It was the weekend and the ridership on the trains was quite robust. We were moving from Monterosso, one of the five towns collectively called Cinque Terre, to Cannes. Monterosso served as our home base during our five-day stay. We thoroughly enjoyed Cinque Terre but we had to arranged to stay in Cannes and use it as our base while we explored its surrounding towns.
We had booked for a regional train going to Ventimiglia via Genoa. From there, we were to change trains and get on the Cote d’Azur Provence line. Ventimiglia was the last stop before we entered France.
Although the train was quite full, we were able to get seats, albeit separately. My hubby wanted to be closer to our luggage and there was only one seat available so I had to sit a few rows behind him.
All through the ride, I looked out the window to enjoy the Italian coast on my side and the countryside on the opposite window. What a beautiful view to be waking up to every morning!
I noticed a mother with her two young daughters seated a row in front of me. The girls were chatty and pleasant. At first, they were speaking in Italian. But an elderly couple opposite them chatted up the mother in French and they all spoke in French! I suppose this is not uncommon for people who live or work near the border between Italy and France.
I listened to the mother as she doted on her girls. The girls were probably four and six years old. They were quite lively and animated through the trip. In the two hours we travelled to Ventimiglia, though seaside towns and centuries old tunnels, she must have hugged and kissed them hundreds of times.
They were certainly prepared for the ride. She played games with them. They made different novel shapes out of folded paper. Then they started to draw and color. Then, she was speaking to them in rapid French. I found it hard to catch on but I could tell she was playing “make-believe” with them when the older one opened her carry-on and put on flashy sunglasses, crossed her legs daintily, and placed a purse on her lap.
I found that I was having fun vicariously through them. This mother was doing everything to make what could have been a boring and tedious ride enjoyable for her girls. There was the obligatory nourishment at half way through the trip. They were still “in character” through the snack.
She kept the mood light. She pointed to sites outside the window. They all looked out and continued to chat excitedly.
When it was time to get off at their station, the girls donned their sweaters and slung their bags on their shoulders like the troopers they were. I had a quick peak at their bags. There was a little well-worn bear and a Smurf hanging for deal life on the edge of one bag. There was also a much-loved and cuddled cloth doll. There were also a small book, a notebook, and a pink sunglass case. Of course, there had to be colored pens and all sorts of papers. The bag was stuffed to the brim and it was plain to see these were her most important possessions.
Not once did I hear a whine out of these well-behaved children. There were no scenes, no angry outbursts, crying, screaming, nor kicking. They were far from docile or timid. A lot of parents could learn a thing or two from this mother!
- Cinque Terre (talesofatravelinggypsy.wordpress.com)
- Europe Vacation 2012, Part 3, Riomaggiore Italy (chuckros.wordpress.com)
- day 4 and 5 – travel journal – cinque terre,italy (rawsilkandsaffron.wordpress.com)
- Photo Essay : Cinque Terre, Italy (everything-everywhere.com)
- A Tale of Five Cities (Ok…..it was four) – Cinque Terre, Italy (travelpod.com)