Saorge, Breil, Ventimiglia and Menton = parfait!!!
Trip Start Oct 18, 2006
93Trip End Oct 19, 2007
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Catching the train from Nice at 9:00am we decided not to stop off at the perched village of Peillon which looks spectacular and come highly recommended but is an hour up hill walk to reach it and we simply didn't have the time....or mind you the energy
The setting was extraordinary and breathtaking with its placement high up on a cliff overlooking the gorge filled with aqua blue glacier water rushing below us and Alps speckled with snow in the background! We were awe struck and immediately loved it and feel in love with Saorge. We spent two hours walking through its cobbled stoned streets, admiring the village life as we watched the villagers attend their gardens, hang out their washing, chop wood and gather on small bridge in the middle of the village and great each other with kisses before beginning their afternoon gossip session. We past the beautiful Belleview restaurant (the only restaurant in the village) and only one small clothes shop which made us realize we were really in a authentic and non-tourists village in France. We sat and ate our salad lunch which we had brought in Nice listening the water rush by in the gorge far below us as we marvelled at the sight of this beautiful village
Words will not do this place justice, you need to walk through its tiny alleyways and up its steep stoned steps, past tiny doors and bridges and peoples houses filled with potplants, window boxes and washing to experience it yourself. (Although Kat didn't want me to write about any of this....so that nobody would find out about this amazing place....so hopefully l don't spoil the secret it holds to much!) I will never forget feeling the peace and quite and the need to whisper here and suddenly angry French rap music started blaring through the quite village! We decided it must have been coming from the town rebels house, it so didn't suit the atmosphere, and quickly transported us back to the 21st century. Regrettably we made our way back down the hill to the train station to catch our train to Tende only to find that our trains doors were all locked and they wouldn't let us on our train!!
Very aware that the next train to Tende was in another four hours we decided to catch the train back to Breil and go from Breil to Ventimiglia instead. So we never made it to Tende, so l cant tell you what that train journey is like but l have heard its full of breathtaking gorge scenery. We had to wait at Breil for our connecting train for an hour so thanks to Kats enthusiasm we decided to walk around trying to find some shade out of the sun. Walking down the hill was came upon the most beautiful river l have ever seen! We sat beside it and wrote in our journals and ate a snack. The water was the most amazing shades of aqua blue and green and the ducks seemed to be enjoying it as much as us. Sitting beneath the gorge l felt tiny and insignificant and like none of the glitz and glamors we had been witnessing the last couple of days was of any significance compared to the natural beauty and grandness that this earth of ours contains
Leaving our beautiful gorge and river behind we made our way into Italy (which we had been bordering all day) to the coastal town of Ventimiglia. We then changed trains back into France to Menton- which is a confection of elegant historic buildings in sugared-almond pastels only a few kilometers from the Italian border and reputed to be the warmest spot on the Cote d'Azur. With this in mind we walked straight to its soft pebbly beach where we ate gelati and sunbaked in the afternoon sun with smiles on our faces as we looked over the aqau blue water and yachts bobbing up and down in the water. It was hard to get up off those pebbles (for numerous reasons!) and back onto the train, but the train trip was absolutely stunning taking right along the coast spectacularly reminding us of all the beautiful places we had visited in the past couple of days as it speed past Monte Carlo, Monaco, Ville Franche, Eze and Cap D'ail! But l would have to so that today topped it all!
(WARNING...if you plan to do this whole day trip research the train schedules VERY carefully if you speak French and if you don't get someone at the Nice train station to help you as it is rather confusing and alot of trains don't run everyday).