Tony Bennett may have lost his heart in San Francisco, but I lost mine in Santa Margherita, Portofino and the surrounding countryside.
Up early for breakfast on the veranda. It's not quite seven in the morning so it's chilly and windy. The upcoming city looks beautiful - hillsides dotted with buildings each looking like card board homes.
The shore has dozens of small boats lined up but there are not many of them out this morning. Maybe they're late risers. There is some activity in the harbor though. A rowing team is gliding through the water smooth as a hot knife cuts through butter, like skaters gliding on ice. Through my binoculars (because we're not close enough to them) I can see four or five teams of rowers.
The ship can't anchor close to the dock so we'll have to go ashore in one of the lifeboats they're using as tenders. It's amazing the number of people employed to help make this cruise run!
Santa Margherita is beautiful and picturesque. It brings to mind St. Thomas, VI because of how the houses are built on the hills and on top of each other.
|Hello Santa Margherita, you're beautiful!|
We took a city bus up to the hills to Genoa. The views were incredibly scenic and makes one awestruck! The hillsides were dotted with olive trees, orange trees and grape vines. The winding roads are small and it seemed that every turn we were going to have head on collisions but we didn't. People park their cars on these narrow streets as if there were more than a mere hair's width of space between the vehicle and oncoming traffic, but they make it work.
I'd love to see the city and countryside during a rainstorm. To see the clouds cover the tops of the mountains or a dense fog rolling in from the bay would be beautiful I'm guessing.
We had a bit of adventure today. On the way down the mountain from Genoa the public bus we were riding broke down. The driver tried to keep going but decided to pull over and call for help. Standing out there in the cool day, high on that hill was nice but still a little stressful. We had enough time to get back to the boat, but we were totally stranded. With a driver who was rude and had a serious attitude! I don't know why he was upset. We were the ones inconvenieced!
|Stranded hillside in Ligure!|
|Making the best of a 'bump' in plans|
But, the location we had stopped overlooked the countryside and the smells from the sea, the citrus trees and grape leaves joined the smell of a fireplace and soothed. So, we leaned against a railing and sung songs, made jokes and marveled at our environment. Talk about leaving the beaten path lolol!
The shopping down in Santa Margherita was plentiful. I bought two pairs of earrings, a beautiful leather Furla bag, postcards and of course, a scarf. After shopping we walked to the beach in search of rocks and shells.
|Every woman should have one!|
The girls found a cafe with free wi-fi so they stopped and called their husbands. There was no one I wanted or needed to call so I wandered around by myself, did a bit more shopping then headed to the
ship. I was able to walk and stand longer than I expected although there were plenty of available benches to take rest stops. I was so pleased with my physical endurance that I immediately hit the pool when I returned to the ship.
After a restful nap my nieces and I went to the first formal dinner of the cruise. We looked awesome, if I must say so myself! It's a small world because the noisy couple next door (read the Monaco post) actually sat at our table. I teased them about hearing the argument about him having to wear cologne he doesn't like and congratulated him for doing it to make his mate happy. His companion though, what a woman! She brings a can of Coors Light to the table with her when she sits right?
|Turquoise & Silver earrings bought in Portofino|
During the course of the meal, she's drank three more then started on the hard stuff. She wants six, yeah you read that correctly, six lobster tails but they tell her the limit is two per passenger. So while she's waiting for the second course she decides to demonstrate her DIY skills by turning her napkin in to a phallic-shaped form. Next she demonstrates her athleticism by kicking off her shoes and putting both feet in her chair so that her knees are touching her chin, all the while swilling her alcohol. How lucky am I right now? Time for us to make an exit before things get ugly, because she's starting to crank up and get loud. Oh brother!
So here I am again on the verandah, staring out at the darkness and jotting down these memories. Sade's on the iPhone telling me she's a soldier of love. It's cool out here and breezy of course. The waves crash against the boat and seem to join in with Sade's soothing alto and is making me sleepy. Tomorrow's Rome and another day. I hope and pray it will be a fun-filled day with many souvenirs to take to the fam. I've already found what I was looking for: a leather purse from Italy. But, on the chance that I see something else, I won't think twice about buying it.
I'm gonna turn out this light and sit in the dark and wonder. Wonder if my parents would have enjoyed this cruise. Wonder if they would be proud of me. Wonder why they had to leave me so soon.