Saturday, July 14, 2012

Charming Monte Carlo

Our first port on this cruise and what a beautiful city! We cruised 281 miles last night. This is the way to travel. The ship is like a floating hotel. We get to see all these wonderful places and we have to unpack only once.

We arrived in Monte Carlo only a couple of days after the Grand Prix. The bleachers were being taken down while we were here and there were still many yachts in the marina as I am sure many of the people that came for the race stayed for a few days after. There is really not much parking available so the best way to come here is by water. As you may know the race is run on the streets which is really amazing since the streets have many curves and hills. I am sure that must have been something to see and when they have the race next year I will be watching it on TV.

We hopped on one of the city busses to get a glimpse of the city and also so we wouldn't have to walk uphill to the Prince's Palace and St. Nicholas Cathedral. The palace is where the prince lives and was built as a fortress in 1191. The changing of the guard was just ending when we got there. The cathedral is where Princess Grace and Prince Ranier were married and where they are now buried. This area overlooks some beautiful harbors and cliffside gardens. We saw many lemon trees full of fruit. A picture does not do it justice. 

We proceeded to do a little shopping in a few of the little shops - bought some olive oil soap and nice kitchen towels with "Monaco" embroidered on them to take home. I was looking for things that were small and lightweight due to the weight limit on luggage.We did not make it to the Oceanographic museum but I understand it is very interesting. Jacques Cousteau was the director here for many years.

Tomorrow we will be in Italy for the next 3 days. It is everything I have heard about it and more.

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