Oh my Gaudi, I love Barcelona.

Yes, I am trying to find a pun for every entry.
Spent the morning at guell park, Gaudi designed park just up the road. Did a bit of camino training with vertical climbs and stairs through the back streets (and I made C carry the backpack!)
We are staying in a little flat in Gracia a cool suburb about 15 min walk from centre. This flat is warm, has natural light and room to swing 3-4 cats, much better than palazzo in Genova.
We had a wonderful night last night wandering into town, after mooching and doing washing (yay!!!) we came across an antique market and did a bit of bargaining lashing out on a folding corkscrew (we have been poking corks in like we are at uni) our only souvenir so far (apart from the scorpa cards, current score R 61, C 57)

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Museum orgy begins….. Our challenge, should we chose to accept it. To see 22 museums in 48hours.

Well, we managed 11!

First we had a wonderful walk from Genova central to Nervi- about 12/13 Kms. Mostly along the seaside and it was a beautiful day. We walked past all the begni- private beach clubs where a few brave souls were sunning themselves despite it still being pretty chilly. we walked for a while then had a packed lunch stop at a beach where we watched kids being kids; throwing rocks into the sea, getting their shoes wet and being told off by their mums.
Then after another hour C declared it could be gelato-o’clock. Now we have been very restrained on the gelato front, I’d like to say because I’ve been flexing my “will power muscle” but really because its been so cold.
We went into the shop and C said she wanted the same as this girl had just had-stracciachella (possible miss-spell) or choc chip.
The guy said “we’ve run out” C’s face fell
“But if you can wait 5 minutes, I’m making some more” !!!?!?!!!!

He bloody was too (see pic) he melted choc on the stove and stirred it into the fresh vanilla he’d made. Amazing!
We were two happy girls, coz when you lash out, you want it to be good!

-Genova gallery of modern art- modern art from Liguria
-Wolfsonian-furniture, advertising and propaganda art from 1920-1950s.
-Palazzo Rosso, Bianco, Tursi- art and lush palaces.
-Antarctic museum of Italy- apparently their speciality is meteorites (you learn something everyday!)
-Galata Maritime museum including submarine visit.
-Maritime museum of Pegli again in a lush palazzo.
-Ligurian archeological museum in Pegli – Neolithic to medieval (and where the guide asked us if the aboriginal cave paintings included pictures of “ooofohs” AKA UFOs or aliens. We didn’t want to disappoint, so said, yes probably!
-Treasures of the cathedral including the arm of st James and st Catherine, a piece of the true cross and some of Mary’s hair. Love it!
-Diosese museum in an amazing medieval building with the “blue jeans of Genoa” blue dyed fabric pictures of Jesus’ life. The material thought to be predecessor of denim.

Today just spent getting to Milan (ah trenitalia) for our flight to Barcelona tomorrow. Ciao italia it’s been bueno.

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You say Genova, I say Genoa….or if only I could tell my left from my right.

Genoa part dirty port city, part cool grungy city, part seaside resort, part mountainous national parks.
Very vertical city- has funiculars and escalators up the hill, and in the fifteenth century there was competition to have the grandest palace.
The intercity dignitaries were desirable as houseguests so the competition was on. My palazzo is bigger than yours. Then behind the grand palazzos is a medieval tangle of tiny alleyways. An ability to tell my left from right would be helpful, we always seem to take the long cut!
We are staying in a tiny flat, up black marble steps worn away from the years of use, in a fifteenth century palazzo, off piazza del vigne, backing onto the street of perfect love!
There is an article about vico dell’amor perfetto and the story of thomasina “the true Romeo and Juliet” but it’s in Italian- note to self, google later.
When out after dark though, we have found we are in the red light district (I suppose perfect love comes in all different guises).
We have spent a couple of days wandering around admiring knit graffiti (of all things) and of course visiting churches aplenty. Lots of the churches (like in Parma) bombed in 1942 and 43. Due to our ignorance neither of us sure if that was by Germans or Allies, another question for prof google. My fave was the church that burnt down in 1400 something and to raise the dosh to rebuild it, they elevated the building and put shops underneath. I like it.
Today we took a one carriage train to Casella. About an hour climbing up from sea level to about 1000m through forests, where the cingale (wild boar) hide out. We arrived at Casella then pretty much walked straight up the hill out of town into the hills and the forest. We sort of followed a track and some vague signs, but it was an exercise in trust for me as I always think we are going to get lost and die in the woods!
Anyway, it was a beautiful hill walk through mossy groves, forest and fallen leaves (and we didn’t get lost or die!)
After a couple of hours, got back to the village as the cloud rolled in and it started to rain. We had time for a cappuccino – haven’t been able to shake the tourist habit of milky coffee after 10am. Then topped it off with a glass of red to warm our cockles for the ride down. Wonderful!

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Cinque Terre- cinque seasons in one

Cinque Terre -cinque

Went from La Spezia to Cognilia on the train with a mild headache after the bacchanalia of the night before at La nuova Spezia.
Walked up the thousands of steps in the rain, and checked into our little room feeling a bit flat.
Decided to walk up and over to Manarola and see how we went. In 2011 landslides washed away the coastal track and some of the other tracks, so it’s a bit of a challenge getting information about how to walk and how far it is. Anyway, the hotel lady said it was about an hour an a half so we thought we’d give it a go.
We started climbing, it stopped raining. We kept climbing, the sun came out. We kept climbing, stripping off layers. We were soooo lucky!
It warmed up and the sun came out. It was just stunning. We climbed and climbed through vertical vineyards, olive groves and ancient walls (and on the way down through a bizarre electric 12 stations of the cross-lit at night, gloriously cheesy during the day.)
We had the same good fortune as we walked over to Vernazza the next day. Again a beautiful walk, topped of with pizza on the wall by the sea.
Train to monterosso del mar, a pretty commercial seaside town (we were looking for kiss me quick hats in italian) so decided to just carry on to our flat in Genova so we could gather our finances a bit. An Airbnb, so half the price of the seaside rooms and it has a kitchen so we can cook….and have some salad!!!!!

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