Monday, 13 July 2015
Ventimiglia: Ducks and desserts
After a short but very enjoyable stop in Menton I was on my way to Italy! The scenery was absolutely stunning: rocky coast, blue sea, blue sky, tall cliffs.
We rolled into Ventimiglia and the first thing I did was find the nearest ice-cream shop! I had banana and stracciatella and it was as luscious as I had always hoped Italian ice-cream would be. The banana was especially striking as it tasted exactly like real banana and not the artificial banana taste you often get in ice-cream.
I wandered through the streets just enjoying being in another country and being surrounded by fast, musical Italian. I explored a market and souvenir shops and enjoyed the lovely views of houses set into the hillside rising around the city.
I found the sort-of-estuary where the river becomes the sea, which is crossed via a bridge. Standing on that bridge taking photos of the many wildfowl hopping and bobbing and flying about is one of my strongest memories of Ventimiglia. There were ducks, seagulls, swans and more. The weather, which had been sunny in Menton, had turned kind of moody - it felt as though a storm was coming, which made an unusual and pleasing ambience for the photos.
I then arrived by the sea where I sat and read for a bit as I was tired out from trekking around and from the heavy air. It was nice to just sit there and relax. I returned to town and visited a craft shop where I bought some lovely carved and painted animals.
Back in the station I just had to try some pizza at the café. I also have a lovely dessert called a Sicilian Something or Other which I can't find again but which combined pastry, chocolate, orange and cream and which was divine.
I then went to catch my train back to Juan-les-Pins and it was then that the worst thing that happened during my Antibes fortnight occurred. My camera bag was stolen. I didn't see it being taken, I just realised that it was no longer there.
It was horrible: my camera, camcorder, memory cards and all my photos of the trip were gone. Naturally an awful, panicky time followed in which I contacted my mother and we tried to find out what I had to do and where to report the theft.
I would later go to the police in Antibes and contact various people on the railway system. I never got it back. I have a replacement now, which is a wonderful camera but I miss my old one terribly - I had had it for years.
So, my afternoon in Ventimiglia contained one very bad memory. However, I try to focus on the good times when I remember it: the ice-cream, the birds, the craft shop, the Sicilian dessert. One day I hope to take a grand tour of Italy and see Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Naples and Sicily itself (setting of one of my favourite works of literature: Much Ado About Nothing). One day...
Thanks for reading,