Italian & French Riviera, Nov '12

Our time in Italy comes to a close as we head back to France via the coast. Lots of very nice little fishing villages along the way, and a nice (if rather wet) week spent in Manarola, in the heart of Cinque Terre.

Interestingly though, both Pratiwi & I felt very happy to be returning to France. Perhaps having a tiny (yes, very tiny) bit better grip on the language helps? Perhaps we feel more comfortable there after spending more time en français? Perhaps we think the French are friendlier than most Italians? Whatever it is, plenty of happy times in this sector of the trip.

Of course, it's the Riviera so let's drop a few names: Pontovenere, Manarolo, Riomaggiore, Portofino, Genoa, Sanremo, Monte Carlo, Nice, Antibes, Cannes, St Tropez... etc, etc wink

FWIW, I'm convinced the off season is the time to do this. The weather was beautiful and these places are busy enough in the middle of winter. Crowds would be a complete nightmare come summer!


We're heading to Cinque Terre today, but on the way dropped in on Pontovenere...


Lunch in Pontovenere. Just got our order in before the kitchen closed. This is Italy so it must be a late one! Lucky!


I guess this is pretty much the gateway to Cinque Terre? Road above Riomaggiore, looking North & down to the village.


A few phases of the sunset above Manarola. Well - standing in the little square by the church.


Started off on a hike from Manarola to Corniglia. Didn't get far before realising the 'low road' was closed. Doh!


Discovering the coastal path between Manarola & Corniglia closed, we took the higher option. Steep, but nice views smile


These funicular-like mono-rail tracks are dotted about the hillside & used to transport grapes during harvest. Steep!


This week stayed in Manarola which was pretty handy. Nice to be able to get some dusk shots of the village like this.


... and here's Manarola by day. Just killing a little time while waiting for a train to the next little village.


Ah, ha! We've had some overcast conditions this week, but finally an (almost) clear evening here in Manarola. Nice smile


Here's Riomaggiore. I have to say, really very similar to Manarola.


After a week in Manorola, some final views from Cinque Terre as we take the 'slow road' North.


Passing through Santa Margherita Ligure on the way to Portofino.


Quick look at a very quite Portofino. Beautiful in off season like this. Really nice local fish for lunch too.


Just driving along, stopping for a snap every now & then. These are from the coast road between Portofino & Genoa.


Views from today's ride in the hills above Genoa. Very pleasant... if you can put up with getting in & out of city!


Sanremo harbour on a rather nice afternoon. We like it here - the place has a really nice relaxed atmosphere.


Dinner in Sanremo. Almost the final one in Italy. Lots of prosciutto, barely cooked steak & little treat for dessert.


Today's ride: tootle the Sanremo bike path with Pratiwi. Then smash fest to Poggio. Then... well - when in Italy grin


Post-ride today. I guess you'd have to be a @simongerrans or @Orica_GreenEDGE fan to get this! wink


Back in France, but the beach here in Menton isn't much to write home about. Next!


Approaching Monaco. Passing by so might as well have a look, but don't think we'll be having lunch here! wink


Monte Carlo harbour. Exclusive? Luxurious? Just look at those yachts packed like sardines & make your own mind up! wink


Unattended items on the streets of Monte Carlo. So bike is locked, but would you leave a PA rack like that elsewhere?


MC casino, front & back (or back & front?). Last time I was here watched some kind of race. Too old for that now! wink


Passing through MC seemed to be some sort of car show on... couldn't find the show girls though. Poorly organised! wink


Mid-afternoon snack across the road from Nice beach. Large pizza & beer for 7€. Bargain! Not so those wings. Oh well.


Sunset on Nice beach... take #1.


Killing time while car is serviced in Nice: cycle to Monte Carlo & back... via some nice hills with nice views smile


Love my @cervelo RS dearly, but maybe time to trade it in for something with more... um... bedrooms? #FairExchange wink


Oh look... it's that time of day again. Back at the beach enjoying another Mediterranean sunset...


... and look. A bar. OK, OK... you've twisted my arm wink


Just to prove we did go somewhere other than the beach. But oh dear: I've seen that look before. Best grab dinner! wink


Passing Antibes. Looks like this is where they keep the real boats. Some complete with guard dogs - watch out! wink


20th November. South of France. Snow capped mountains in the distance, but 27°C here. Love it! grin


Sunset on Cannes beach where (shock) there's some sand! Nice promenade & hotels on the front here. Bit expensive! wink


Window shopping in Cannes. Not sure Blancpain (with €35,000 timepiece in window) would appreciate their neighbour wink


Hitting some great hills above Cannes in sunshine & relaxing in the hotel garden. Hard to believe it's almost winter!


Sunset from the Col du Canadel. Beautiful place, and a great road. Will definitely be up here in the bike next time!


On the beach near Saint-Raphaël. Got to love being on a sunny beach, yet looking over to snow capped mountains.


View on today's ride, just below Col de Vignon. Could just (so no shot) see some snow capped mounts on other side smile


View from today's ride at Col du Canadel. Bike would be in foreground, but so windy was blown over the edge! Doh! sad


Back from riding, a 'light' post-ride 'snack' awaits. Yes, this is all for me! Nom, nom, nom... erm... sip, sip. tongue


At Pampelonne Beach for lunch. But something isn't right in the carpark. Nor with pricing on menu. Let's skip it! wink


Decided to skip lunch, but still time for short stroll on Pampelonne Beach. This is the Med. so 'surf' here is tiny!


An unkept vineyard? In Autumn? On a sunny day? Sounds more like a photo op to me!


Geeze, these long winter evenings are torture... wink