Well I got you as far as the train ride into Ventimiglia in the last post. For those of you who fear that all of my posts will become histrionic fear not, my photos of Ventimiglia are worth it (Ventimiglia is also known as Vintimille in french).
Suggested listening for this post: Anoushka Shankar, Breathing Under Water http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_HT-d8W1_M
Have you ever noticed that water will just draw you near? It’s like we instinctively follow the path to the uncluttered skyline, if you’re aware enough you follow the scent and even the sound that water will make. Have you noticed your apprehension as you approach the waves? Your heart rate, your excitement growing until you reach them? Then you stop in veneration and listen to the dull roar of the waves upon the shore. Quite powerless to its effects; infinite and changing, powerful and graceful, and perhaps a part of you admits, another wonder of the world
In Ventimiglia we had such an experience, although I happily admit I’ve had the same joy in many places including Ontario. If you recall in my prior post I said there is no way to plan for the train that takes you from Ventimiglia to Nice, and the website says “One leaves every hour”. Recall yet again my comments about european travel? Naturally there was a train strike, so we had about two hours to kill until the next train came. A very kind gentlemen explained this to me in baby french until I understood him (note this was not the person at the office being paid to do so). My french is now on par if not lower than my italian, but I still get on alright considering.
So outside of the station looking at each other Tyler and I decided it would be agreeable to wander. Our hearts just followed the road straight ahead, leading to the uncluttered skyline, though we couldn’t see water yet. The environ in Ventimiglia is interesting, palm trees!? Alright then! And even more interesting there was a street bazaar lining all the way down the boardwalk (not before we noticed some rather tasty looking things in a shop window).
Recalling it is like a scene from a movie, wandering down the wide open street towards the sunlight and water, over a bridge where a man was feeding birds. It was so blue, warm and bright; like being inside a piece of glass or a marble, seeing everything in saturation, little white houses doting the hills stark in their contrast.
We spent a long time at the beach, watching, taking photos. The people around us were a pleasure and most intriguing. While we were still in Italy, all I heard was french, and the manners were a blend of both cultures. French women, I think, delight in being an oxymoron; they move with insouciance and elegance that I have yet to see another culture master. A tolerably looking french women on her worst hair day will look more put together then I will 30 minutes in front of a mirror. This is not jealously as I have other qualities to be pleased with, but careful past study with hopes of duplicating it; I gave up and contented myself with being myself awhile ago.
The Italian Effect, ahem, on the area had some women moving with more purpose, more character than others. I find the starkest contrast between the two cultures in their women (perhaps because I concern myself more with observing their fashion). Anyway the italian woman is there with her family, some children, some relative, something and is carrying on a conversation. She is put together and done so to be more striking than the french woman, as typically that plays to their features. What only enhances an italian’s woman beauty would completely dominate mine, so their ability to hold such power is also enviable. If the french woman is to be enigmatic then the italian woman is to be bold. Their manners follow their language I think.
We wandered down the bazaar, I’ve become fond of the little design boxes for women’s whatnots and Tyler is always excited to see WW II memorabilia, it’s not something you’d see at a bazaar in North America. Considering the history of V– it has been a place that has felt the effects of war, being so close to borders and the on the coast. I was sad discovering later that we missed the medieval castle and the roman ruins but we only ended up there on the luck of the train company. On our way back I popped into a shop to buy the mouth-watering things we saw in the window. A simple pizza and this dish I cannot find the name for; it’s an egg dish with artichokes, spinach and wrapped in filo pastry……wipes drool away from mouth. It was fabulous and they only make the artichoke one when they’re in season!
I think our journey to Nice was enjoyable as Nice itself, and I really felt at the moment regardless of what Nice offered I enjoyed the experience thus far and was content with that alone.
I think the photos from here are my favourites next to the Lakes in England. The light was excellent.