We didn’t notice it at first…Arriving at the train station eager to find our hotel and get settled, it just missed our attention. Admittedly I had simply scanned over some brief details about Santa Margherita and Portofino before our trip. Only the essentials such as the train route from Genoa and the booking of the accommodation were planned. The destination was Italy… The Italian Riviera..The adventure of this trip was going to be discovery in situ.
Our key card in our pockets, our back packs ( Our first major holiday with back-packs. Very liberating. Loved the freedom it enabled ) safe in our hotel room, we could now start our exploration…We walked to the sea front not far from where we would be staying….And there it was…A Red Carpet…Endless… A bright red path….pointing to our destination….pointing towards Portofino. At first we thought it was painted on the pavement but on close inspection we could see that it was a thin durable ( it needs to be) material..A carpet all the same. A red one at that!
It took us one and half hours to walk to Portofino. The red carpet acting as our own personal guide…We walked at our own pace taking in the magnificient view of the clear blue sea on one side and emerald green hills on the other. We didn’t care about the sun-rays that seem to hit us directly…nor did we mind the twenty somethings hurriedly passing us some showing a slight impatience at our stroll. ” One cannot hurry the red carpet” I wanted to say.
We stopped half way to have a relaxing cold drink to quench our thirst. Just before arriving at our world-famous and awfully glamorous destination we walked up the stone steps to a steep hill passing through a small wood still walking the red carpet. The peaceful atmosphere , the chirping of the birds and the crickets, a pleasant breeze , the tall pine trees belied the fact that Portofino was now only five minutes walk away.
There it was…Portofino…Breathtaking….Its cobbled Piazetta overlooking the harbour famous for being frequented by the super-yachts and the super-stars… Beautiful villas dotted across the hills. No photograph could do it justice. We both agreed on that..
We checked the ferry times running between Portofino and Santa Margherita and made a mental note of it.We still had several hours until the last one.It was time to explore.
One doesn’t need a super yacht..a super villa..whatever the extreme rich and famous may have to feel special.
But a Red carpet always helps….