One day, three countries, three beers

The following episode took place in April 2014

Weihenstephaner in Monaco

Never have I had a more expensive beer! Seventeen Euro for a beer is just insane. It doesn’t matter if it is a Weihenstephaner, served at Café de Paris just outside the casino in Monaco. The price is ridiculous.

We had set off from St. Jean just outside Nice an hour earlier. Monaco was just a quick stop so we could check the country of our list. Monaco is too flashy for me, too posh. All rich people in expensive clothes, driving expensive cars. Not my thing at all. I finished beer number one quickly and we drove off.

Dormunder In San Remo, Italy

There were two things I noticed when we left France and drove into Italy. Number one, everything just looked poorer. Gone were the villas of the French Riviera, with their gardens and white washed facade, replaced by dreary apartment buildings, washings hanging from every window and balcony. Number two, the quality of the roads improved remarkably. Where the French roads were old and worn, full of pot holes, the Italian roads were new, straight and smooth. Quite contradictory those two things. As if the French spend all their money on the facade while the Italians spend it all on their roads.

We drove through the town of Ventimiglia, decided to drive on to San Remo. Ventimiglia was full of people from France and Monaco looking for cheap food, alcohol and cigarettes. A border town in the cheaper country, therefore overrun by people from across the border.

In San Remo we found a bar to drink beer number two. They did not accept credit cards, I had to walk to an ATM. I wonder if they only accepted cash for tax reasons. I had beer number two at a nice little beach bar. The sun was shining, it was very warm.

It was dinner time, we found a beautiful pizzeria overlooking the ocean. As always in Italy, the pizza was great

image

The three beers

St. Omer in St. Jean, France

Arriving back in France, my driver was happy. No more driving, he could have a beer as well.

Not much is open in St. Jean at that time of the year, but we found a bar that was, ordered each out beer, as well as a Ricard, the French staple spirit pastis, made popular after the ban on absinthe in the early 20th century.

Over beer number three we discussed how many countries you could do in a day in mediterranian Europe, and stop for a beer in every country. At least seven I reckoned, my friend was more optimistic and thought ten was possible. One day we will try.

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