Monday, June 15
Our day began with a hike up the stairs from the spot where the bus dropped us off to visit an Italian National Park located high above the City of Genoa. This is a mountainous park which contains 4 forts and the world’s second longest defensive wall along it’s ridge line. The longest wall, of course, is the Great Wall of China and iit is not quite fair to compare the two.. This stair climb was necessitated because the funicular that would have taken us from the town center to the trail head has been “broken” since March…..remember we’re in Italy. The weather which had been predicted to be 60% chance of rain, was threatening. The 9 kilometer hike was strenuous with very brief periods of sprinkles. A cloud enveloped us for most of the hike up, but it cleared up somewhat on the way down. . nnn We arrived back at the hotel about 1:30 and spent 31/2 hours enlarging/making a bike box to accommodate Maggie’s bike for the flight to Edinburgh. Fabio, at the front desk, kept reassuring us that it is was “perfect” and “possible”. He just had no concept of packing a bike for plane travel despite the fact that he said he was a racer from age 16-18. We used nearly 5 miles of packaging tape. After all was done, Maggie still had to carry her handle bars on the flight. When we were satisfied with the bike box, and cleaned up the mess we’d made in the hotel’s breakfast area, we headed to the Genoa Maritime Museum that has an audio guide and English translations on some of the exhibits. The museum details the history of Genoa as a commercial shipping center for more than 1000 years, until the 1800’s when ship designs changed rapidly and left Genoa behind. Genoa is the largest port in Italy.
We had a quick dinner with “The King of Donner” and then packed up. When we came to Genoa, we were wondering what we would do here for 5 days. Little did we know that Genoa is a treat for tourists. The prices are reasonable, the old city is easily walked in a few hours, the buildings in the old city are historic and beautiful, the walking “streets,” many of which are no wider than 5 feet and snake in and out, are fascinating. The history is rich with connections to the new world. Christopher Columbus was born here. it is a melting pot for people from all over. People are friendly, and the weather held.