Monday, April 11, 2005


I made it to Italy! Without the help of the A8

A colleague and I went east from Nice today; he has the rental car and I'm not a nominated driver so he drove. We left about 11 AM with the avowed intention of visiting Monaco.

Now logic tells you one thing; but childhood images teach you another thing. I imagine I first heard of the Principality of Monaco sometime in the early 60's; this was way after Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco. I imagined a fairytale countryside with a great castle. The reality was somewhat different.

See my photo gallery down there on the left for what I saw yesterday! Yes, that's really me in the photos; ugly ain't I.

We stopped in Monaco for a couple of hours; long enough to take some shots of the Casino at Monte Carlo. Alas I was unable to enter those hallowed halls; they don't allow cameras and I could hardly brazen out that large lump in my pants as natural! We ate pizza at a little restaurant; I ordered a Napolitana with anchovies and it was wonderful - the best pizza I've ever eaten.

Then we drove on; through Menton. Back in Melbourne there's a suburb on the bay called Mentone; I can see why it was named Mentone; the vista is exactly the same.

And then we hit Italy.

We drove through some town who's name I can't recall and ended up on the beach road. It terminated abruptly in a cul-de-sac beside a park. We both needed to pee by about this time; that Italian beer we'd drunk with our pizza had made itself known. And over there was a building obviously provided for our convenience! We walked beside; the smell was overpowering! I have to record that this was one of the few times in my life I've been glad that a dunny door was locked!

So we, still needing relief, drove on to San Remo. We parked in a tiny cul-de-sac and emerged on the Via Palazzo. Not a very grand street so we were at pains to remember where the heck we'd parked. From there it's a short stroll to the medieval part of San Remo. Well they call it medieval but it didn't quite match my gothic imaginings. Most of it looked like it had been built about 1600 which is, by Australian standards, incredibly old (no building in Australia is older than about 200 years and even those are very few and very far between).

We made the need to pee the excuse to imbibe of a glass of Italian wine. Bars means restrooms right? But it's hardly sporting to use their facilities without being a customer right? I knew you'd see it my way! Pretty good wine. Perhaps a trifle sweet on the initial taste but with a very satisifying aftertaste.

Coming back we took the opportunity to photograph ourselves in front of the signs marking the Italian/French border. See down there on the left for a link. Again, that's me being a dag

We finished off the daylight part of the day on Mont Boron. Some amazing views of Nice including the airport. As for how we finished off the nighttime part of the day; can you spell wine? I knew you could!

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