It’s a train day. Starting at 8:30 this morning, we were to catch the first of five trains to take us to Nice. The taxi driver, rather than taking us to the local station, pulled on to the autostrada (freeway) heading for Verona. Not sure if that was miscommunication or if he just wanted a bigger fare. Oh well. We paid more, but saved one transfer.
The trip to Milan took 90 minutes on a Eurostar (one of their faster trains) and now we’re waiting aboard another train in Milano Centralè that will take us to Ventimiglia (a town that borders France)
It’s one of those trains you see in movies with the passageway down one side and compartments with sliding doors that seat six. Our compartment is full, but Ron and I each have window seats.
Understanding the language would, again, have been helpful. I just used the toilet and apparently, they’re not to be used while stopped in the station. Whatever you deposit goes right through to the tracks below…enough said!
We’re moving now. The passing scenery south of Milan is mostly farmland—nothing to get too excited about. But as we move closer to the coast, we come into mountains. An area called Isola del Cantone is particularly beautiful. We’re snapping pictures like crazy. Not sure how they’ll turn out when we’re going this fast.
We enter a tunnel that may just be headed to the center of the earth. It seems to have no end! When we finally emerge, we are in Genoa, a city at the base of the mountains, perched overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Genoa is very pink—the color of day-old cotton candy. (I’ve noticed that some cities take on a general hue determined by how many houses and other buildings are stuccoed in that color. The lake town we were in yesterday was predominantly yellow)
From here, the train more or less follows the coastline all the way to France. The terrain is still very mountainous, so we are in and out of tunnels. The sporadic, but breathtaking views have us reaching for our cameras, but as soon as we’re ready to snap the picture, we’re in a tunnel again. Forget pictures. Let’s just enjoy what we can see.
At last, we have an uninterrupted view of blue water, endless beach, palm trees, marinas…ahh the French Riviera. I would have liked a glimpse of Monaco, but we passed right underneath the city/country and all we saw was the inside of a very fancy-looking train station through glass doors as we scurried to catch the train to Nice already waiting on the next track.
Finally our train day is over. We arrive in Nice and decide to walk the short distance to our hotel. After checking in we head for the beach where the setting sun is painting the sky in rippling waves of red. Ahh…tres magnifique!