How is everyone?
Ok I think it's time to send the first proper update from the other side of the world (from the point of view of most of you) and make you properly jealous.
So, I'm currently in Imperia, Italy, staying with my lovely aunt and uncle and cousin.
|The Port of Imperia|
Imperia is on the north/west coast of Italy, and it was closer to fly into Nice (France) than it was to fly to Milan and catch a train.
The flights were fine, long of course, but nothing too difficult to endure with the help of a few cheesy movies and free drinks.
Once I arrived on Thursday it was pretty much pampering from the word go. I was picked up and taxied back to Italy, fed delicious food, and then slept a little.
The next day my aunt and uncle took me for a walk around town and then treated me to an amazing seafood lunch. About 6 courses I think, and plenty of wine. Mama mia. Imagine the daze of being in a new country, surrounded by raucous conversation you barely understand, stuffed to the gills with the very finest food and wine. Most fantastically surreal.
|Cousin Rusi and Porto Maurizio|
Franz then took me to yet another little village and we explored the long "intenstine" of the tourist mall and ate fresh baci, before returning home to get ready for another massive dinner with some of Franz and Rusi's friends. I think this one had about 6 courses too and it was similarly amazing.
|The Russian Mafia|
|3 cousins in Monaco|
We had a nice little walk around and my cousins indulged me while I took some pics specifically designed to annoy my F1 fan friends.Perhaps they would be more annoying if there had been an actual RACE on at the time, but that's not the point.
Monaco actually lies just across the French border, and my cousins hatched a plan to go and have dinner in a little town called Menton just around the corner from it. The town was in complete contrast to the glitz of Moncaco, and after a walk along the seawall and through the main market drag (and obligatory beer) we had dinner at an amazing little crepe restaurant called Le Petit Cave, which means... oh you work it out.
|Death by crepe|
All this was washed down with plenty of the best dry cider I've ever tasted.
We drove back along the edge of the sea for a time. The inverted Mediterranean moon and the little winking lights of the villages were magical. Or maybe it was the cider. The Hungarian spirit called
Palinka - which we finished the evening with - was also pretty damn good.
|Typical vista - looking back from Monaco to Menton|
And we even finished it off tonight with a visit to the local pizzeria, for some of the real stuff.
Tomorrow, things will get a lot tougher when I hop on a train with my aunt and her friend for Venice.
|The whole family|
Hope you're all well. Do feel free to write and abuse me.
P.S. Did I mention that the weather has been great too?
Edit: The full set of pictures from Imperia is now up on flicker at http://www.flickr.com/photos/strepto42/sets/72157632213350134/