Monday, 20 April 2009

Monaco

The train ride from Antibes to Monaco is a beautiful one. The terracotta hillsides and turquoise ocean join to inspire just as they have for centuries.




How often is a place exactly as you have imagined? Monaco was for me. The steepness of the streets and delicately placed buildings are incredible to behold.


A lack of current vocation does mean trips like these are business trips Business means walking up, down and through the docks. There were some seriously serious super yachts.

I have been keeping a watchful eye on the names of boats. This one was the best I saw in Monaco.

After a good hour and a half of dock walking it was time to get down to the not so serious business of being a tourist and freelance writer. To the palace Batman! The palace is pretty good.

I could see myself living there with a few modifications. Namely the lack of chrome on the guards and statues of myself.

No bird would dare sit on my head.

After watching the quite regimented spectacle of the guards changing at 11:55 with about 500 other heavily bagged and camera’d people it was time to visit the Casino. A good travel tip for the budget conscious traveler who has donated heavily to my blog and wants to save a few dollars is to invest in a le tourist passe which allows unlimited bus travel in Monaco for the day for only €3.00.


The Casino is both elegant and puzzling. It was there I spotted my first defibrillator. I am thinking the careful placement of these is for travelers who have trouble scaling the steep hills of Monaco. They could of course be for people like me who openly do not like cars but feel pangs of car envy that are heart stopping. They could also be for people who’s hearts stop beating from the breath taking views. This would only explain this one I spotted.

Monaco is an incredibly clean city. Rubbish is attacked with glee and so are infringers. The city is full with over 6000 CCTV cameras and it pays to be mindful of hooliganism. While we waited for a bus we saw three separate people be pulled over by pedestrian police officers.

This last runt would have been struggling to be ten and was riding a scooter. I think he could have been royalty or otherwise important because he pulled out some papers which made the officers wave him on without a ticket.

The bus arrived and we departed for the Le Jardine Exotique. The garden sits perched upon some of the highest real estate Monaco has. Sadly the entrance price was quite high. May I indulge you with another traveling tip. Take photos of the photos outside the tourist attraction you are not visiting. Its just as good as being there.

I have to give mention to one of Monaco’s less obvious characteristics. The whole place smells incredible. Perhaps the 6000 CCTV cameras also dispense parfume? The only place that did not smell like a duty free counter was directly on top the sea.

Time was creeping on now so we decided to head back towards the train station. In our exuberance to leave behind the exorbitance we got off our bus 5 stops early. This allowed us to spy some unique architecture.


And another good reason Monaco is so incredibly clean.

Monaco train station is by far the most impressive I have waited in for an extended length of time. While it was sad to leave Monaco it is our hope that on our return we will be aboard a super yacht. I am writing it. It shall be so.

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