Breakfast at the sea side again is juice, focaccia, jam filled brioche and coffee. It kind’ve feels normal to be eating this. How quickly we adapt. The promise of another hot day in the sun as it tracks it’s usual path. Already people are swimming. Staking their claim with sunbeds and umbrellas. Bonassola has been a perfect stop. We could have stayed longer and I hope Nice has a similar feel awaiting us. With a bit of time before we catch our train I wander and take a sneak pic through a locked gate that holds a lovely garden.
And this is one of the small eateries. The trees are amazing. I’m hoping Anne will know what they are. The leaves look like grape but instead of the gnarly bark you’d expect, there is an even smooth trunk. It’s obviously pruned to give shade and what shade they give, stretching across without support.
We have read many times the trains are fantastic. On time, comfortable and easy to negotiate. The big ones are. City to city, yes, but the local are hopeless. With the five trains we have been in this week, we have been given a train number and the destination and the time so we know which to catch but three were up to 20 minutes late and without numbers or names or identification, so we have no idea which to catch and when. Few announcements and mostly in Italian so we are never sure when to get off and I find that quite stressful. The carriage is full of people asking. Do you speak English? Do you speak Italian? Do you you know if this train is going to….? once we know we are on the right track, we are fine. Perhaps it’s all the tourists holding things up…Part of the experience!
With three trains to catch today to make Nice by six thirty we are racing from one late train to the next hoping to make the connections. We meet three South Africans who are on a three week trip and also on their way to Nice. Like us they are unsure but we check each thing through and decide this is the one. The trip is mostly coastal for a total of five and a half hours and out my window on the left side it is beautiful. The sun is glinting off the simmering boil of the waves as they wash into the coast. There’s fishing and boating and sunbathing and we are barely aware that we slip from Italy to France. The French Riviera I am told.
This is Gilbert explaining co-pilot to them as they discuss the pros and cons of the different GPS. Imagine me doing this trip without Gilbert to figure out GPS and all the other technical bits. It would be so much harder and more expensive maybe.
We chat on about life in NZ and SA. How different or similar is it. Are you a Christian country they ask and are very surprised to hear we are for the most part, tho people have freedom to worship as they please by and large. “What did you think?” I ask after seeing the surprise on their faces. ” well…seeing the All Blacks and they way they are conjuring up the spirits before a game we thought it might be similar to the many tribes in Africa”. We have to laugh at that one. Travel is so good for broadening mutual understanding indeed.
We part at the busy train station in Nice and take the short walk to our apartment. Vero meets us there and shows us we are on the third floor. Supermarket is ten steps this way. Beach 20 mins walk this way. The place is full of boulangerie and pizzeria and anything else we could want. We do a quick shop that should last a few days, spending just a little more than a good restaurant meal and I cook the first dinner I think I have cooked for over three months. I toss a salad as Gilbert opens the wine and it feels good. I’m looking forward to muesli and toast and coffee tomorrow morning, but right now I’m waiting to hear from one of the kids who just might be waking up and willing to have a Skype session.
Bonsoir from France and Bon Matin or perhaps Bonjour, if you are on the other side of the world. Didn’t even look those up either!