I have to change rooms today. I’m moving to a triple bed room; to have it to myself I’ve had to pay 38 Euro. It’s on the same floor, so I packed up my stuff, put it in a locker, and went downstairs, sheets and pillow cases under one arm, for breakfast. Dumped the bedding in the laundry basket, had a big bowl of muesli, 2 glasses of juice and a coffee – after a bit of a wait – then walked the bike to the bike shop – I walked it as the main drag along the seafront is really busy, what with triple parking, kamikazi scooter riders, tourists with no idea or direction, and the normal commerce taking place around 9:00 am – deliveries, shops opening, hawkers trying to sell stuff, – all the hustle of a busy port and tourism centre. I also walked it as I’d have had to cross the main road twice to get to the bike shop – they drive on the right, here.
Bike safely delivered; I pick it up tomorrow afternoon. Back to the hostel, final check of the room, change into beter footwear than sandals, and down to reception to hand in the keys – one for the front door, one for a locker, one for the floor door, and one for the room.
The hostel has two cleaning ladies, who do a great job; the rest of the staff (I was told that there are currently 14 of them) are pseudo volunteers, who in return for a room and a pittance, run the place. It’s a way for them to extend their stay in Genoa, or to live cheaply for some while studying, or whatever. I’ve met two, both young women, who are helpful, efficient, capable and organised; most of the others are bloody useless – unhelpful, couldn’t organise a chook raffle, etc. The bloke at breakfast was defintely one of the latter. Breakfast is available from 8:00 – he was running late, so there was no coffee, no juice, no milk – he’d get it soon, he said, while checking hs facebook account. They do have a high staff turnover, but I’m sure they could do better – it is a servie industry….. End of rant.
I have the tourist map, which is so full of numbers, emojis and different coloured lines as to be useless; so I did a meander. Genoa clings to a steep cliff, which dives straight down into the ocean, making it a great deep water port; it also means that once away from the quite small old town, you’re either walking up, down or across a mountain. I took every laneway that led up, until I hit the edge of town, looking down over it.
I paused and got my breath back, said hi to a few mounain goats as I passed them (jk), got myself oriented, and meandered down, keeping my shadow just to my right, and found Ferrari funtain. I paid my 15 Euro, and jumped on the city sightseeing bus. Good value. Past Christopher Columbus’ house, past the jail where Marco Polo was incarcerated, past all the palaces and mansions of the generations of elites, stopped at the magnificent railway station, and meandered it’s way to the docks, before heading back to Ferrari fountain.
That gave me a general feel for the layout of Genoa centro. It was now after 1:00pm. so I walked back to the old port, looking for a feed of fresh fish – but found that there’s a beer and food festival on; overnight the dockside had been transformed with white tents, hundreds of them – all sselling beers from hither and yon – Slovakia, Bavaria, Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands (always thought that should be the Lowerlands…) and lots of local stuff too – and endless food stalls. I had a few pico’s (small plastic cups, holding about 150 ml – between 3 and 5 Euro each) and a serve of fritto misto seafood. It’s a tough life.
Back to the hostel, where my room was ready – moved in and unpacked. It’s got an unusual bunk setup – a single bed at the bottow, with a double above. I’d have thought the double below would have been a better way to go. No curtains, just poorly fitting wooden shutters – I’ve lost my eye mask, so will be awake early. I had a little nanna nap 🙂
Woke after an hour, had another shower – a hot and sticky day today – and went for a wander again. Around 6:30 pm the street get lively i a different way to the day time – I stopped and grabbed a slice of pizza, ate it while I walked, got another from somewhere else, and carried on walking. Had a glass of red at a bar, and back to the hostel; tred. My legs are used to cycling, not waking. In bed by 8:30, read for a while, then slept.
Last full day tomorrow – dunno what I’ll do yet 🙂
See you down the road