Monday, June 15, 2015

Day 9 - Genoa and a wheelchair

Down to see the Doc first thing this morning. Filled out lots of insurance forms yesterday and Steven talked to Linda, our travel agent about what needs to be cancelled. Doc talked to Dr. Mark in Geneva and they’ve decided an Aircast is good to get me home. It’s a walking cast, sort of. Hurts to walk yet, but I took some ibuprophen and we’ll see what happens when it kicks in. Still need the cane to help take some of the weight off the foot.

Doesn’t change our plans to come home on Saturday. I want to see Ireland, but not this way. Would rather wait and see it later when I can walk unimpaired. Steven and I talked of the Stages of Grief over breakfast and realized we’d gone through most of them already. It isn’t always linear, so I still get a little emotional at times, but mostly? I’m good. I’m no longer angry at myself for being a klutz.

I mean, let’s put it in perspective. I didn’t break my leg tripping over a kitchen chair or because I stumbled in the garden. I broke my leg hiking on freaking Mount Vesuvius!!! I broke it while doing something fun, something wonderful. I broke it on an adventure.

tugboats in the Genoa harbor
Steven’s gone on a recon mission into Genoa, our port today. We’re docked at the Ponte Andrea Doria, which I hope is not a bad sign. If the roads/sidewalks are good, he’ll wheel me in so I can see at least a little more of the city than I can from the ship. But if they’re all cobbles like they were in Rome and much of Palermo, I’m staying put. No sense in rattling my teeth out, too.

12:30 pm

A building in Genoa - but you can see the efforts made to fix up
What a pleasant morning! Steven came back with a pamphlet for a bus tour that went around the city. About a 45 minute tour, it picked up right at the end of the dock and had a boot in which to store my wheelchair (yes, they use the English “boot” instead of the American “trunk”). So, I dressed (i.e. put my skirt on over my shorts) got in my chariot and away we went!

The tour was quite informative (and stuck to the route on the map!) and I took lots of pictures. It didn’t, however, drop us off at our dock, but at the entrance to the old city. No way was the wheelchair going to make those streets, so Steven wheeled me back to our dock – a distance of about a mile around the bay. There was one spot that had a hill going up and I got out and put that Aircast to good use. A handrail alongside helped and I climbed up the ramp myself. Was glad to sit again at the top, though.

Back on board we had pizza for lunch – I walked the 100 feet from our room to a table poolside and we met our nurse from the first day. She was thrilled to see me up with the Aircast and somewhat mobile. I say “somewhat” because a snail could beat me in a race right about now. I think we made the right decision in not going on to Ireland. Walking hurts some (4-5 on the pain scale; not excruciating, but not that pleasant, either) and we’d planned a LOT of walking in the Emerald Isle. Although we did have a nice poetry going: the Emerald Princess to the Emerald Isle. :)

This is a great example of tromp d'oil - that entire facade is painted!
Steven went back out in the afternoon and managed to get himself lost on purpose. He wanted to get off the main streets and see the “real” Genoa. And it isn’t hard to find your way back to the sea – just head down. In his explorations he managed to down two gelatos (melon and a deep, dark chocolate that was so dark it was almost black) and a cannoli. Ah, Italians do know how to make a good dessert!

He also spoke Italian most of the time. He didn’t have to say much, just speaking to shopkeepers, but he said he almost felt he could pass as a local. Not hard to believe. He’s tanned right up with our days here and with his hair short and all curly, he looks as Italian as the statues in the piazzas and the shopkeepers themselves. He feels at home here, and that makes me feel proud. He fits here.

I could fit here, too, but I’d always be the American. I’ve spoken some Italian with people and I’m pretty sure I have an American accent when I do. I have the sounds, I just don’t have the music.

But is okay – is an adventure!

 Play safe!

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