Tuesday, 10 June 2014 – Day 6 – Monaco

Tuesday, 10 June – Day 6 – Trip to Monaco

Got a wake up call at 7.00.  Already the day was quite warm. I walked down a few blocks and caught a tram to Place Girabaldi stop. A short walk down to near Quai Lunei. As I had plenty of time before departure to St Tropez, I had a cappuccino before setting off for the ferry. I could not see any people in queue so asked directions. I was given the wrong instructions and by the time I found the correct place, I was too late and the gangplank had been taken up so I didn’t get to go to St Tropez. What to do for the day? Made a booking to get a boat to Monaco for the day. We set off at 9.30 and passed along the coastline of Nice. I met a couple from Adelaide! We chatted along the way. Passed Villefranches. We arrived in Monaco at 10.30. What a spectacular place.

Monaco is bounded by mountains and the sea and has a population of around 36,000. The Principality of Monaoo is made up of; the Rocher, or Rock, which overlooks the port and on which the Prince’s Palace stands; and the Condamine, Moneghetti, Monte Carlo (containing the Casino) and Tenao districts, as well as the new Larvotto and Fontvieille districts recently built up on land reclaimed from the sea.

When I got off the boat, I expected to see an information centre but nothing to be seen. I headed off towards the Town Centre and asked a policeman directions to the Palace. A little way along I came to a map and a couple were also looking at it. I asked them where they were heading and they said to the Palace so we headed off on quite a steep ascent and the weather was getting quite warm. We eventually arrived at the Palace just at the end of the changing of the guards. We then wandered among some beautiful vey very well maintained gardens. The gardens overlooks the Principality at a height of 120 meters and contains one of the most beautiful collection of flora from dry and subtropical zones. More than a thousand plants of he type known as “crassulae” or “succulents”, cacti euphorias, yuccas, agaves and aloes have all adapted splendidly to the conditions in the garden, forming the world’s largest rock garden of succulent plants.

The views from the gardens are spectacular so we had lots of photo stops. The water was an amazing color. We saw several snorkellers swimming along. At first I thought they were dolphins!

Jill and Ian who are from UK have their own yacht – a little dingy compared with the opulent yachts in the harbour – and as they are members of a yacht club we went into the Monaco Yacht Club and had a very welcome refreshing drink.

We then wandered along to see the Casino and then onto McDonalds for an ice cream before we went our separate ways. I rested for awhile before it was time to leave in plenty of time to head back to where we were dropped off this morning. I kept walking but couldn’t see any people so once more time to make inquiries where was the departure place for the boat back to Nice only to be told I was on the wrong side of the harbour and would have to catch a bus. I thought perhaps I would have to catch a train but decided best I got a taxi so one was arranged for me to be picked up in “10 minutes by a lady in a black Mercedes”. She arrived as promised and we set off. The drive was very pretty. We passed through Eze where I am booked to go tomorrow. I got back before the boat. Came back to the hotel and had a short rest before heading up the street for a meal.

So that was the end of a comedy of errors and a little more expensive than planned but was a super day.