The time had come to shift our location from Italy to France and it was going to be a complex procedure, given that we had no car. Before leaving home, I had booked the train tickets with Trainline. The total cost for all four of us to travel approximately 300 km by train was $187 CAD.
The trip involved 4 trains, 3 transfers, 2 rail carriers (Trenitalia and SNCF) and 2 countries. All trains were locals and as such, you could not reserve seats. Couple that with the fact that all tickets printed out in Italian and French and some advance planning was required. We were sure to translate the fare rules and regulations well in advance. We need not have worried as the conductors only checked on us once.
In Riomaggiore, it had rained all night and we were just hoping we could get to the train station without getting us and our luggage soaked. No problem, the streets were drying nicely as we headed out to catch our first train for the 7 minute ride to La Spezia. As we only had a 5 minute transfer time in La Spezia, we boarded an earlier train just to be sure we did not blow the first connection.
We needn’t have worried, as we arrived in La Spezia with plenty of time to spare and found out we only had to cross the platform to board our next train. As we stood waiting, it started to rain. Fortunately, we were under an awning. It was a Sunday, but the platforms were busy and trains came and went with great frequency.
We were waiting for the train to Torino Porta Nuova, which would drop us at Genova Brignold for our next transfer. It arrived right on time and we dragged our luggage aboard and easily found seats.
The train pulled out on schedule and we were soon rolling through the Italian countryside, along the coast. Rain showers came and went until we arrived at Genova Brignold.
In Genova, we had about a 20 minute wait to catch our train to Ventimiglia. Enough time to visit the washroom in the station. Most local trains do not seem to have washrooms on board.
Again, we simply had to wait on the same platform for our next train. How easy was this? Our train was on time and we were soon on our way….
…through towns and countryside that became increasingly wet.
At points, the rain was pounding down and I got some rally interesting wet window shots. We were glad that this was a travel day and that someone other than us was driving….
…and that we could choose to simply sit or move around the carriage.
In Ventimiglia, we had to transfer from Italian trains to a French train for the final leg. This time, we were not so lucky and had to hike our luggage down to the tunnel and back up onto the correct platform. Still in all, not too bad.
The SNCF carriages were a little nicer, but there seemed to be a strange shortage of luggage racks. The overhead racks would only take the small stuff. Good thing the trains were not too busy.
We soon cruised across the border into France, no immigration or customs checks (thank you EU). We started to see familiar place names as we got ever closer to Nice.
Right on time, we arrived at Nice Ville station.
Patty had in her mind that she had to grab a Dieppois sandwich from the Paul sandwich stand, but at 5:30 PM, they were all out and she was sad. We headed off to the taxi rank and found a large taxi to take us and our luggage to our apartment.
In Nice, it was cloudy, but not raining. How lucky is that? All that travelling and transferring and we barely got a drop on us. I wish we had rail travel like this in Canada. A Bientot.