Today I woke up with a start. I had set my alarm but apparently forgot to turn it on – oops. Luckily I still had 10 minutes to make it to breakfast on time!
At 8:30am sharp, with all my chicks in tow, we head to the train station and without much delay board our train for Sestri Levante. We change here for our train to Santa Margherita Ligure – All aboard! By 10:30am we at in S. Marghertia, ferry tickets in hand we disperse in search of REAL Italian coffee – not from a machine. Success!
Leslie has declared that Santa Margherita Ligure is named for the Patron Saint of margaritas! I like that logic – ha ha.
In the post for our first day of hiking I mentioned the waiter saying a very strong NO! to Doris’ request for Sorbetto. We have since discovered, he was not being rude or mean, that is just the way it it said here – an emphatic NO! Several of us have encountered it since and have even used it ourselves. It has become the ‘word’ of the trip!
At 11am we met and caught the ferry and, OMG here we are in Portofino. It is every bit as magical as I imagined. Small, but oh so picturesque. We wandered the winding streets and alleys and with every turn there was a photo opportunity! After taking at least a zillion photos we chose a sidewalk cafe that proclaimed “Do you want pizza?”. We answered Si! And sat down. For the next hour we ate, had a lovely glass of wine and watched the world go by – my kind of free day.
We caught the 2:00pm ferry back to S. Margherita and I sat while some of the ladies wandered – darn my knee. Doris returned shortly after so her and I walked through the streets, finding the most amazing gelateria where, of course, we had to sample a couple of flavours. Our cameras were clicking constantly as the colours and designs of the buildings are so beautiful.
Eventually we meandered back to the area where we will need to catch our train and perched ourselves at a lovely hotel terrace and had tea and an acqua frizzante. How very civilized! Before long the ladies joined us and we climbed the long stairway up to the station.
Without incident (thankfully as I did spot a suspicious group of 3 that were likely pick-pockets) we got on the train back to Bonassola. We had a bit of time before dinner so everyone relaxed and regrouped at 7pm for our evening talk. The hikes tomorrow involve around 600m of downhill so I am out of the hikes for the balance of the tour.
Looks like several others are not wanting to hike so we will plan a sightseeing trip for the day. I think we will take the train with the group to La Spezia, then bus to Porto Venere and join the group for the ferry ride back to Monterrosso. Now just need to get the plans sorted out. I asked Trevor if he had ever had so many “jump ship” before and he responded, “in a word, no”. Always a first time for everything.
Dinner was a choice of cod or chicken. I had the chicken with the most divine lemon sauce, and a salad. Although I love the pasta here, it was nice to have something a bit lighter. Totally wiped I did research for tomorrow’s trip and crashed at 11pm. All this sightseeing is exhausting – ha ha.
For Portofino Photos see: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152293619966887.1073741920.593681886&type=1&l=f7bbb8f85b