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When I wrote this, we were speeding through the French countryside and it became apparent how very agriculture-based the French economy must be –  we passed countless acres of farmland, orchards, and cattle  -and little villages set among the fields. The landscape was constantly changing as we travelled towards Italy – craggy mountains loomed in the distance, with villages nestled at their base. Along the way we stopped at Lyon, Grenoble, and St Jean de Maurienne, and suddenly the scenery became more alpine – the houses looked like chalets, but there was no snow.

As we stopped near the border at Modane, a bunch of police came marching through the train, then we sped off and were soon in a long tunnel which took us into Italy……passing through Bardonecchia, Oulx, and many others towns including Turin.

After Turin, came the plains – all we could see were cornfields which stretched for  miles and miles, and there were fields of what appeared to be rice. I snapped away with my camera hoping to catch some interesting scenes- there are no captions, and some are not perfectly focused but you will get the picture of the changing landscapes.

Travelling by train is quite soporific and I struggled to keep my eyes open, but I wanted to document the journey.   We arrived at Porto Garibaldi in Milan where we met up with another set of special friends to begin our Grand Tour……