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Published: August 11th 2013
French Riviera & Monaco 7 to 9 Aug 2013 – from Ventimiglia to Hyeres
It had been a very hot night at Sam Remo and we had a few mosquitoes as we left the camper door open. But despite this, we got up and left at 7.45am to try to beat the traffic. From Sam Remo to Nice…it didn’t work! The traffic and narrow roads were incredible. Despite reading advice that Monte-Carlo traffic and available parking was incredibly unfriendly to campers, we tried…and failed, so we decided to take the written advice and drive to Villeneuve-Loubet which was 45 kms further west along the Cote D’Azur (French Riviera). Our drive through Monte-Carlo looking for a park gave us a picture of the busyness of this port-based city, and that walking around was the best way to see it. So it was off to a camp site that was suitable for campers.
The camping site was Parc des Maurettes, 5 minutes from the beach, rain station and bus station and supermarket. Excellent! The town we were in was Villeneuve Lobet Page which was west of nice. We tried to connect to the Park’s WiFi to do a bit of phoning
and other computer work but could not get onto the internet so we caught the train into Monte-Carlo which took 45 minutes.
Wow, what a place – wall to wall buildings, wall to wall people, wall to wall cars, including many Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, rolls, BMW, you name it they were driving around…slowly! The city was squashed in between sea and mountains so the opportunity to expand is limited. The whole of the country of Monaco is only 2 square kilometers.
We went into the old Casino (no photos allowed). It was beautiful – lavish but light, classically stylish, with statues dotted in large lobbies.
This area of the city has to have a ‘pose-rating’ because when we sat down for a beer, we watched people preen themselves to make sure they were displaying themselves in the best light. It was fascinating. We had heard how expensive this area of the city was, because it IS the place to be seen. Our 500ml beer was ice cold and the price was 15 Euro each ($25 AUD) which included a VAT of 20% – oh my gosh!! Anyway, we enjoyed the experience.
We then went for a
walk further around the town, visiting beautiful buildings which housed shopping centres with lavish interior designs. We then walked along the waterfront to see all the holiday activities before walking up the steps to the Royal Palace and Old Town – see photos.
We had dinner up there and then caught the train home. It had been a very hot humid day but the night cooled a little which was quite pleasant.
The next morning (8 Aug) we found it was raining. After several days of heat plus high humidity, the rain was beautiful. As it was Day 88 of our travels (I only know this because the text comes up on my camera), we decided to have a ‘sitting-around-day’, the 1st
since we have been on the road. For those who know me well, if I told you I did the sitting around successfully, would you believe me – well I did!!!!!!
The temperature was about 28 degrees after the rain so hanging about the camper was pleasant. We caught up with everything, including some travel research for the next 3 countries – Spain, Portugal and Morocco. We have decided on a tour through Morocco rather
than taking the camper there.
Tom did some shopping at the supermarket which was a 5 minute walk and came back with some ice as well. He then served up a cold gin and tonic as it was about 6 pm. Beautiful!
The next morning (Friday 9 August) we did some administrative stuff and then called Kerrie only to find that little Gemma had fallen of the tree house and was in hospital with a neck brace on. After all the tests she was cleared and allowed home. I remember Adam doing the same thing but from a monkey-gym set. It was 11.30am by this time but we drove further south-west to Marseille.
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