Day 2: From Castles to Highways, and the Ever-elusive Fuel Price

Waking up after a rejuvenating night is always a treat. No mosquitoes to serenade me with their annoying buzz, and a comfortable temperature ensuring my dreams weren’t filled with images of melting glaciers. I guess sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference.

At the crack of 4 am, when most of the world was snuggled under their blankets, I was on the road, aimed at capturing the majesty of Castello Malaspina before the sun gatecrashed my photographic endeavors. A splendid sight to behold, that castle. If its walls could talk, oh the tales they’d weave!

Castello Malaspina di Fosdinovo

Hitting the highway, I steered towards Monaco. Now, let’s be clear. I’m a man of many musings, and detours are among them. Thoughts of Genoa, Andora, and Sanremo flirted with my travel itinerary. Let’s take a mini detour here, dear readers:

  • Genoa, a port city known for its central role in maritime trade over many centuries. It’s not just the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, but also the home to Italy’s largest seaport. And let’s not even start with the Pesto Genovese!
  • Andora, resting along the Riviera between Genoa and the French border, is a gem of sandy beaches and medieval architecture. If only my schedule were as vast as its history!
  • Sanremo, the city of flowers, and Italy’s answer to Monte Carlo. Famous for the Sanremo Music Festival, its songs serenading the soul of many a traveler.

Tempting as they were, I had my eyes set on the horizon. Upon reaching Monaco, I took the role of a shutterbug tourist, grabbing pics and footage that would make even James Bond envious – well, minus the high-speed chases, of course.

Monaco from a nice viewpoint

Leaving the glitz and glamor of Monaco behind, I journeyed into the mountains, my heart’s true calling. The air began to thin, and by the time I reached the pass La Bonette at a heady 2,082 meters, I was literally on top of the world. The contrast between the sizzling 38°C at sea level and the refreshing crispness above 2,000 meters made me momentarily contemplate life as a mountain goat.

View from La Bonette

Nightfall found me at Camping Gite d’Etape Champ-Feleze. A serene place, if you disregard the glaring fact that fuel prices on the highway gave me more chills than a horror movie. More than 2 euros per liter? I half-expected to see liquid gold flowing from the pumps!

Speaking of highways, the French seem to have a quirky sense of humor. Their road signs appear to be designed by someone who’s watched too many quiz shows. The only thing clear as day? Those signs signaling the end of a tunnel. A metaphor for life, perhaps? Navigate through the confusion until you see the light at the end. Deep, right?

With another day’s adventure behind me, I reflect on the road traveled and the one that lies ahead. As night engulfs the camping site, I send my regards to all the fellow travelers out there. Here’s to clear road signs and reasonable fuel prices! Until tomorrow, keep the journey alive.