Sunday, October 28, 2012

Genoa – Cinque Terre, October 16, 2012

Genoa – Cinque Terre, October 16, 2012

The ship was supposed to anchor in the beautiful bay of Portofino; however, storms the night before made that impossible, requiring the ship to divert to Genoa instead.  Those same storms caused a change in the planned tour to the Cinque Terre, the five villages perched on cliffs along the Ligurian Coastline, which now form a national park in Italy.  The best way to see the villages is from the sea on a sightseeing boat or ferryboat.  However, boats were not permitted, so the tour was by bus and train, bus to the village of Manarola, then train to the village of Monterosso and bus back to the ship.  The villages have not all recovered from the devastating floods of a year ago, and the visit was planned for only two of the villages.  Unfortunately, the most important part of the visit was not possible – the view from the sea on a boat.  Both villages were quaint and picturesque, and I very much enjoyed visiting them and taking photos.  I also took many photos of other people, using their cameras.  In Monterosso, I stopped for pizza in a local pizzeria, where four local men who appeared to be laborers were having lunch.  I noticed that they drank a large pitcher of wine with their lunch.  Later, I saw the four men working, and I took a photo of them.  I found it interesting that they drank so much wine at lunch and then returned to work. 

The bus ride from Genoa was also interesting.  The topography of the land surrounding
Genoa is mountainous, with deep valleys between the mountains.  Separate villages or large towns lie in each of the gullies between the mountains.  Genoa proper stretches along the coastline and also far back into two of the valleys.  In the 1960s, Italy constructed a four-lane divided highway through the mountains and over the deep gullies from Genoa to Rome.  The highway is almost flat, passing through numerous tunnels cut through the mountains and over numerous very high bridges over the deep gullies between the mountains.  After each tunnel is a new deep gully, and new bridge, and a new town.  In the past, Genoa annexed these villages, which are now incorporated into the suburbs of Genoa. 

The bus ride also passed through Spezia, a port city that is a main port of the Italian navy.  As the bus passed through Spezia and then up the side of the mountain, it was interesting to see the large navy port with many navy vessels.  

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