October 5, 2017. Day 39

 

 Nice to Pietre Ligure

Pietre Ligure to Finale Ligure (2 km walking, 6 km by train) (Fit Bit steps – 11537) 

It was strange to be back in Nice without our bikes. The Promenade d’Anglais was as busy as before, but, as a reminder of the 2016 attack, there were new steel bollards along the sidewalk. We explored previously unvisited sights,including the Palais Lascaris, which is remarkable for its baroque style and fine collection of musical instruments.

Our platform at Nice Gare was chaotic this morning as we waited for our 8:30 departure to Ventimiglia. Throngs of commuters heading to work in Monaco dealt with apparently not atypical delays and platform changes. One commuter told us that only “Monegasque” can live in Monaco and even if one had the help of someone with a “bras longue”, rents are prohibitively high.

Much of the route from Ventimiglia to Pietre Ligure was through long tunnels, with stops at new stations. This explained the long stretch of bike path on the old coastal rail line we had cycled in May. At Pietre Ligure we headed first to the Restaurant Beluga for lunch, then to the Ospedale Santa Corona for a reunion with Dr Lorenzo Viassolo, the head of trauma who had treated Paul. We had a warm chat about Paul’s recovery, family and our plans. That visit marked the restart of our adventure.

A short train ride to Finale Ligure later and we were checked into the Hotel Florenz, an old monastery where we had been booked in May. The remarkably preserved medieval gates, wall and churches of this town warrant more attention than they are given in the Lonely Planet Guide. The town is now the centre for many outdoor pursuits in the hills, especially mountain biking.

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