a goodbye, five trains, Nice and Genova

There is no such thing as a painless border crossing, especially if that border is the France-Italy border.  For some reason, there is no direct train from Marseilles or Montpellier or even Nice into Italy.  From les Trois Moulins, South-East of Carcassonne, I had to take five trains over two days to get into Italy.  Although the train ride to Nice was long, it was spectacular.  The train hugs the coast from Toulon all the way to Genova.  Sadly, the only metaphor I can think of to compare the beautiful blue Med Sea is the colour of the ice blue freezy sticks.

When I arrived in Nice, it seems a little eery.  It was quiet.  When I got settled in the hostel, a few hours later, I went for a stroll.  At night, Nice comes alive.  And that’s Nice’s secret: beach by day, city by night.  Makes sense.  I’m booking 6 nights when I return in August.

Genova, comparatively, does not have any beaches.   It’s an industrial city.  Geologically speaking, it’s a funnel.  The port is in the bay.  From the bay, the town rises on the hills.  GoogleMaps had estimated a 20-minute walk from the train station to the hostel.  Unfortunately, it didn’t take into account that the hostel is at the top of a hill.  I walked for an hour in 27-degree heat with my two backpacks.  Also a downer: the hostel is in the burbs.  It’s a 20-minute walk back down to the town centre.  It’s also really boring.  I don’t think I need to say that I am soooo stoked for Cinque Terre on Thursday.

View from my room in Genova.

Here are some of the last pictures I took at les Trois Moulins:

Pataud, Bernard’s dog.  “I joue le con, mais il n’est pas con.”  I thought it was spent “Pato”, but then Bernard corrected me.  “Pataud” in French means “clumsy”.  I’d say that’s about right.

Yesterday, Phoebe, Ellie and I went walking through the nearest village, Verdun-en-Lauragais.  It was sort of sunny, but mostly just really windy.  All the kids who walked by us thought we were so weird.  We must have been the first English-speaking people they’ve ever seen…

I have to give a shout out to Phoebe and Ellie for getting me totally hooked on Passion Pit.  I’ve had their album in my iTunes for months but never bothered to try it out… I’d say since I left les Trois Moulins, I’ve played Manners about five or six times.

Until next time,

🙂 Julie


One thought on “a goodbye, five trains, Nice and Genova

  1. Yo! just thought I’d finally check out your fabulous blog! This is such a cool idea, definitely following suit when I take my year off next year! love the photes, god I miss that place, heatwave in Ireland is well and truly over, Aran jumpers all the rage for autumn fashion. Love how you dig passion pit, we’re going to see them next week, so excited! I shall read on and see your italian adventures!

    p.s. we also had to muck out a chicken shed at our second farm, ick

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