You'll have to forgive me and give me a little grace for two things, firstly my travels will not be in chronological order, and secondly all my pictures are photo's taken of original photo's. In other words they might be a little grainy. I have a beautiful Canon EOS5 but alas it was just as the digital era came to be and therefore mine was the age old 35mm film version ...sob sob!

Back to the good stuff , today we are in a picturesque little Italian Coastal Town called Portofino. I have had the privilege of always seeing these lovely towns and villages from afar (being on a cruise ship and all) as we are at sea. To go ashore to day we have to make use of what is known as 'tender' boats, this is one of the life boats that has been lowered and is used to get ashore if the port is too small to allow the ship to dock.

From the minute we dropped anchor today I was blown away by this cute little town. It has cheerful colored buildings a small, rustic and calm little harbor with a wharf just bursting with cute side walk cafes.

It's my day off , it's 28'c outside and I am ready to go have something to cool off with, afterwards to find the nearest beach and immerse myself in the beautiful blue chrystalline colored water and cool off a little.
As you can see (below) mission one was accomplished in no time at all and with today's partner in crime , my roommate Gaelle ( Gaelle is French and has a fabulous accent). We found a cute street trattoria that served strawberry sundaes or chocolate sundaes and we were sold, after all how can you resist fresh hand made creamy Gelato smothered in Strawberries and chocolate?

Now that our bellies were full , we started to walk around, and the one thing I did notice is that in Portofino the shutters or what looks like shutters, is actually an imitation replica of shutters ornately painted on the buildings to add to the aesthetic appeal (see below). The streets are lined with apartments that have the typical 'wash line between two buildings' strung full of clothes with the Italian mumma's shouting at the top of their voices ....it's fabulous.... and so surreal.

Making our way through the houses toward the beach we came across so many quaint little arches , walkways and courtyards all covered in ivy or creepers, steeped in history to such an extent you could almost smell the mildew on the air. As we breech the final walkway we are greeted by the cutest orange bus (not unlike those in London) blaring it's horn as it passes by. Gaelle and I look at each other, a little startled and then hear the beeping again further down the road? Suddenly it dawns on us ........aaahhh 'he beeps to let people know he is coming around a blind corner' a practice they have pioneered due to the narrow girth of the roads and sharp bends( they are cliffs after all). It does take some getting used too and hang on to your heart as I nearly died with fright.

At last we reach the beach ...hey! Where did the beach go? Yep , it's all friggin pebbles!
The nearest sandy beach is miles away so we lay down our towels , wriggle our bottoms to make way trying to bevel our own unique body print in the stones. The water is lovely and cooling , so crystal clear you can see right to the bottom ......sigh , such bliss! (You can see the cove where we went in the images below).

Finally we are headed back now on the tender boat again, it is hot and humid. We literally step off the tender onto the deck when we hear plop ...plop ..plop plop. I turn around and it is a hail storm .....yes, a hail storm in Portofino at 28'c ....crazy ( yep that's me below on the pic ...just thinner  *tee hee*)

My highlights of the day .....
- fabulous side walk caf├ęs
- great seasonal food and fruit
- photo opportunities to die for
- awesome beaches ( if you are prepared to travel)
- great Grappa
- picturesque sight seeing every where you turn