We were up in good time this morning as we were off to Menton, just past Monaco on the train. We wanted to visit because when we passed there high up on the toll road last year it looked rather nice.
The weather forecast for today wasn't all that special, cloud and sun with a possibility of a thunderstorm early afternoon.
The hour's train ride was enjoyable as the railway goes right along the coast and we could see all the other resorts along the way.
Our first stop on arrival at Menton was the usual Tourist Information Office where we picked up a map of the town.
Wandering round late morning it was obvious there was a big lunchtime trade in the many pavement restaurants because of so many empty seats awaiting the big rush. We found the older part of town and climbed steep steps to get up to it. Even with several tourists about it was still a nice peaceful area. Rosina quite liked one of the churches on a square, and went for a look around inside. Having had her culture intake we walked the short distance down to the promenade. It was all a bit disappointing really.
Considering how close it is to Monaco, none of the wealth, class or ambiance has rubbed off. I'm sure it did have its heyday, but a long time ago. The one thing it has got is lots of Italians as the border is only two stops down the line on the train. We took a long stroll along the promenade feeling like Darby & Joan on a day trip to Great Yarmouth, yup, for me it was that disappointing. I suppose there was a clue on the train journey here. Hundreds of people got off at Nice, hundreds more at Monaco, only a handful of us at Menton. The Chef did remark "No wonder I could find almost nothing about the place in the guide books". The place seemed nothing more than a large open-air food hall. The beach was again nothing but large round pebbles, not at all suitable for a bucket and spade holiday.
We realised later in our visit that there were very few yachts of any size in the marina, and certainly no super-yachts which is probably a good clue to the quality of a resort. If it isn't good enough for FIFA officials, the Russian Mafia, or UK tax dodgers, then it's best avoided by everybody else.
The sky was getting darker and we decided to grab some lunch from a small supermarket and sat near the seafront and ate it, we'd had spits of rain on and off since our arrival and as there was little to keep as motivated to remain we made our way back to the railway station. A train due a few minutes after our arrival didn't show, neither did the following one an hour later following an announcement, so we were sat on the station for two hours until the 16:26 rescued us.
Because of the cancellations all of the stations along the route were very busy, especially Monaco and Nice. Thankfully the train carriages on these services are double-deckers, so although a number of people had to stand, everybody got on.
When we arrived back at the campsite we dumped the backpack then took a stroll down to the supermarket. Neither of us felt very hungry and so we ended up with some frozen chips cooked in the oven with lovely fresh crusty bread. Simple, but it did the trick, we really didn't fancy a full meal.
This evening we have a number of new campers on site including a number of Italians, one family of which are parked next to us. Noisy sods, either they're a race of hard-of-hearing, or everybody talks at the same time and they have to be loud to be heard. It's a father, mother and teenage daughter. She's another one who should take up playing the didgeridoo since she has mastered the art of breathing in and jabbering ten to the dozen at the same time, no breaks. I think I may turn the vehicle around tomorrow which will dampen the impact of their voices and give us a bit of privacy.