Yes, you guessed it my darling Travel Baggers, I am feeling a little mushy today so romance it is! All the wonderful goopy romantic things lovers the world over do to show their feelings for each other... from engraved padlocks to carving it into cactus paddles, it's here.
My favourite was found high on a clifftop with a sheer drop to the Mediterranean below and nothing but ocean as far as the eye could see with the sound of crashing waves dashed against the rocks below, in a tiny colourful town called Manarola, This is Manarola looking back from lovers walk on an adjacent clifftop.
Yes, this is the romantic love post full of heart melting gooey goodness. Usually, I take you off on adventures, full of exciting, strange and wonderful things but today is for the softer side of life. One we all adore being caught up in the whirlwind of.
Love. Who doesn't love, love? I do. Everyone I know does. There is nothing quite like that feeling when you get when falling in love. The world tilts, the rose coloured glasses go on and you could forgive Attila the Hun his past transgressions you are so happily absorbed in your love bubble with that special someone.
Songs are written about it, poems, novels and movies are in abundance and still we want more. This feeling is truly universal so when you travel and come across such sweetness as a Lovers Walk high on the oceanside cliffs of the Mediterranean surrounding one of Italy's most romantic getaways you sigh a blissful sigh and dream of the next time loves embrace surrounds you.
See, there is one region of Italy famous for love, romance, being a couples getaway and favoured honeymoon destination. It is called Cinque Terre (five lands) and is actually five small colourful towns, of which Manarola is one, right on the Mediterranean sea. It does not get more romantic than that.. trust me. I did this trip solo and fell in love with love!
Everywhere you go, it doesn't matter if couples are still in the first flush of love giggling on a bench or if they have been married for 50yrs, they can't help but fall a little more in love.
There is a magic in the air. A sweetness that I found strangely unique to that area of Italy. It's one of the top tourist day trips and for good reason. Not only do you get to explore five gorgeous towns in one day, you get to do it with a goofy smile on your face as the love flying around lands on you and enhances your mood.
Walking up to the clifftop there is evidence of love all around you. Even the cactus plants aren't safe as you realise each paddle has hearts, couples initials and declarations of love carved into the paddles.
Then as you make your way along and around to the oceanside of the cliff you see other declarations of love sealed for eternity. Padlocks.
Every rung of the fence has padlocks with couples initials engraved on them, locked up tight in a promise to never separate and the key thrown down to be swallowed by the Mediterranean below sealing promises made and lovers pacts, shared secrets and heartfelt oaths to stay together forever.
Sealed with a kiss like all good romantic promises, this fence is full top and bottom with these lovers secrets.
There are similar place all through out Europe, but this one felt special. As I said, there is a magic floating on the air that touches your soul when you stand overlooking the deep blue Mediterranean and it brings a clarity on the ocean breeze.
You understand why battles were waged over beautiful women on it's shores and why the Italians are so passionate. There is something special about Cinque Terre. These villages wrap you up as you wander the streets. Quaint, romantic.
Their beach side cafés offer an amazing view, while seeming to whisper love and romantic notions in your ear as if carried on the tide.
Somehow I found it more romantic than a bridge. There is something about the wildness of the Mediterranean crashing below, about the wind swept pines and the padlocks on the fence standing against everything that mother nature and the sea gods can throw at them.
It's romantic. It is the kind of place women dream of being proposed to and then returning to for their honeymoon. Maybe because it is Italy, or maybe it's me but this windswept clifftop put some tosiness in my cheek and had me envisioning all sorts of things I won't write here alongside the simple pleasures like holding hands watching the sunset.
Much more romantic than the bridge with baby dragons holding them in their teeth like I found in Ljubljana, Slovenia on a glass bridge overlooking the river that flows right through the city centre.
Or, this metal bodice that lovers lock their promises up with in Varazdin, Croatia sealed with a kiss and there for the entire town to see.
Although incredibly sweet, it just didn't feel as romantic as it did standing on a clifftop in Italy. Maybe if there was snow on the street and the bright padlocks added some colour to an otherwise drab day.
I must say when I think of romance, I think of Cinqe Terre. I think of clifftop strolls arm in arm, I think of sitting on a bench watching a sunset eating gelato with my special someone... yes I think of all the gooey, heart warming soppy stuff that people falling in love do.
For me romance is that clifftop in Manarola overlooking the Mediterranean, the ocean that birthed goddess', were wars were fought and started by love like the Trojan War with men battling for a decade over a beautiful woman. Yes, for me the most romantic lovers walk I have come across in my travels has been in that quaint, colourful seaside little town standing proudly against the elements.