Monte Carlo, Monaco & St Paul de Vence

Well, this report is a little late being written as we have been busy with excursions and down time, sorry about that.

We arrived at the city dock in Monte Carlo around 9 am and as I found out later, aDSC06414 (640x479) smaller ship that had been moored there earlier had been moved out prior to our arrival $$ Speaks).  Once we made the long convoluted walk to the terminal entrance we were surrounded by shops that dealt with the sale and maintenance of yachts.   As we walked along the harbor frontage, all manner of water craft were to our right.  I wouldn’t even hazard a guess  as to  the millions of dollars of opulence present there. What bothers me most when I see this display of wealth in foreign countries ….. well I won’t get on a patriotic soapbox here.

DSC06418 (640x476)We were looking for a bus that Barbara had found in her research that offered a one hour circle “tour” of the Principality.  We were proceeding to the stop for the bus when we realized we were about to  cross the roadway where the Monte Carlo Grand Prix race would be held in just a few days time. How cool is that?Hot smile

We found the bus, boarded, paid our 2 euros for our tickets and took the  whirlwind tour, together with the locals.  When we reached the highest point in the route, the driver told us we would be there for ten minutes and we could get out and take pictures.  I did but , to my surprise, Barbara was not about to lose her “cat-bird” seat on this wonderful ride.  Our driver, who was very cordial, carried on a conversation with his passengers the whole time.  It was the best bang for our buck that day.

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The view of the  harbor where the bus stopped.

The bus ride was a bit longer than we figured, however we were able to make  it back to the ship  in time to stuff down some pizza and iced tea in the ships Lido, get  our stuff and head to the meeting point for our HAL tour to St Paul de Vence.

On our journey to St Paul de Vence, I know we drove through Nice, although I mustDSC06439 (640x480) confess that I slept most of the way.  Upon arrival there our guide, Isabella, informed us that we would be parked here for two hours while we went for a walking tour of the village – say what? Not I, sez me!  So after everyone else had departed, I settled down in the small café near the parking lot and had me some lunch consisting of a three-cheese plate, bread and cappuccino.  The cup (served half full) was 2.50 euros ($4). When I needed more liquid to wash down the snack, I ordered a beer, and probably insulted the waiter because  it wasn’t wine.  With the high cost of food here in Spain Italy and France, I don’t know how  these folks manage.

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While the troops were investigating the city in the distance, I enjoyed myself finding interesting views to photograph.  The location above was near to a primary school and I joyed in hearing, and watching the children let off steam in their very secure school yard below.

After Monte Carlo we set sail for our first day in Civitavecchia, Italy, where I plan to stay onboard and possible have a look around the port and have a pizza and beer.   Barbara on the other hand will enjoy a TWA excursion to the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel which includes a fantastic Italian lunch. 

Next: Civitavecchia, Italy

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