Genoa, Nice, Monaco and Portofino

This will be a very short post. We are in Genoa, Italy (pronounced Gen-o-va in Italy). Getting here was a bit of an issue. We had a bus ticket from Munich. On the way to the bus station, the underground broke down and we were stuck for about 20 minutes. We ended up missing our bus… I am surprised this hasn’t happened more to us. We lost about 50 euros but I may get some of the cost back from Flixbus. Then, we went to the train station and bought a very expensive train ticket. It had two changes along the way. Munich to Verona… Verona to Milan… Milan to Genoa. The train from Verona was about 20 minutes late… and guess what, we missed our Milan to Genoa train. The train line rebooked our ticket and we got in two hours late. All in all, it was a nightmare day of travel.

Long bus and train rides are a good time to catch up on tv shows!

We came to Genoa because this is where our cruise starts. We had six days here. We did not find a free walking tour so we just wandered around on our first day on our own. We got a map from the tourist information office and we downloaded a Genoa tourism app. The pictures below show some of the sites we saw.

The following day, we walked from our place along the coast to Boccadasse. It was about an 8 km walk one way. It was a nice walk along the coast but nothing super exciting.

We rented a car for a day. It was only about 15 euros which seemed like a great deal. However, to leave Italy cost an extra 16 euros. We drove along the toll highway and that cost 20 euros. Gas cost us about 40 euros. Parking in Nice cost 8 euros for two hours and parking in Monaco cost another 8 euros for two hours. What seemed like a great deal ended up costing about 110 euros. I think we could have done it by train or bus for much cheaper. Don’t tell Nic that because that is what she said all along. Oh well.

Our little car was good for little spaces

We went to both Nice and Monaco that day. While it was expensive, visiting the French Riviera and Italian Riviera was quite beautiful. The colour of the Mediterranean Sea was so blue that it was spectacular.

The drive home was long. We decided to route it on the GPS avoiding toll roads. As a result, what took us about 2 hours on the toll road took about double that along the coast. The drive was beautiful but more than half of it was in the dark. Then as we approached Genoa, somehow we ended up on the toll highway by accident. To get off of it again we had to drive about half an hour to get right back to the same entry as we started at. There was no toll but it cost us about another 6 euros in gas… ugh.

The dog in the shop next to our place

On another day, we took a train to Portofino. It is a spectacular little town on the Mediterranean built into a cliff side. My family knows of it because Michael Foster and Andrea Boccelli did a concert there and they have the DVD. We just enjoyed strolling around and exploring such a picturesque seaside place. It was a great place to find a geocache and check off Italy on my profile.

On the way back, we stopped at another small seaside fishing village. It was only about 12 km from our place in Genoa but it was easy to jump off the train for an hour or so and catch a later train.

A couple of days later was the start of our cruise. It was about 1.5 km from our place to the cruise ship. We walked it and boarded easily and quickly. My next post will be about the cruise itself.

Bon Voyage