July 27, 2014, 20:32, off the coast of Italy
Today was simply spectacular. Genoa is an amazing city with classical architecture, narrow winding streets, wonderful people, and great food. We experienced it all.
We started the day boarding an on off your bus. It cost 30 Euros for the both of us, and we were able to walk about the city at our leisure, taking in the sights and sounds. It was a most spectacular way to celebrate Sweetie’s birthday. No rain, a cool breeze, and my company, of course!
We are rounding the coast at present, with Italy on the port side and Corsica on the starboard side of the ship. Corsica is much larger than I imagined it – so large that we actually had to look it up to make sure we had the country correct! It is very mountainous. All of the Mediterranean, so far, has been.
In Genoa, we took the city bus to the beach. Number 31 will take you to the beaches along the coast, and back to the cruise ship. Getting to the nearest beach takes about 15 minutes from Stop #5 on the Hop On Hop off Bus. The bus fare was only 3,80 Euros and the bus driver never took our tickets. I suppose we could have just kept riding all day if we really wanted to. He seemed pretty laid back about it.
As I speak about 5 words of Italian, it was a challenge. Not very many Italians we encountered spoke English well, if at all, and getting from place to place was interesting. I knew the words for “bus”, “beach”, and a few others. I even had a conversation, mostly one-sided, with an older Italian lady on the city bus when I asked where the beach was. Although I’m not sure exactly what she said, I understood enough to know where the beach was and how to get there.
The beach was rocky with dark gray sand. It wasn’t large but it also wasn’t crowded. Folks didn’t really have any issues with us walking through and hanging out for a bit. We didn’t get in the sea today, as we has other things to do.
We had a great pizza lunch at a small cafe, with outdoor tables, an international crowd, and a great waitress. It was on one of the small widening backstreets near the Piazza de Ferrari where the large fountain is located.
I even took off my shoes and dipped my toes in the fountain. I just had to. I mean how many opportunities does one get to put one’s feet into a fountain in Europe? I didn’t throw in any coins because it did not appear that anyone else had. The tour bus guide did say that the soccer team jumps in the fountain when they win, so I knew I wasn’t breaking in a virgin fountain or anything.
We walked the streets for a bit. I saw an H & M but didn’t stop. My sister will probably never speak to me again for this atrocity against man. There were just too many architectural relics to see.
We ended our day by watching the sunset over the Med. Thinking about the sun setting on his 40s, on a beautiful day in Europe, and potentially some of my hang ups.
Tomorrow brings Naples and Pompeii.