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Monday, August 30, 2010

The Blue Line is NOT a metro line!!!

So Brandie, her son, Reese and I decided to try and get to Ikea today by public transit. Brandie is the wife of one of Richard's co-workers and her and her family(and son) live in the same complex as us.
So we got on the bus in Basiglio at 16:30, it took us about 20 minutes to get to Fammagosta metro station and by studying the transit map we thought we would go north one stop, change to the blue metro line, east for two stops and change to the yellow line.


It didn't go that way!!!! So we managed to get to the stop where we thought we changed to the blue subway line, it didn't exist. So we go out to see if we have to walk to change to it, nope. Try to get back in, have to pay another euro for a ticket, go wander down on the platform and there are still no signs of it. So we got back upstairs and ask the guy in the security booth "Dove S9, metro blue!?" Where is the metro blue line!? he looks all confused until we say S9 and then points us to the exit and points up. So we head upstairs and lo and behold, our blue line metro is actually the above ground rail system, which only comes every half hour! GRRRRR

Train comes, we get on it, only to discover that we are NOT going in the right direction. UGH
So we get off at the next station which just happens to be end of line and ask some Italian guy which train and platform goes to the station we need. He points at the train that we JUST got off and says "Due Ferrmata" two stops on that train.OK then.

So we get back on the train and sit for TWENTY FIVE MINUTES before it finally starts moving. Didn't want to get off the train to check anything in case it took off!!!!
We make it to the station where we are supposed to change to the yellow metro line and the station is GHETTO!!!!! hahaha go up the steps to the exit and come out to a t-intersection......and Noooooooo metro signs in sight!!! At this point we're feeling VERY betrayed by our transit map and I ask the first girl walking by where the metro station was, she points us in the right direction.(There is NO way you would have seen it from the exit!!!!)
Finally get on the right metro going to San Donato after paying ANOTHER euro,  only to realize that we've missed the Ikea shuttle by a lot and we call the husbands to come and pick us up from the station since its only 5 minutes from their office.


So we're going to try again next week and we'll remember this time that BLUE on the map does NOT equal a METRO LINE!!!!!!!
Seriously it took us TWO hours to get there!!!!

P.S. Rowena is M.I.A

Yeah, and I think I liked her better when I KNEW where she was!!!!!
We had a windstorm on Sat night and when we went to take the dogs for a walk on Sunday, Rowena was nowhere to be seen. It looks like the storm blew her web away so who knows where she is now. Maybe she made a new web further into the bush where its sheltered. Maybe she perished in the storm.

All I know is that if she tries to cross the borders into The Land of Burwell.......... I WILL declare war, and I will win.

Portofino-Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

So we decided to go to Portofino this weekend. It took us two hours to get there, cost us 19 Euros in tolls on the autostrada and just over 10 Euro for parking. All in all it was WONDERFUL! Portofino is known for being frequented by the rich and the famous. The town itself is very pretty but there isn't much to do there if you don't own a yacht and you have a two year old! You pretty much drive through a big series of LONG tunnels to get there from Genova as you pass through all the mountains, it was pretty cool.

I would like to throw out there that a LOT of these pictures were taken from the passenger seat of the car and therefore are not really what I want them to be. But I've posted the ones that turned out all right here so that you can get an idea of what our day on Sat looked like. Plus Richard took quite a few of them when we were up on the cliffs, I told him I'd give him credit!! :)

I would REALLY like to return to Portofino next summer for a few days, maybe stay in Santa Margherita. We didn't see anyone famous there that we recognized this time!

This was on the way to Portofino, a really old Abbey of some sort partially hidden behind the fields

Same Abbey, different view

The Italian countryside as viewed from the Autostrade A7!!! I like how it looks like an old painting :)

Typical scene here in Italy, laundry hanging to dry everywhere. They are very resourceful on where they put their laundry lines!!! This is in a tiny village that we drove by on the way to Portofino, near Genova

Sea mist/fog came rolling in as we neared Genova and we were really hoping it wouldn't stick around!!! Made for some great pictures though :)

Another valley coming into Genova

This one is kind of blurry but I just loved how the trees looked on the ridge

This was the winding road going toward Portofino on the peninsula. It was VERY tiny in spots and I honestly thought I was going to have a heart attack I was so scared on the blind corners!!! I love the little red cooper in this picture and the way the light is coming in from the side.

The harbour in Portofino, some of the boats that are used to get OUT to the big boats are INSANE. Seriously I'd take one of their shuttle boats and be happy!!!!

Looking into the harbour, you can see some of the bigger boats on the right.

