|What another great day we’ve had. Up really, really early this morning as our tour left the cruise ship at 7.45am so we had to be ready and breakfasted and in the Epic Theatre by 7.30am. We were there and on the first tender across to the mainland of Cannes. (And lucky we were early as there were five buses going our tour today!!)
The tender ride was a very interesting experience. The covered boat held about 50 people and travelled the 3-4 kms to the mainland, finding every wave it could. I enjoyed it though.
We boarded coach 4 today and Dominique was our guide for the day. She was very informative. The bus ride took us over an hour to get to Monaco, and she gave us snippets of information the entire trip. We saw the corner where Princess Grace died in the car accident on 14 September 1982. We learned about the towns along the way, including Cannes and Nice.
We learned a lot about Monaco too. It is a principality, a country in its own right. It is one square mile in area with a population of 8900 natives, and 37800 residents (mostly the rich and famous). The principality is ruled by a Prince who is currently 58 years old. He is married to a South African lady, Princess Charlene. They have twins, aged 2, Jack and Gabriella.
It is extremely expensive to live there and tourism is its main source of income. Many of the people who work in the tourism industry live in Italy or Nice and travel daily. If you would like to live there you must open a bank account, and in order to create the account you must open with 300 000 euros. An apartment in Monaco is approximately 25 000 euros per square metre, although a new tower just built is worth 70 000 euros per square metre, if you’re interested. Tina Turner owns a large apartment in Monaco.
Once in Monaco we wandered the main streets with Dominique telling us all sorts of interesting pieces of information. We went inside the Cathedral where Princess Grace and her husband are buried. We were allowed to take photos. Mardi got herself a souvenir coin inside the cathedral and also lit a candle for all our friends and family (both in Oz and abroad).
We wandered up the little streets, filled with souvenir shops and made our way to the Royal Palace. From here we were given a couple of hours free time so we used them to our advantage. Firstly, we had time to hit a shop or two. Needless to say, a little money exchanged hands. You just can’t have enough pens!! The changing of the guards took place at 11.55am so we watched that for a good five minutes, from the front row (thanks to Mardi’s ingenuity and skill … she got there 60 seconds before everyone else and snaffled the best position). After that we headed to one of the excellent sandwich shops for a sanga. Lucky for us we halved and Italian panini … it was huge, and half was more than enough. And we finished off our day with an icecream. And really good it was too!!! Mardi’s two scoops were Rum & Raisin and Expresso. My two were Tiramisu and Panna Cotta. All four were delicious!!
The next leg of the trip took us to Monte Carlo. It’s a fair walk … uphill and steps to get there. We wandered for about 15 minutes, all the while learning about the Grand Prix and other snippets of information, before we arrived at the Casino. Many just spent their time in the lobby (it was free and luxurious enough) but Mardi and I were happy to pay our 10 euros and go in for a flutter. We had five euro each to spend so we both found a machine and put our money in. I doubled my money, and took the win. Mardi’s five euro note wouldn’t work so I gave her a ten euro note. She came out even with her flutter and took the money as well. So we collected ourselves twenty euro and classified it as a win (I doubled my money, Mardi came out even).
The coach trip home was uneventful. But the tender ride back to the boat was interesting. The wind had picked up quite a lot and the trip was much more choppy than it had been this morning. Still, it was fun.
When we got back to our room Curt had left us a towel animal on Mardi’s bed. He knew we had missed last night’s (because we turned in before he got to turn down the beds and leave the towel animal for us). What a thoughtful chap.
We dined in the Garden Café again, but decided tonight’s tea wasn’t as good as the past couple … it was Mediterranean night … so tomorrow we are going to try a different restaurant and see what that can feed us instead.
We were back to the room early again. We have another tour tomorrow … easy Marseilles. I think we are just sitting on a coach checking out the sights for a couple of hours, and then it’s back to the boat. We should be able to do some exploring of the boat tomorrow afternoon and find the gym, the bowling alley, and the card room.