Monte Carlo

A lot has happened since my last post, and I really had no time to write anything for a while now. I will try to catch up as fast as possible…

Where to go in the weekend?… we asked ourselves a few weeks ago actually… well, there is a place, which is close, we haven’t been there and is definitely worth a visit: Monaco (or Monte Carlo, not to confuse it with Munchen’s Italian name 🙂 ). I really do not think this dwarf-country needs any presentation: luxury, casinos and glamor… let’s see if it is really so…
Monte Carlo
We went to Monte Carlo by train from Genova, following the lovely Riviera of Italy and later France. The first view of Monte Carlo was actually a tunnel… the train goes in a tunnel almost all the way while in the city. The station itself is entirely underground, very nice, but still lacks any views or natural light. We exited the train station at the docks of Monte Carlo, between the Casino and the Royal Palace.

Because Monte Carlo is a small place, it is easily covered by foot. Of course there is a small train which can take tourists around the city, showing the major landmarks: it only costs about €6.00… well, I am not sure how much exactly since we did not take it.

Our route was pretty much ad-hoc, just follow the nice cars 🙂 … Actually, we knew where to go towards the casino, so we started off towards it. On route we had to cross the famous Monte Carlo Tunnel, not a big deal, but interesting, especially when a powerful car keeps accelerating inside (the sound is great 🙂 ). We got up to the casino, we took a bunch of pictures in the very nice park, and then headed down towards the seaside (they say food is cheaper down there).

We followed the “Monte Carlo bends” (part of the F1 circuit) and arrived down to the Japanese Garden. Along the seashore, between the Japanese Gardens and the sea, there is an alley, with imprints of all the “Golden Feet” (best football players of each year), be sure to visit this. (It also includes the footprint of Ferenc Puskás from the Hungarian Golden Team).

There are a lot of seaside bars/restaurants, so we had plenty to choose from after we have arrived to the beach. We payed for our very healthy salad about €13.00 (plus drinks €2.00 for a coke), so I’d say it was pretty much average.

After our short lunch, we decided to try out the sea in Monte Carlo. The beach itself is covered with small pebbles, so it is not big enough to hurt, nor too small to get inside everything like sand. The water was clean, because of the lack of too much artificial sand, and the bay was surronded with protective nets to keep out fish and garbage. All in one: nice 🙂 .

Following the short swim, we headed up to the Casino again, this time, we went in. To get into the casino, the entry ticket is €10.00 and does not include anything. To play you have to pay extra. There are no photos or cellphones allowed inside the casino (which is quite normal, actually). The inside of the casino is very luxurious, and actually after 8PM nobody without suitable clothing is allowed inside.

Since we had only little time left, and we still wanted to visit the Castle, we decided to take a Taxi. Taxis in Monte Carlo are very luxurious: mostly Mercedeses, Jaguars or Volvos. We took an S-class Mercedes. We payed €20.00 for a 6 minute ride from the Casino to the Castle (pretty cheap, considering we divided the expenses by four 🙂 ). At six o’clock we caught the changing of the guards: not very spectacular, but still interesting to see. One can also have a great view of both bays: the main bay on the east and the other one to the west of the Castle.

All in all Monte Carlo was a very nice experience, but it kindof leaves you with a huge gap of all the things that most of us might never get in our life… (Photos on my Picasa Account)

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