The weather had started to turn and we were warned of high winds and rough seas on our way to Genoa. The situation was not improving and this was confirmed with the Captain made his announcement. Due to these monstrous conditions, it was decided that we would spend 2 days in Genoa instead of trying to make our way up to Monaco and run the risk of not being able to dock at all.
Today we visited Cinque Terre. Roberto drove us to Riomaggiore, the furthest of the five villages. Along the way we picked up the lovely Loredana, who guided us through the 5 villages. We would later meet up with Roberto again and he would deliver us safely back to Genoa.
Although the villages are very similar, each has its own distinct characteristics. Homes and vineyards are perched on the sides of the hills maximising all the land right down to the water’s edge.
Walking the famous Lovers Lane is how most prefer to travel between Riomaggoire to Manarola but it was still closed to the public due to the floods and landslides of 2011.
Our Visitors train ticket covered all fares as we travelled between each village. The sea conditions also affected the small boats that ran between the villages. Their cancellations caused delays and overcrowding on the trains today. This was proven as a wise choice as we all gathered to watch the abnormally large waves crash against the rocks and breakwater.
Capturing pictures from each and every vantage point possible we travelled from one village to the next only missing little Corniglia, which we admired from a distance.
Vernazza was worst affected by the 2011 landslides and there is a wall of pictures showing the devastation. Unlike Lovers Lane, with determination and great man power of the locals they got this village functioning in time for the start of the next tourist season.
Here we stopped for a tasting of the local wines, which were very nice and came with a very nice price to match. Extra time here for lunch and another popular spot for monster wave watching.
Our last village Monterosso, the largest of all five. A mix of old and new in appearance. A larger oceanfront made it the ideal village for those want to spend their days at the beach. A short train ride to Levanto and Roberto was there waiting to return us to Genoa.
The video camera saga continued today. With the help of Loredana and her photography friends, we had an address in Genoa of a store. Roberto kindly dropped us off before returning everyone else back to the ship. More like a photo print shop it failed to have any sort of camera we wanted. UGG! at least we had an extra day in Genoa to investigate for ourselves, although we were not confident.
It wasn’t our night - we met up with Sharon and Peter and what felt like we walked to the other end of the city in search of the restaurant Loredana had recommended. “Have you a booking” .. “No” …. “too bad”…. Tired, hungry we walked to the next restaurant “booking”, “no”, “bye” …. Eventually after retracing our steps we came to a restaurant that looked empty, we found a table... “inside, not outside”… Food was excellent, wine ok and the beer was cold, what else would you want.
The Porto Antico (old port area ) comes alive at night with an outdoor/ indoor soccer match going on and people milling around stopping to watch every now and then. Laughter and music emanating from the bars that dotted the water front. Enjoying the surrounds we followed the marina around in the direction of our ship.
Suddenly it got quieter and darker, we could see the ship but there was no signage on how to get there. Up these stairs, back down these, round this corner and up the stairs we went again. The terminal that we exited this morning, was in darkness and locked up, not a soul in sight to help us out. In the distance, we saw crew heading out - what comes out, must go back in. Down the stairs we go again and by accident we stumbled across a gate slightly ajar which with relief led us straight to the ship.
Tour company: www.ItalyCinqueterre.com