Friday, November 21, 2008

Tasting the South of France

Finding my wayThen, after a week long Bellagio Conference, on Masculinities from the 3rd to 7th Nov., at the beautiful centre there, to which I was last invited to in May 2006, I took off to the south of France. Its really close by and train runs from Milan to Nice, with no fuss about boder controls at all, in 5+ hours.
TGV to AvignonI had checked the weather, and was thrilled when it kept to forcast! While it drizzled all the time we were on the banks of Lake Como, conferencing, it turned sunny the day I left Italy. Wow. In the next few blog posts I'm going to document my little adventures, mostly culinary on this short trip, interspersed with with a few sideways glances at other things.
I traveled for the most part, by train.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, describes a train ride from Antibes to Cannes, along the coast, in Tender is the Night (1934) : "...the vivid advertizing cards of the railroad companies... were fresher than the still motionless sea outside. Unlike American rains that were absorbed in an intense destiny of their own, scornful of people in another world less swift and breathless, this train was part of country through which it passed. Its breath stirred the dust from the palm leaves, the cinders mixed with the dry dung in the gardens. Rosemary was sure she could lean from the window and pull flowers with her hands."
Alas, that was the 1920s. Now trains are super fast, air conditioned, sealed and as aloof as those American trains he didn't like. But I love trains that work, and these were a joy to travel in, even though they were often late!

Seat Pocket, TGV

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