42 Avenue Maréchal Foch (Nice, France)
Today I’m visiting the Principality of Monaco. As usual I was up way too early, but went back to bed once I saw what time it was. I’m planning to leave shortly after 10:00 from the train station near the flat. This should give me time to explore the Monte Carlo district of Monaco before I have lunch. (There are two other districts that comprise Monaco, but Monte Carlo is where the main part of the principality is located.)
The intercity trains in this part of France pretty much run on schedule from what I’ve experienced. One thing I learned is to get on board quickly. If not, you can find yourself standing up and packed together with other passengers which was the case this morning. The one-way fare to Monaco was less than 5 Euro, so I can’t complain too much and the journey was less than 30 minutes.
As usual when I left the station I had no clue where to walk. I just kept walking down towards the harbor. I knew the casino was there, but that was about all. I saw a beautiful garden about halfway down the hill from the station. (By the way, the Monaco station is underground but the main exit is on the hillside above the main part of Monte Carlo.)
The park had a number of varieties of plants. I had read that Prince Albert has lead the effort to plant a variety of plant and tree species around Monaco, so this park looks a lot like a botanical garden. I took a number of pictures while I was in the park. Also while there I sat down and looked up the location of the casino. It happened to be just around the corner from where I was sitting. (I’m referring to Casino de Monte-Carlo. Think James Bond.)
Very posh around the casino. High-end cars were everywhere, doormen at each entrance, and the buildings were a very elaborate. This was during the day. I can imagine what it must be like when everyone is dressed up. I took a few pictures then walked towards the harbor.
The harbor has a nice promenade that I walked along for quite a ways. Great views of the harbor. I even saw where Monaco is building a new harbor. It was about this time that I thought about having lunch somewhere. I wanted to eat where I could look out over the harbor and I found just the place near the grandstands that had just been installed for the Grand Prix next month. The restaurant looked like it was the best place to eat in the area after I walked around before selecting this restaurant. I ordered fish and chips and a bowl of tomato soup. Both were very good. Service was excellent.
After lunch I continue to walk around the harbor and found a Haagen Dazs shop where I ordered a single scoop of chocolate. Guess I got spoiled from all the gelato that I’ve been eating. The ice cream was okay, but doesn’t compare to a gelato.
I saw Monaco’s royal palace on the hillside and took a picture. Then after walking around a little more I thought I’d seen everything that I wanted to see. I had noticed that just outside the restaurant where I just ate there was a sign that said something about the train station. After doing Google translation and research I found out that there is a tunnel that leads directly to the train station. I thought I’d have to walk up the hill to the station. Within the tunnel there were a couple of flights of stairs, but soon I found myself at the station. I found a place to buy tickets then a short escalator ride to the platform. Very easy!
Once I returned to Nice I picked up a couple of items at the store on my way back to the flat. I have to be careful not to buy too much since I’m leaving in a few days.
I took a very long nap once I returned to the flat. It was nearly 8:00 when I woke. Just enough time to make a quick dinner and watch a little TV. Tomorrow I’m walking to Castle Hill and will go up to the park at the top. I can see Castle Hill from this flat and I heard from my Segway tour buddy (the school principal) that this place was a must-see while in Nice. So that is where I’ll be tomorrow.