Friday, May 11, 2012

Nice and Eze in Monte Carlo

Well, not exactly, but close enough! Our next stop was Monte Carlo, Monaco and we took a tour that went through the French cities of Eze and Nice. I think I was MOST excited about going to Monaco because of the glitz and glamour of it all, and I was NOT disappointed. Before we were allowed off of the ship Forrest and I went to the top deck to check out the view--oo la la at the yachts! Forrest impressed me with is extensive yacht knowledge--he knew that one of the yachts is owned by a Saudi prince!! It had jet skis just sitting out on the front deck!!

When we were finally off of the boat we boarded our tour bus and immediately began driving along the Monaco Gran Prix circuit! The grandstands were already in place because the race is this month!

Most famous hair pin tour of the gran prix

Our first real stop was the Museum of Oceanography, which used to be run by Jacques Cousteau! It was very pretty but because it is so large we didn't have time to go inside.
Crazy floating baby outside of the museum!

Next we walked through a lovely park, past Princesses Caroline and Stephanie's homes, and then to the church where Grace Kelly was married. It was a beautiful church that also houses the graves of deceased royalty.
Princess Caroline's house

Princess Stephanie's house


Grace Kelly's grave

Next we walked up to the Palace! I was sad we didn't get to see the changing of the guard but the view from up there was breathtaking!!


Hall of Justice. Since they have virtually no crime, they just use this for domestic, probate, and civil case!

After a quick but pleasant walk through the charming city we boarded the bus to go to Eze.
I knew nothing about this little place but I have to say out of everywhere we went on the trip, it was definitely my favorite! It is a super old city with my favorite cobblestone streets and stone buildings. It is perched high on a cliff overlooking the sea and seems relatively untouched by the outside world. I am SO glad that we got to visit it! We even paid the extra euro to walk up through the cactus garden to the very top of the city. It was totally worth it, as the views were spectacular!!

Inside the church in Eze

Climbing the cactus garden

We reluctantly left the top of Eze to make our lunch reservation. We had some extra time so we popped into a local perfume store and I was able to find my own "signature scent". I am not really a big perfume person but this stuff smells amazing--sweet but not too strong and not very alcohol-y. Forrest agreed that is was perfect and I was tickled to get it! We made it in time for our group lunch over looking the sea. We met a really nice couple from San Francisco who told us all about their travel club that goes to a different place each year!! After a traditional French lunch and a little less traditional accordian sing a long, we boarded the bus to Nice. The bus rides on this trip were spectacular in themselves because we passed some amazing scenery! We passed a mansion of one of the Rothchilds as well as the tiny village where Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt lived while awaiting the birth of their baby. We would love to go back and stay in one of these little sea towns, God willing, in the future!!
When we arrived in Nice I was surprised to find out that it is the 5th largest city in France! I had been reveling in the charm of Eze but once you got off of the main street, Nice seemed quite and quaint. Our first major stop was for gelatto and then we hit the beach! The beach is all stones, no sand, which made it hard to walk on but so very neat! We strolled down the beach and then back up the boardwalk before diving into the tiny streets to explore.

Enjoying some gelatto in the candy store

Before we knew it we had to get back on the bus to go to Monte Carlo. We weren't too upset because we got to go see the casino!!! No pictures were allowed but everything was oh-so-posh!

Park across from the casino

These were everywhere!

We very reluctantly boarded the bus to take us back to the ship after a fantastic day of glitz and glamour!!

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