From Nice, we drove along the coast on the Moyenne Corniche, one of three scenic roads that run along parallel terraces on the cliffside between Nice and Monaco. This took us through winding curves and little hillside villages with scenic views of the sea and countryside.
We drove into Monaco to a parking garage that could accommodate camping cars just long enough to get some information and decide if we would try to stay parked in the city itself or overnight elsewhere. The parking attendant was very helpful and suggested Menton as our best bet, a town located 25 kilometers east where we could take a bus back to Monaco for 1 Euro.
Menton is a delightful seaside town in its own right, with beach, marina, promenade, shops, restaurants and cafes. The Italian border lies just outside the eastern edge of Menton and the town has a bit of Italian flavor in its restaurant menus and overall ambiance. We arrived in late afternoon, strolled around a bit and had dinner. We overnighted in a parking spot near the port.
The next morning we took the bus into Monaco. Monaco is an independent country (the Principality of Monaco). It includes Monte Carlo. The entire country of Monaco is not large, but it seems larger because of its perch on the cliffside. To go from one area to another means up and down travel: either on winding roads, staircases, buses and/or public lifts that run up and down from one level of the cliff to another.
We treated ourselves to lemon crepes for breakfast at a sidewalk cafe, and then saw the Changing of the Guard at the Palais Princier. We then visited the Collection de Voitures, a collection of vintage cars, some of which belonged to the Prince of Monaco or the Royal family. We also enjoyed a short film about the history of Monaco and the Royal Family.
And of course, we visited the Monte Carlo Casino where we contributed to the future financial stability of Monaco. It is obvious that others have done the same, for Monte Carlo and Monaco overall are filled with beautiful buildings and parks, and a well-run public transportation system that manages to transport tourists and residents alike through the unique cliffside terrain.