I am such a planner that no one is more surprised than I am, I don’t want to say love, but by my appreciation of disruptions during a vacation. Truthfully I am my best self when travelling; my patience for slow service is ten folds (I’m ashamed to say but I hoot in traffic at home), I smile all the time to everyone, my tipping is off the charts and my best friend hates it. I actually once tipped a waitress what ended up being everything we got including our tuk-tuk fare in Cambodia and ended up with my friend running around town for hours asking, have you seen my tall friend with really long blond braids because we had gotten separated whilst she went to draw cash. I’ll tell you about that another time. Back to travel disruptions; this one was in Italy and might be the third best thing that happened that week.
After our ‘rest stop’ in Monaco after a week of mad fiesta in Spain we were headed for Rome, hoping for more legendary times; only the Italian work-force had other plans. 7 km from the French-Italian border, resting on a small hill and still part of the Riviera is a small town called Ventimiglia. That was how far we were to proceed as it turned out rail workers were on strike and the first train out of that station was to be at 5pm, it was 8:30 am. We placed our luggage at the train station depository and went exploring.
With 8 hours to kill we started by buying the town map to plot our trek. We took a walk around the city but all roads lead to the beach. It is made of smooth pebbles; they are beautiful but hurt incredibly when you come out of the water. You could see as far as Nice when standing on the shore. We swam and sunbathe, but lying around tends to get me hungry. So we took off to search for food and I had the most delicious ravioli I have ever had in my entire life in a little restaurant ran by a mother-daughter team who spoke zero English. Our English-Italian translation book came in handy for the second time that day, the first was at a chinese shop when we were buying swimwear as our stuff was locked in the depository and went exploring.
With my food-baby (you can look it up, officially a word according to the Oxford Dictionary as of 2013) digesting whilst reading and watching life pass by easily, I fantasized about a long time visit in this small paradise with really affordable prices.
Visiting a town without seeing its market is a sin in our book, so we made our way to the town market. It sells mostly perishables, but there were delicate hand-made leather purses to die for. There are a few notable sights to see including a 10th century church of San Michele Arcangelo, and 2nd century ruins of what used to be a Roman theatre. Before we knew it the day was up and we were making our way to the station, and Milan was the furthest South we got .