Monday, 17 October 2016

Italy and France, no bike though

So a visit back to my roots (again) with my sister and brother in law, a first visit to her birthplace since she left for Scotland's weather and food several decades ago. We flew to Nice with Easyjet (nice flight, no problems) picked up our what was to be crap hire car (Nissan Juke, just don't, handles like a nervous blancmange and difficult to judge the size of the thing, not good on narrow Italian roads) and headed to Italia. We were staying with one of our distant cousins Bruno in his most excellent B&B and quickly settled in. Up to the village once again to be treated like a local by the staff in Rio Barberia, It really is amazing the welcome we get here, the fact my sister was like the prodigal returning made the welcome even more special. The week was spent visiting, eating, drinking and soaking up the history. A bit of time sunbathing (not much) and showing Laura and Peter how to have a telly free week of adventure, I'm sure they loved it really and sorry about taking you up the road to Steva's house Laura, pity you had the coat over your head and were screaming, there really is a nice view. The fantastic bit about this part of the country is you can easily flit between the chic of the Cote Azure and the rural beauty of Italy, the difference is tangible, people on one side of the border trying to live a nice "normal" life whilst the French side at this point is full of rich people wondering how to get richer. Monaco is a case in point, visited, adored but really its full of tax dodging luvvies and crooks of gigantic proportion, probably as many gangsters and crooks as a overcrowded Brazilian prison. Anyhoo the photos tell a better story..........
A selfie overlooking Monaco (honest) 

Pre dinner drinks in the yard, our shit hire car in the background

Plenty greenery

Chances are my grandad had a hand in this at some point being the local blacksmith

Laura and Peter at one of the entries to the village

Narrow streets we played in as kids

View from the Cemetery

This path leads from the village over the mountains to France, this is as far as we got (about 300 yards)

Nice view of Rocchetta Nervina

The famous bridge and castle in Dolceaqua

Laura on the balcony of our Grandfathers house where she was born

Sanremo beach, like St Andrews but without the golf and rain

We visited Steva so I could at least get one bike picture

I though it was funny

Finale Borgo, nice town

Steva and Fiona, Rock and Roll

Ready for a walk

The view from the back road to Ventimiglia Dolceaqua below the Med in the distance

Harbour in Menton, not as pretentious as Monaco

For Bert to drool over

Menton towards Italy, 5km along the road the migrants who survived the crossing from North Africa are trying to escape from Italy, sad that the EU is doing nothing to help Italy

Menton with a Queen Vic statue, she must have "taken the air" here

Italy 1000M

Wonderful evening with our extended family, wild boar cooked by Luigi, excellent

Monaco, tradesman's entry

Spend spend on tacky souvenirs 

The palace doesn't look so grand in the rain

What percentage of the population are crooks or exploiting poorer taxpayers?

This is where soon to be Mr Green is hiding, if he sold this he could help the BHS pensioners a bit

Nice, nice but not so much in the rain

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