Day 334: South to GenoaJanuary 14 in Italy
On the move, again! Packed up in Turin and headed for the station, then hopped on our train to Genoa at 12pm. Should be a fairly easy run this one, just a direct train that takes about 2.5 hours.
Or at least it was supposed to be! The first 90 minutes passed uneventfully, although the conductor tried to tell us something in Italian. Eventually the train pulled into Alessandria, a backwater city just over halfway between Turin and Genoa, and sat. And sat. And sat.
Eventually everyone got off the train, and one person who spoke a bit of English told us the train was cancelled because of a strike! And we'd had such a good run up to the this point, only a couple of cancellations and delays.
So we went inside the station but the two harried-looking people at the counter couldn't speak English, and judging from everyone's tone, there wasn't any info to find anyway. Nothing online about the strike either, naturally - though it was probably just in this area.
There weren't any other options either, no buses and definitely too far for a taxi. So we just did what everyone else from our train had done - go inside the cafeteria and wait. Mainly because it was heated! So we waited and waited, for almost 2 hours in the end.
Finally people started moving so we all got up and headed back over to the platform, where a train set off for Genoa again. I'm pretty sure it was actually the same train we had been on before, so who knows.
Anyway, we finally made it to Genoa. It's an old port city, once the rival of Venice and still one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean. The medieval area is really atmospheric - no cars, packed in tiny, mazy streets and alleyways. There's also just a hint of danger in the air too, as prostitutes are a pretty common sight as well as people just "hanging around" - probably selling drugs. We'd been warned no to go down dark alleyways particularly at night, and though we figured it would mostly be safe I was a little on edge the whole time. It also looked a little grimmer than usual since it was Sunday and all the shops had their shutters closed.
Found our apartment with no issues, on the eighth floor of an old palazzo but thankfully with a lift! Nice apartment, recently renovated though the bathroom is a bit odd. No shower curtain, it's just sort of in a cupboard and has a sloped ceiling coming towards you.
We settled in for a bit then went wandering down to the waterfront. Lots of people out enjoying the late afternoon. Not quite as sunny as yesterday but only scattered clouds. Walked past the famous and surprisingly expensive aquarium, walked to the end of a couple of piers and back, then visited a famous deli/supermarket creatively titled Eataly. Stocked up on provisions for the next couple of days before heading home via a few streets we hadn't explored already.
Lots to do tomorrow!Read more