fingerprints of Greece and Rome. Modern times have brought an influx of immigrants from the colonial expansion of the 19th century. The south being popular for proximity to the former French colonies.

Nimes and Avignon have steered toward what a Northern European city would feel like while Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and Salin de Giraud are these tiny seaside villages that have their own unique place in the country.

Avingon

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Nimes

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Saintes-Marie-De-La-Mer

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Sailn de Giraud

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Textures: Nice/Monaco by a zugunruhe

You’re on the French Riviera.

A wonderful breeze is coming off the water.

You sit on the rocky beach at night in Nice, listening to the tide gently take the rocks in and out an inch or so at a time.

In the distance you hear something.

Your ear pulls itself from the relaxing tones of nature to focus on what’s happening down the beach.

It’s familiar but somehow incomprehensible.

As you edge closer you realize...

A bunch of drunk teenagers are blasting Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” and singing along out of key.

This area attracts people from all over the world. The weather is enviable, the sunlight is rejuvenating, and the water is just blue. Straight up blue. 

Strolling the promenade in Nice then hopping on a $4 train to neighboring Monaco is jetting in and out of tunnels that gives the impression of a zoetrope of yachts, blue water, and mediterranean architecture on your way to one of the most expensive inlets in the world. So expensive that one poor soul had to land their helicopter on their yacht instead of using one of the pricey helipads nearby.

Nice

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Monaco

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