River cruise France and Belgium travel blog

Looking up at dwellings from castle walls.

Looking down from castle walls to Formula 1 race track.

Castle private entry

Guard and canon.

View from our room


Day 4. Monte Carlo

22/5/18. Rainy. 12-20 degrees

Breakfast 39 Euro p/p - all part of our upfront costs. I had o.j, cereal, yoghurt, small omelette, toast, 3 mini pastries and cappucino. Ian had o.j, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, toast, pastry and tea. Tomorrow it’s back to normal! And I know I’ll pay for it......but it’s hard to resist, especially the first time.

The sky is grey with light rain falling. Because of road closures due to preparation for the Formula 1 race on Sunday, plus the rain, the bus was late to take us on our tour of the city and the palace. So much information, and sadly lots of it goes in one ear and out the other. But I do remember that Monaco is 2 sq.km/Miles? and after The Vatican, is the next smallest principality. Land reclamation is under way to increase its size, and in the future, the Formula 1 track will be altered to use some of the new land. We were given figures about apartment sizes (some only as big as our hotel room!) and costs - astronomical - from 1,000,000 - 325,000,000 euro . There are more millionaires living in Monaco than any similar sized area in the world. There are now many billionaires also. You can’t post a letter using a French stamp. The GST is 20% and they pay no taxes. Monaco is very multi-cultural, with most from Italy because it’s so close. Not a lot of French, as they still have to pay taxes to France even though they reside in Monaco. Any tourist can go into the Casino, but you have to pay 15 euro to play. You need to show your passport, as locals are not allowed to play. The most expensive place from which to watch the F1 race is on one of the boats in the harbour next to the track. It costs 10,000 euro per day to moor there.

We went to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco and the State Apartments, on top of the hill overlooking the town, and we also went into the church where Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer were married and are buried. Later we were able to wander for about an hour along the narrow streets and taking photos of the town below. You could see almost all the Formula 1 track, which pleased Ian.

A lazy afternoon, looking out to sea and the beautiful boats arriving, and also a dredge sitting there, which seems a little out of place. The rain has stopped and the sky is clearing. Better that it was today than Sunday. And yes, I have paid the price for my gluttony this morning - heartburn’s a good teacher, sadly I’m a slow learner!! I had a sleep, and very hard to wake up, but it was time to go for dinner. We ended up at the Irish pub again, as most places didn’t open till 7.30 or 8pm. Home at 9.30 and time to finish and post this, then bed.



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