Day two threatened some inclement weather towards the end of the day, so the decision was made to go the market in Ventimiglia. Apparently this is very famous, and market traders from France hop over the border in their Transit vans to sell their goods alongside the Italians.
Luckily for us, the hotel owner offered a free bus shuttle service to and from the market, so at 9.45 sharp, we piled in with a German couple and an Italian couple (we are so cosmopolitan). I was the last to get in, which meant that I had the dubious honour of sitting in the front of the bus. As we hurtled down the hill, the hotel owner very proudly pointed out various landmarks suck as a field of artichokes and a lighthouse in the bay. I would have rather he'd kept his eyes on the road to be honest, and we were all rather relieved to arrive at the market seven minutes later. (The road is 2.5km. You work it out).
'I pick you all up at 4.00pm', he said, gaily waving us off.
Well, it was as we feared. The market was full of tat, spread out between cheese and pasta stalls. Exiting the market after a couple of hours, our purchases amounted to a large tablecloth and a scarf. Clutching our bags, we headed off to bar for some more people watching (Richardson code for 'alcohol'). The bar we chose was great, as it gave you free nibbles every time you ordered a round of drinks. Three rounds in, we'd eaten a pizza, crostini, some cheese straws and the equivalent of a family bag of crisps.
The shout then came up for ice creams. The Mother, who can get a bit lippy when she's had a few wanted toffee ice cream. Miss R and I kept telling her that the bar didn't have that, but she was adamant. When the waiter came over, she asked the question..
'Do you sell toffee?'
'Toffee? Of course'.
She looked at us and said, 'See, I told you so', and then looked back at the waiter and said, 'Two balls of toffee please'.
'Toffee?' asked the waiter.
He then looked at The Mother, and said very slowly, 'Coffee, yes. Toffee no'.
She ended up with Tiramisu flavoured ice cream, but to be honest, with the amount of Prosecco she'd drunk by then, we probably could have convinced her it was toffee.
Heading back to our collection point, we had half an hour to kill, so we slipped into a bar and ordered 'Three of those orange drinks which everyone else is having'. Turns out that it is Spritz - a mixture of Prosecco and Campari. This was going down very nicely, until Miss R was spotted by the hotel owner, waiting patiently by the bus with the German couple. He gesticulated at her, and the general meaning was 'Oy, you three. Finish your Tizers and get on the bloody bus!'
Miss R nearly choked on her Spritz as she was laughing so much, and we all hurried over to the bus like three chastised school children. I was up front again, and the hotel owner, whose English is fairly good, said to me, 'I've been up and down twelve times today'.
I took a quick glance at Miss R who was seated behind me, and said, 'Yes, but what about the bus?' She spent the rest of the journey up the hill with her legs crossed in case the laughter got the better of her.
I think we made it back to the room just in time, although I did keep her away from the bathroom with various kettle filling and mug washing activities...