A very short ride today, just to get me to Genoa. Took it easy; got up, showered, got a phone call from Emily and Rosalie – it’s great to chat like that. 12,000 km away, and they might as well be in the next room. We take so much tech for granted.
Dinner last night was another experience; fantastic food, brilliantly served – formaggio as an entree – something the restaurant is renowned for, apparently – like a very thin cheesy pizza, but yes, very tasty. I followed that with spaghetti and seafood – beautifully cooked, but really – mussels and other shellfish here are so tiny; must have just about fished the Med dry. And a cheesecake for dessert. I had a half bottle of chianti to go with it. A couple of great hotels and great meals.
As a penance, I’ve booked into Ostello, the Hostel Abbey for my stay; 28 Euro a night for the first two (single room) and 38 for the last two nights – I negotiated that rate, as it’s a three-bed dorm, and I wanted it to myself. And got it; no-one had booked in. I have to change rooms as I originally booked two nights; I found out this afternoon that I can’t get a ferry until Saturday, so had to book two more nights. So I get four nights accommodation for less than half the cost of the last two, though dinner at the Ostello is an extra five euro….
Breakfast was OK. A 3. Only cornflakes, slightly overcooked croissants, one jammy type of cake, and sliced meat and cheese. Two bowls of cornflakes, two croissants, and two pieces of cake – washed down with OJ and coffee. It’ll be interesting to see what Spanish breakfasts are like.
Set out after 9:00 am; down Via Roma, under the railway bridge, swing right at the roundbout, and up hill, out of Recco Bay. And down into Mulinetti, across the rivulet, and up, then down into Sori, then Pieve Ligure; each almost a replica of the other; a small crack in the hills, formed by a small river; a tiny harbour, a whopping great church and a small cluster of houses around it, all now overwhelmed by large high-rises that house the growing population, and new hotels and apartments on the fringes for holiday makers.
At Nervi I entered the massive sprawl of Genoa; still over 11 km to the centre. Dual carriageway, every scooter in Northern Italy, buses, cars, vans and trucks, all trying to make five lanes out of two; there seems to be no regard for road rules. People just pull over and stop – and sometimes, at a particularly popular stopping point, like a favourite cafe or bakers, they pull up three or four abreast, put their hazard lights on, and go and grab a takeaway – and the remaining traffic toots and beeps, and squeezes by. Bicycles are sacred cows; they are about the only vehicles treated with respect. Pedestrians, on the other hand, are treated with contempt. Cars and scooters park on the foottpaths wherever they can, and nearly all pedestrian crossing have traffic lights – those that don’t are extremely dangerous to use unless the road is empty – I’ve nearly been cleaned up a couple of times as I walked around this afternoon.
I found the central square, with it’s big fountain (Piazzo Ferrari), oriented myself, found the tourist office at the dock, got a paper map and pushed my bike the 150 metres to the Ostello. The room is clean; made the bed (clean sheets given to me as part of the deal – a towel was an extra euro) It’ll do. The wifi is good, and it’s pretty central; I’ve stayed in way seedier hotels at twice the price.
No ferry until Saturday at 5:00 pm – gets me to Barcelona at 1:00 pm Sunday. So – four days to relax and explore. Should be fun.
See you down the road.