Genoa almost by accident

We’d signed up to tour Genoa because the tour finished with a transfer to Milan. As it turned out, it was possible to just buy a direct transfer to Milan, but they didn’t tell us that until after we’d booked the Genoa tour. Ship excursions are not refundable. These two facts may not be unrelated. Others on the tour seemed to be there for similar reasons, which made things a bit difficult for the poor tour guide. The other people on this tour included both English and Germans, so she had to say everything in two languages and aside from us and one Australian family, all were more frail than those on our previous tours and kept asking for coffee and rest breaks. To top things off, unlike the English and Welsh couples we’d shared a dinner table with and whose company was the best part of the cruise, the English people on this tour were like the worst ones from an Agatha Christie novel. They didn’t quite use the word “wogs” to refer to the Italians we encountered, but we kept getting the feeling they were thinking that way. (To be fair, it didn’t help when someone tried to steal one woman’s purse.) One woman kept talking about her “little man” back home who makes her eyeglasses.

Nonetheless, we did enjoy the tour. After the first few stops, the worst complainers left the tour to go straight to the bus meeting point, which helped considerably. We got to see the house where Christopher Columbus grew up, the wonderful twisty and dark streets of medieval Genoa, a church with several paintings including some by Rubens, and the magnificent 12th-century cathedral. We also picked up some sandwiches that were better than any of the cruise food. However, still fighting off our colds, we slept through most of the drive through the Alps on the ride to Milan (we’d seen it on the way up, anyway.
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As we approached Milan, we drove into a thick fog, enough to make us glad we weren’t planning to fly out right away. I do hope the other people on our tour were able to fly home. Some of them won’t be happy until they’re back in England, anyway.

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