Published: February 13th 2013May 21st 2011
I slept in this morning, and when I woke up at 8:30 am, I felt great. The antibiotics worked like a charm! This morning I took it easy and did some laundry. There aren't a ton of places to do laundry while you are on tour, so it's good to get it done when you have a chance. Usually your best bets for laundry are at bigger hotels or at Contiki's special stopovers. It can be really expensive though.
At 10 am, me, Karly, Sharna, and Debs decided to take the train into Nice. Part of our group had gone on an included tour of a perfumery this morning, but I had opted out, as I've heard that it is a Contiki sponsor and all they try to do is get you to buy their stuff. I don't need any more perfume anyways haha. We arrived at the train station hoping to catch the 10:26 train, but the group in front of us was so slow at buying tickets that we missed it and ended up having to wait for the 11:11 train.
Our first stop in Nice was a pharmacy where I could fill my prescriptions. Karly and
Sharna ended up going straight to the beach, but me and Debs wandered slowly down the big shopping street in the middle of town. I ended up finding a new pair of black flats, a blue dress, some new sunglasses, and spent some time at makeup heaven (Sephora). Nice is a beautiful city; we didn't really sightsee, just took in the atmosphere and relaxed. I didn't want to spend my whole day shopping though, so we made our way to the end of the street and eventually met Sharna and Karly and a few other tourmates at the beach. The beaches here in the French Riviera are gorgeous, but there is no sand, it is just big chunks of rock. It made it very uncomfortable lying on your beach towel, but it was still so nice relaxing by the water and sunbathing. I was really (overly) excited that I was finally getting a tan. When you live in a place where you see the sun approximately twice a year, you tend to be pasty white all the time, so it was nice to get some of that vitamin D and a healthy glow!
After spending about an hour at
the beach we met up with the entire group at 4 pm, where we got on the coach and drove back to the hotel. We would be spending our evening in a different country - Monaco! Monaco is tiny - only 1.98 square kilometres and a population of just over 36,000 people. Monaco is famous for the Monte Carlo casino, its high population of billionaires, having no taxes, and its very difficult process of acquiring citizenship.
After dressing up in our best, we left for Monaco at 7 pm. We were told that the drive along the Riviera into Monaco was one of the most beautiful scenic drives in Europe, and Seb was offering to auction off his seat at the front of the bus to whoever wanted the best view. The money earned would go to charity. Christine ended up winning the seat - she paid 120 euro! The drive definitely was gorgeous, but it was frustrating since it was very hard to take pictures out of the window with the glare and the constant movement. Oh well! I was trying not to see Europe through the lens of my camera anyways.
Once we reached Monaco we
Driving to Monaco
got a short driving tour, then got off at the royal castle. From here we walked over to the Monte Carlo casino. I was really looking forward to this since I had never actually been in a casino before. I was a gambling virgin! The Monte Carlo is actually full of older, rich, important looking people and we felt a little out of place, even though we were all dressed quite nicely. The drinks at the bar there were ridiculously expensive - I think it was around 7 euro just for a 7up. A group of us played the slot machines, and I was really excited when I won 8 euro (although I put in 15 euro to start with, so I really lost 7 euro overall). I didn't really know what I was doing though, and to this day I still don't know how to properly play the slots. We all ended up watching Teresa and Jason play blackjack with the pros. I'm not sure if I remember correctly, but I believe Teresa ended up winning about 350 euro, while Jason lost around 300 euro. Wish I had that much money to spend!
We left the casino at
Monte Carlo casino
around 10:30 pm, and drove back to the campsite in Antibes.
What did I learn today? How to play the slots! (kind of)
There are more photos below