Cinque Terre to Nice, France-August 14: Moving From "Back Door" Italy to "Front Door" France

We ate breakfast this morning with Allan and Margaret from Australia who are spending their 5th summer at this hotel. Speedy Taxi picked us up for a 5 euro trip to the station. The first train to Genoa was uneventful except someone in our compartment was singing in Italian and talking on two phones at the same time. On the second train there was a toddler sleeping in my seat, but the apologetic mother carefully moved her. As the train wove north along the coastline in and out of tunnels, the view out the window was either small beaches with cabanas and colorful umbrellas, or rocky coves with people sunning on the rocks.

The train stopped in Monte Carlo. As a bear, I wanted to visit here, but my owners said it was much too expensive. We only got a brief look out the window. The station was modern with glass and wood details.

We are staying at the Windsor Hotel near the beach in Nice on the Cote d'Azur. We asked for a traditional room, but we got an artsy room. The art is a photograph of the eye of a hurricane cut into puzzle pieces. It's quite unusual, but the room is very clean, comfortable, and modern.

We walked around the busy promenade and the old city. Many of the hotels lining the promenade still retain their Old World charm with brightly lit retro signs. We saw people parasailing, swimming, and just enjoying the view. Many of the private beaches had colorful umbrellas and cabanas for people to rent. Since the beach is made of tiny pebbles, the wooden platforms for beach chairs are a welcome relief. There were eateries outside everywhere. Many of the beaches seemed to magically transform themselves at night from a beach atmosphere, to a candlelight restaurant. For dinner we had ravioli at Nissa Socca. It wasn't on the beach, but the food was good and the atmosphere was festive.

"Train to Nice"

From darkness to light
darkeness to light,
As the train emerges from the tunnel,
rocky sandy beaches flicker by
like slides on a carousel projector.
Don't forget to stop
and enjoy this scenic wonder.


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