Published: June 2nd 2012June 2nd 2012
My morning started off slow, I woke around 9:30 brushed my teeth and went down to grab some breakfast. It is a decent arrangement of breads, jams, cereal, yogurt, and juice. I had some toast then went back to my room where my roommates were finally beginning to stir. I finished writing my blog I had begun last night and got that posted on the website. Next I battled balancing my cash flow spreadsheet; that took a while.
I decided to go to Monaco today because it was on my paces to visit and I’m only in Nice for 3 nights; but first I wanted to stop by the tourist information office (TI) and grab a map and some brochures. At the TI I got a map of the Nice area and one for Monaco. With map in hand I headed for the train station for a quick ride to Monaco. While on the 20min train ride I had a chance to look over the Monaco map and found some attractions I was interested in seeing.
My first stop was Centre Commercial de Frontvielle where there is multiple things to see including Collection de Voitures Anciennes se S.A.S. Le
Prince de Monaco (Classic car collection of the Prince of Monaco), Jardin Animalier (Animal garden, aka a zoo), and the Stamp and Coin Museum. I went to the classic car museum first, and it had more than just cars; there were also carriages. I think my favorite was the Fiat Jolly Beach Car, but I took plenty of pictures of everything.
Next was the stamp museum, I mostly went in here because my mom is interested in the different postage stamps throughout the world. I really enjoyed it; the art on all the different stamps was very intricate, and it was interesting to see how the clothing of the Royal family has changed over the generations. Something I read later was that so few Monaco stamps are printed that they rise in value almost immediately. I wasn’t so interested in the coins, mainly because they were harder to see detain in. It was only later that I read in my guidebook that the Monaco Euro is rare to find because most collectors snatch them up as soon as they are released.
I wasn’t sure what to expect upon entering the animal garden, but it was much bigger than
it looked to be from the outside; although nothing compared to Point Defiance. The path weaved through the rocky hillside with different animals all along the walkway. It is interesting to see a zoo in another country, for one the animals are different and the vegetation along the paths is varied to what we would find in the U.S. Some of the highlights, I enjoyed seeing the turkey, kangaroo, ostrich, some strange aquatic animal that I can’t remember the name of (I have a picture of both the animal and the name of it), and a variety of birds. I enjoyed walking through there, and the fact that I got a student discount. +)
After this I really needed food since I hadn’t eaten anything since my two slices of toast in the morning. I walked around for a bit and most of the restaurants weren’t open for dinner yet. The ones that were I couldn’t find anything appealing on their menu or I thought it was too much money. I figured I would head up to the casino area and eat figuring there would be places open there. I caught a bus and headed up the hill. There
was a place open and jam packed full of people, I correctly assumed that it must be good. I got a table and then saw the prices. After evaluating my options I settled on penne abbriate (not sure how that is actually spelled) which I knew I liked because I had eaten it before in Florence, and a side of fries. My pasta was €16, my small side of fries €10. I sat; munched on my food, it was delicious, people watched; and read my book. From what I saw of the people and what they wore and carried, I figured I was way out of place; but since I was paying for my food just like they were I was content to watch the parade of fineries go by; sure that any minute some famous person would be seated at a table nearby. If there was a famous person I didn’t recognize them so I paid for my meal and went into the casino.
My first shock was that there were actually penny slots. Then I saw this bay of 6 slots with a jumbo screen above them playing scenes from The Dark Knight. These were deluxe slots,
the chairs had surround sound and rumbled, all I could think of was it was a Disney version of a slot machine. All of the seats were full so I looked around further and found one I wanted to test out. As you can assume I lost my cash, I moved onto another machine thinking I might have better luck and had the same outcome. Isn’t the definition of crazy doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome? Anyways, at this point I left and went into the gift shop they have their, found a postcard for mom and went in search of a stamp. After I accomplished that I sat outside and wrote a quick hello to the family and sent it off.
I still had to go into the main casino building, which I then did. The sign for the water closet caught my eye and I decided to relieve myself. This is not normally something I would discuss let alone put on the internet for the whole world to see, but this bathroom deserves it. It wasn’t so much the bathroom, Vegas has better ones, but the actual toilet. You can press
a button and a piece comes out from the back and the seat begins to rotate. It cleans the seat! Seriously, I was so impressed I did it a second time and recorded it.
Personal business taken care of I begin to wander, the building is gorgeous, there are frescos on the ceiling, sculptures on the walls, and art work hanging everywhere. I walked around everywhere I was allowed to go, which means I didn’t get to see the room where you have to bet and the minimums are more than most people make in a year, possibly a life time.
I had some time to kill before the bus was scheduled to take me back to the train station so I went back into the portion of the casino with the penny slots. There was a seat open at the coveted Dark Knight slot. I pounce, put in my money, and missed my bus. I did however earn back some of what I had previously lost so I’m happy about it. Besides that slot was amazing! 3-D graphics, vibrating chair, in chair sound, and great bonus rounds. I enjoyed myself, and actually left when I was up,
June 2nd Download 492
Pictures were not exaclty allowed otherwise there would be a better shot of the Dark Knight slot machine.
at that machine at least. When I got up someone was ready and waiting to take my seat.
I went to the bus stop and waited for the next bus to come by, got on and watched out the window as scenic Monaco passed by. I was so involved in the picturesque view I didn’t push the stop button and so I also got to watch that go right past me in through the window as well. I was now engrossed in my map trying to figure out the best way to get to the train station I ended up multiple stops away. I figured that is fine, I’m partially up the hill now so I can just trek it up instead of walking back down and catching the elevator as planned. It was further away than I thought. One thing is for sure, I’m getting a cardio workout while I’m in Europe. I got to the station about 30min later, purchased my ticket back to Nice and waited the 15min pleasantly reading my book.
Back in Nice I walked straight back to the hostel and thought about my Monaco adventure and if I should go back tomorrow or wait until Monday. Either way I think I will extend my stay in Nice at least for another night, possibly two. It would be a crime to come to the French Riviera and not spend a day laying on the beach, which is actually rocky in Nice, I didn’t expect that.
Now it is time for bed so I can be fresh for a new adventure tomorrow.