Thanks to everybody for the fab comments. I think of people back home lots and it’s really great to hear from you all.
We’re getting on well and really enjoying our trip so far. From Marseille we headed to a rather un-Riviera-esque, rainy Nice. Down at the sea front it was misty and grey. In the main square there were some interesting sculptors – statues of men, high up on poles and lit in various primary colours. We passed lots of nice bars and restaurants but bought a kebab from a smily man and wandered about – trying to be frugal.
From a sunny Nice the following day we headed to the Cinque Terre – 5 villages of Riomaggiore, Manorola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso, each set on top of cliffs and each within walking distance of each other along beautiful paths set into the edges of the cliffs. We’ve been spending our days walking by the sea, looking at the gorgeous spring flowers and wandering around the villages. And also eating great picnics.
On the train to the Cinque Terre we got chatting to 2 lovely Swedish women who told us they’d been friends for 50 years. One of them lives in the USA and the other is studying for a while in France, but then moving back to Sweden. Got me thinking that it is definitely possible to keep up relationships over long distances!
We also met an American man at the train station in Nice who didn’t start traveling in his own country until he was 63 years old and now at 74 he and his wife are traveling in Europe for the first time. If we don’t see everything this time maybe we can do this again when we’re 70.
We had a great breakfast this morning. We stewed some pears in a bit of butter and then folded in some tarte poretta (some cake that we didn’t finish the day before). It was absolutely delicious. We may be camping and generally trying to do things on the cheap but we’re a hell of a long way away from roughing it.
When I was washing the dishes after breakfast I saw a remote controlled caravan. That kind of took me by surprise. I’d never seen a remote controlled caravan before.
We took the slow trains from Marseille to the Cinque Terre. The French Riviera looked impressive, colourful, bright and hella glitzy. I was happy enough seeing it from the train window between chapters of my book (Ghostwritten by David Mitchell – thanks to Chris for recommending it to me). Mind you the stop over in Nice was a nice treat…
The Cinque Terra is lovely. We’re staying in a friendly and peaceful campsite near Deiva Marina – just outside the five villages. We’re spending our days wandering around the villages that sit perched on hills overlooking the water and tumble down into beautiful coves. This part of the coast is absolutely beautiful.