The big boys in the background

The church and then the square around the harbour. It was pretty amazing, the buidlings were all brightly painted but then all the cool little details that you see are actually PAINTED on!!!

I WANT THIS BOAT!!!! Norm I took this picture for you because I knew you would appreciate it!!! If I could have paid to go for a tour of this thing I would have! The GIGANTIC yacht to its left was flying an Aisle of Mann flag like the one we saw in Vancouver! It was the size of a small cruise ship

This one is CANADIAN!!!! YAYYYY If you look really closely you'll see the Canadian flag sort of folded up but flying. Its out of Nova Scotia. It aslo had the Ferrari flag flying. I wonder whose yacht it is!?!?!

The end of the harbour

Reese "sailing" the hostess stand at one of the outside cafes :)

Ahhhh me and my tree pictures, I just liked the contrast!!

After climbing five billion rickety little stone steps we got to the top. Castle Brown, which was indeed brown but was far to pretty for such a boring name!!! This was the view. Freaking amazing hey!?!?!

Someone's yacht coming from the mainland. An old house down in the foreground, I think its part of the castle grounds.

The little cottage up near the castle. It was so pretty and quaint I had to take a picture of it.

The cottage from the other side.

More trees :) This was on the path back down to the harbour, which was much more picturesque and gentle than the stairs!

The castle gardens

A cool covered archway that Reese and I explored on the way down.

Waving hello from inside the arch

The Portofino harbour from above

Reese and I with the harbor behind.

And another try

Reese being carried so she wouldn't ruin the people in front of us who were taking pictures hiding in the bushes!!!

Reese who has had quite enough at this point and decided that she didn't want to hold my hand anymore while walking on the cliff paths....yeah sorry kiddo, no other option here.

So the other option is being carried!!!! Notice the look of serene calm on my face!! hahaha yeah right at this point she was on my last available nerve :)

Small boats to big boats and the piazza surrounding them.

The mermaid statue at the end of the path right by the end of the harbour.

There isn't really a beach in Portofino so everyone just swam at the boat launch!! And sunbathed all around the boardwalk! Or on their fancy boats of course!

Yes....random pink meercats!!!!

The crazy fish swimming in the harbour. Reese was quite excited!

The village streets in Portofino. We had lunch at Nicola's, a sidewalk cafe and it was REALLY good!

Reese and Richard maneuvering the streets. The stores were all high end ones, so there was Gucci and Prada etc etc etc.

On our way back from Portofino to the mainland on the scary roads again!

Cute little apartments by the side of the road

Silhouette of the harbour

View from the coastal road back toward the mainland and Santa Margherita

The crazy houses

So this was how small the roads were, you had to maneuver around each other, if it was just cars on the roads it would have been ok, you'd each hug your corners and there would be a few near misses but it would be all right. BUT NO.....there were mopeds parked ALL down the sides of the roads, and then there were the mopeds that were weaving in and out of the traffic on the blind corners and THEN to top it all off there were freaking cyclists and PEDESTRIANS strolling all over the place. It was INSANE.

View of the bay and the crazy houses through the trees

And again :)

The "Beach" in Paraggi. There were about a billion people squeezed as tightly as possible into the smallest beach ever!!! And there were umbrellas EVERYWHERE so I'm not sure how you'd sunbathe!!!!

Cool little vine covered cottage in Paraggi

The crazy roads again

The coast line. I want to stay in that house up in the far right corner and eat breakfast on that patio!!!!

Two guys randomly sitting on the top of a rock out in the ocean

Maybe they were cliff diving??? They looked like they were having fun!!

Two guys fishing at the side of the road

More beaches crammed in wherever they could make them work! ANY available area for sunbathing is just crammed with people!

Santa Margherita

The upper town

Some CRAZY house that we saw which was all Arabian nights, we think it was a private residence, pretty awesome

About Me

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Milan, Italy
I am 34 years old, married to my wonderful husband Richard and mother to a beautiful 8 year old daughter named Reese. We lived in the suburbs of Calgary until January 2010 where I worked as an ER Nurse. Then my husband was transferred to Vancouver for a 6 month temporary project. Our blog Tripping over the Sidewalk told all about our adventure living on the 30th floor of an apartment building in the middle of downtown Vancouver. Then we moved to Milan, Italy for 18 months, Ciao-Eh was the online forum for our Italian adventures. We moved to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates in January 2012 and lived there for two and a half years. Sandscrapers, Souks and Sand is the blog of our adventures in the Middle East! We are now happy to be back on a little acreage just outside of Calgary where I'm sure more adventures await!!!!



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