After lunch we had around 30 minutes for a little wander so we all trudged up to the famous "pont" - or Roman bridge which was built in … errrr Roman times!
This picture just tickled me - "don't do it Winnie, don't do it!"
About 30 minutes later we stopped at a large hypermarket for some last minute shopping. Just as the Swiss fairly routinely hop over to France to do their grocery shopping - it's quite a bit cheaper, especially wine, meat and cheese - many French also pop into Italy to buy certain goods, with Italian cheeses and hard liquor being considerably cheaper than in France. Now in this instance you have to take into account the cost of the toll for using the Mont Blanc tunnel but I guess if the savings are big enough it can be worth paying it and having a few people going by car!
Which kinda brings up the thought that if/when Brexit ever happens some towns in northern France (particularly near the Channel tunnel) will be very seriously affected if the Brits can no longer take day trips to France and fill up their cars with French goods without having to pay duty on them upon returning to the UK. I know the association of Maires in northern France is very worried about this situation and have taken it up with President Macron. I don't know if it will do them any good but …!
Anyway, my friend and I tootled round the supermarket and then got in line to pay in order to be back at the bus by 4.45 pm. Except, our lady cashier was a stereotypical Italian, chatting away to two men in front of us, kisses on both cheeks, talking with her hands, "hey Luigi, how's mamma? And Isabella. Cara mia, she must be so big no!" You get the gist of it. My friend was getting a bit pissed off but I found it quite charming (and in any case the bus wouldn't have left without us) - and we made it back on time anyway! But that kinda reminds me of my mom who seemed to think all foreigners were deaf so IF …. YOU ….. SPEAK ….. VERY ….. LOUDLY …. THEN …. THEY …. WILL …. UNDERSTAND! That's what this lady did to me when she was counting out my change VERY SLOWLY (this despite the fact that I live in France and yes, we use euros too)! Ah well, no harm done!
So we made it through the Mont Blanc tunnel with only about a 10 minute delay but on the French side! Oh my! They were showing at least a 90 minute delay to get into the tunnel which would have been very frustrating for people who thought they'd just pop into Italy to spend a few days over Easter!
The next day was the Thursday before Good Friday and this is what the motorway looked like …
although to be fair I think that was more down to a gas leak than holiday traffic!
So that's it for the time being. Well not really I suppose as we are off to Turin market in two weeks time, but that is only a day trip (our annual mosy round the market). Oh and we have picked out another five trips we would like to take with this company, but only one is an overnighter. That's to the Christmas market in Alsace in December (obviously) and that trip is already almost fully booked up!!!! So now it's back to the routine and back on the diet, trying to shift goodness how many kilos I managed to pile on on such a short trip! But it was well worth it!