The day started out with the expected blue sky, and the usual scattered clouds. We were leaving early and the sun had not yet broken over the terrace so we just had breakfast inside (how quickly we get accustomed to living the life that eating inside felt like slumming).
We left for Sanremo at 8:30 am and arrived at 10 am. It's only 75 Km, but even though at times we could do 110kph (66 mph) there were still some areas where there was work going on and lanes merging to 1 or 2 from 3 or 4. The traffic out of the area and through Cagnes-sur-Mer, as well as the Nice area, was typical morning rush. The exit lane into Nice was backed up onto the Autoroute, but we eventually got through it.
The drive is stupendous. The road hugs the edges of the mountains and the sea and various hilltop villages are plainly visible. The road has frequent tunnels, some as long as a km or more (that's 3,000+ feet), but it's relatively straight or with gentle turns since they just bored through the mountain.
On the French Autoroute there are frequent stops at toll barriers, which accept correct change or more, some credit cards and all a Telepass, like our Tolltag.
The Italian Autostrada has toll takers as well as credit cards and their version of the Telepass, but also, on electonic sign boards translates into French and English what the sign is saying.
We got to the Sanremo exit, and with Nigel it was a short 10 minute drive down a windy road, a few blocks on a large avenue, and then a quick turn up to the hotel where we were meeting Antonio and his wife, Mariella. We parked in the hotel garage, with the usual grief moving the monster into a space made for midgets.
Sanremo is a beautiful seaside town and at the same time having at least one street with expensive shops for the clientele you expect there. We saw some nice 150 Euro cotton short sleeve shirts, and 250 Euro jeans, but we had all we needed, so next time.
We walked around the town, up and down streets, then stopped for cafe's, talked, relaxed, made like normal Italians.
Sanremo has a large influx of Russians in the summers, which goes back to the early 19th century when the Russian aristocracy disovered Sanremo, and it today has a very large and impressive Russian Orthodox church. There are so many Russians that visit, and shop, that many stores not only say we speak French, or English but also that Russian is spoken too.
We had lunch in the hotel dining room, I won't explain it in detail except to note that as Italians do, there was a first course, seafood spaghetti for me, spaghetti with a tomato basil sauce for Karen, followed by a fish course and some wine for all of us except Karen who had Veal Scallopini, and polished off by desserts. Just a simple meal so as not to stuff ourselves.
We toured the beach area, some of which is free, but the best areas, which include lounges and umbrellas, cost a few Euros.
Then we went back to the hotel and sat by the pool a while and about 3:30pm headed back. We were back by 5pm. It was a really great day.
A brief stop to freshen up and not wanting to eat in, nor drive into Saint Paul, we walked it. It's only 20 minutes, mostly up hill, but the good part is the return is all down hill. The walk though passes through some really beautiful areas.
Saint Paul looks a lot different in the late afternoon and evening, fewer people, cooler, quieter, and you see more of its actual inhabitants.
We made reservations for dinner at 7pm at a small restaurant we found on a quaint street and visited some streets we hadn't seen earlier in the week.
Dinner was simple, just one plate, some bread and wine. Karen had a Pork Tenderloin dish, and Mike a Sea Bass.
We were back home at 8:30pm, did the blog, and planned tomorrow.
Enjoy the pictures.
Russian Church in Sanremo
Antonio, Mariella & Karen
Another Beach View
Dinner Restaurant in Saint Paul
Karen's Pork Tenderloin
Mike's Sea Bass
Saint Paul viewed from road walking up