Today we visit the small Principality of Monaco. We weren’t sure what to expect but were greeted by a small, beautiful harbour and a wall of high rises; some beautiful old looking buildings others a concrete mess that should not have been allowed. Once ashore we walked uphill to the railway station to catch a train to Nice a 20 minute ride away. In Nice the sun was shining as we strolled along the promenade des Anglais looking at the people lying on a very pebbly beach. There was a market on in the old town with all the usual veg, fish etc as well as special soaps and lavender products a specialty of the region.
After a couple of hours we took the train back to Monte Carlo and walked uphill to the casino, a very grand building which holds an Opera House as well as the casino. We had a nice lunch at a small café before taking a bus back down to the harbour and then up the other side to the Palais du Prince, the home of the Grimaldi family. There are beautiful gardens with lots of sculptures and an incredible Oceanographic Museum set up with the help of Jacques Cousteau.
Monaco has 35 public lifts and travelators to help with the hills – a great idea. People are encouraged to walk and leave their cars at home.
We had a nice stroll back down to the harbour to catch a tender back to the ship. A rest, glass of wine and off to dinner.
Tomorrow we visit Calvi, Corsica.