Monday, August 30, 2010



Wandered down to the old port this morning with the idea of visiting Genoa’s world-famous Aquarium. Following the usual heroic struggle to park, we found several thousand people in line ahead of us. Then Reg noticed that boat excursions to Portofino were available for 20E. We admitted that though we had seen fish before, we had never seen Portofino and opted to go there instead.

A friend had told us it was a “Must-See” but all the guide books describe the drive there as hair-raising, so a boat ride seemed far and away a better idea. The boat, with about 40 passengers left a few minutes late so the Italian captain decided he’d try for the speed record, Genoa-Portofino and off we roared.

The coastline to Portofino (a 1 ¼ hour trip) is nearly completely built-up, mountainous and beautiful. Portofino itself is simply gorgeous. In the tiny inner harbour were several British Yachts, the smallest of which was 130 feet long. I don’t know how big the longest was but it seemed 50 feet longer. In Mediterranean fashion, the were backed up to the main quai and I couldn’t get past the probable dock fees to even guess at the worth of the yachts.

 After a light lunch of bocconcini on tomato slices (43E, Portofino is expensive) and a stroll around the Armani and Chanel shops, we returned to the dock and made another high-speed dash back to Genoa. Now though, the wind had risen and the chop was sufficient to splash the throng, until with high pitched girlish screams and some excited-sounding Italian, the windows were closed.

On our salted return, we GPSed our way to a grocery store the size of a WalMart, got some bread and vittles for supper and drove confidently off the wrong way on the Autostrade 15km or so before u-turning and going home.

Supper on the balcony with a glass of wine ended the day.

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