Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Ligurian Coast

The canton of Geneva recently had their Geneva Fast holiday on Thursday, so we took the 'bridge' to make it a four day weekend. We took advantage of this to travel down to the Ligurian coast for some sun, sea, and Italian food. We've been to the Ligurian coast before, having visited the Cinque Terre, but we'd heard that the area around Portofino was also really nice and we decided this would make it a good place to visit.
We stayed in Santa Margherita Ligure, the first night in a noisy hotel with uncomfortable beds (the price you pay for last-minute organisation), before transferring to a somewhat nicer hotel for the last two nights. As we arrived quite late on Thursday we only really had time for some (delicious) dinner in the town before heading to bed.
The next day we headed out to Portofino, which is a famous and exclusive town that has played host to many celebrities over the years. We had a very nice time wandering around the shops and getting bites of food  to eat (the focaccia is quite famous), and we also hiked up to the castle that overlooks the town.
The view over the pretty port town from the castle was fantastic (note the giant yachts).
After several hours in Portofino we headed to Rapallo for dinner (I think the Rapallo tourism board must have been paying this fisherman to be there just for photos). Rapallo turns out also to be a very nice little town and, after picking an Osteria at random, we had another delicious seafood dinner.
On Saturday went down to Vernazza, one of the towns in the Cinque Terre. Originally we were going to catch the ferry but it left town quite early and in the end we decided driving would be a more flexible option. However the drive was really quite a lot longer than expected and the road through the hills above Vernazza were quite difficult to negotiate.
Anyway Vernazza was as nice as we had remembered from our last visit, and we had a nice swim in the sea, some delicious geleto, and yet another great seafood dinner before walking to our car and driving back to Santa Margherita.
On our last day we had a quick walk around Santa Margherita before driving over to Comogli, which also took quite a lot longer than expected (especially since the parking was near to impossible!).
From Comogli we took the ferry to San Fruttuoso, where there is a old Monastery located on a very picturesque beach and (being Italy) some little restaurants. At the restaurant we chose, we sat right on the beach and ate a delicous lunch. I had a strange (in concept) Pesto Lasagne which was actually really delicious.
We swam in the water at San Fruttuoso but somehow we got stung by a jelly fish! Linda got stung far worse then me, and it certainly encouraged us to leave the water sooner than we would have liked.
Finally we raced back into Comogli and back to our car (picking up supplies along the way!) for the trip back into Switzerland.

The drive back took a lot longer than the drive in since the Mont Blanc tunnel was backed up for miles. We also had a small drama after the tunnel, finding ourselves in a mountain storm with windscreen wipers that seemed effective only in smearing the water across the windscreen. We sheltered in a service station where we found some new wipers (and a hot chocolate to revitalise us) before getting home quite late on Sunday. Despite all this, it was amazing to be able to drive into Italy for such an amazing weekend!


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Anonymous said...

Those piccies are amazing (as always). When you do FINALLY come home, I will miss the piccies.
Hugs to you both,