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Tuesday, 06 June 2017
My favourite train journey in the world is along the South of France, north shore of the Mediterranean, from Marseille through St Raphael to Nice.

It’s probably about 2 hours on the TGV and I’ve done it hundreds of times in my life. I’ve also done it hundreds by car, which is great but I need to concentrate on the road so as to avoid tragic accidents, so can’t see the glorious scenery. Likewise by plane, dozens of trips; spectacular but miniature and so fast.

I know and love every inch of the journey; the mountain drops; the coves and crannies; the little houses and luxury mock castles.

The dangerous bends; the white sands and blue sea; the swimmers and yachts; the restaurants (many of which I’ve eaten in); the palm trees, flowers (red poppies in May and June), golfing greens and wild tangles of woods.

I’ve watched children grow old and octogenarians disappear. It’s how I start my summers.

Fifty years ago you could sleep overnight on the train, waking for fresh coffee and fragrant croissants at 6.00. Now the trains are so fast it’s a mere 5-6 hours, Paris to Nice.

I first did the journey as a teenager with marvellous Mother and family. Then as a young pop star. Now as an old queen.

And I still adore it as much as ever. My favourite journey.

 
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