Picture Post: Train Travellin’


I complain ENDLESSLY about the length of time and the amount of effort it takes to get to Rome from Montpellier. But, a confession must be made:

I love every single second of it.

Know why? Because I’m travelling.

I love being dazzled by the real-life movie live streaming past my train window.

Montpel to Rome, 2/27/10

I love looking out for my favorite “moments” during the trip, where a stunning landscape is revealed. It makes my heart skip a beat.

Montpel to Rome, 2/27/10

Rome to Montpel

I love the small, quick glimpses of lives being lived.

Montpel to Rome, 2/27/10

And I love watching people who are travelling.

Montpel to Rome, 2/27/10

Trip 3/29/09

Nice Train Station

I love the way the sunlight is diffused under the glass ceiling of the Nice train station.

Nice Train Station

Montpel to Rome, 2/27/10

I used to have a long stopover in Nice, and I’d check my luggage and head to the beach. If the weather was good, I’d rent a chaise longue and do some sun bathing.This is another great thing about train travel: It puts you in the heart of the city, so you can make the most of your time.

But recently I’ve been planning the long stopover in Ventimiglia, across the border in Italy. And I’ve come to love this part most of all. It’s like a decompression chamber between France and Italy. For my next post, I’m going to show you some of the things I love about my quiet, peaceful,  stolen afternoons in Ventimiglia.


22 thoughts on “Picture Post: Train Travellin’

  1. And that’s just it – I’ve always thought that the “getting there” is really part of the adventure, it’s not just “travel time”, something that has to be endured or dreaded.

    We will be in Italy this summer and part of the trip will be ferrying over to Sardegna. Honestly, I might be a wee bit excited about that more than anything else!

  2. I am glad to see someone that knows what a gem of a town Ventimiglia is. The sea, the hills, the food. A decompression chamber is a good way to describe, because the second you cross the border to France, be prepared. Paying for le toilettes, striking train workers, and, well…French people. As much as I love France and the people, they don’t exactly love Americans. It’s amazing how much a couple of miles changes things. Awesome post.

    • It is amazing, isn’t it? I’m so happy I did the research and found a way to be in Ventimiglia instead of Nice. I mean, I loooove Nice – but Ventimiglia is better, IMO.

  3. When living in Europe I used to love to travel by train. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy to do in our new home of Australia. However, I have taken the two day journey from Perth to Adelaide. It crosses the Nullarbor–a 1,100 km treeless plain–which is an amazing experience. I think if the price wasn’t so expensive for a sleeper cabin every time I have to go to Perth this would be my choice of transportation.

    • With the cost, though, it’s all relative. You can get a 5 euro flight here – but there’s the cost of getting to and from the airport, and the time it takes, and the hassle, and not being allowed to be comfortable or bring food or drinks or whatever. And those flights, sometimes they leave so early or arrive so late that you need to get a hotel room.

      Cal just had this experience during his trip to Madrid. He’s looking into trains for his next jaunt.

  4. Is that just east of Milan? (la foto)

    I loved every minute of it, also.

    Could ride the European trains the rest of my life.

    Best regards,


  5. I love Ventimiglia – they used to have a famous flea market there and its where I bought my favorite fabulous leather pants… Oh – send me the smells of the flea-market please!

    • Well aren’t you the slickest thing I ever knew! I’ll have to see if they still have it – I’ve become a creature of habit in my stopovers there.

  6. Wow, 2 Miss Expatria in a row. I love it. I also really enjoyed Shadow Mia yesterday. Please consider writing a book for kids. Start them young to love travel.

    • There’s another one coming today, too! And, I never thought of doing that. That would be pretty cool, I think. Except I have no idea how to write for kids. I mean, in a way that would sell a book idea to a publisher, esp. if it’s about learning about a place.

  7. That first shot of the Termini “ghost track” is astounding! The depth makes my head spin. Did you process it, or is that natural Roman light/color?

    Ventimiglia=decompression chamber, you couldn’t have said it any better!

    I agree, the train is a whole other level of travel. I love the slow pace and reality of it all. Your photography is fantastic, the way you capture life is remarkable, Christine.

    Brava, davvero.

    • This from the woman with the most fantastic blog header photo on the Internets. THANK YOU!

      I don’t really process my photos per se. I don’t know how to use Photoshop (dilettante!). I put them in iPhoto, and do a bit of correcting. For that one, I think I punched up the contrast a bit (a personal preference of mine). Sometimes I’ll tone down saturation if it’s threatening to bleed all over the place. And if I messed up setting exposure, I’ll fix it.

  8. Pingback: My Stolen Afternoons in Ventimiglia « Miss Expatria

  9. Please write more – your posts soothe my work-frayed soul:-) And remind me to focus on my dream…. I adore your photos, it’s as if you know exactly what I’d like to see!

  10. All of the photos are beautiful, which is no less than I would ever expect from your awesomeness, but I LOVE the comment that you love to see lives being lived. I do too! The few times I’ve been on the train in Italy I’ve strained my eyes peeking into backyards and into windows just to see the real Italy. It’s fascinating.

  11. Oh, woman, you are generating a cascade of memories of traveling around Europe by train in the pre-tubez/pre-cheap flights days (holy F-ing s**t, it was 17 countries in 8 months in pre-Euro/pre-EU 1993, then in 1996, and 1999) and there was nothing I enjoyed more than sitting on a pokey train eating a hunk of bread and cheese and looking out the window at the life and the people.

    Your photos are amazing. I am in the camp of you doing more posts of photos when words fail you or you’re working your ass off. The images of the most mundane side-street or out the window of a pokey train are amazing.

    On a side note, what types of cameras do you use?

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