Aquarium in Genoa

Trip Start Dec 19, 2007
Trip End Apr 16, 2008

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Flag of Italy  ,
Saturday, January 19, 2008

We left Milan and headed down the coast to Genoa. Due to our missed train, half of the day was gone by the time we arrived. Luckily our bed for the night was very close to the train station so it didn't take long to find. It was run by a cute little Italian man who spoke very little english. We tried asking directions to the aquarium and that went fine, but then he went into detail about the towns history and completely lost us. We picked up that it was the birthplace of Christopher Colombus and something about Mussolini, the English and bombings through expressive hand gestures. We gave him the old smile and nod. He was incredibly helpful even considering our lack of Italian.

We set off for the aquarium (apparently Europes largest) and got lost on the way through a series of small streets the size of an alley that were lined with shops. The buildings were all very tall so we couldn't use landmarks to navigate. Its quite the challenge to understand the scale of each city's maps as none are close to each other. What appears to be a major road on one map can easily be a 20ft wide pedestrian walkway. It's actually quite fun getting lost and coming upon sites we wouldn't have otherwise seen. We made our way to the harbour and found the aquarium. It was actually quite impressive and a welcomed break from all of the historical sites, churches and museums. They had plenty of sharks, a giant tortoise, penguins, lots of exotic fish and so on. We went and watched a free 3D movie about the monsters of the ocean but it was entirely in italian. After, we entered back into the maze of alleys in search of some cheap eats. This is a somewhat tiresome game as nothing is cheap close to the tourist trail and we can't read the menu once off it. We have been trying to stick with grocery stores but they seem to be hidden from the tourists in order to force us towards more expensive options. The Italians seem to eat at least two main courses with every meal. This makes ordering even more important as you can't assume the size of any portion. What we've encountered in a few places is that their idea of a large portion isn't filling at all and we understand now why one meal consists of so many courses. Anything more than one course falls out of our budget range so we'll stick to the supermarkets and splurge now and again.
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