The ritz and glitz of Monaco


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Europe » Monaco
June 29th 2007
Published: June 29th 2007
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Today was my alone day as I paraded around the Cote d'Azur through a small hill town called Eze (funny thing, in Hebrew Eze means goat) to the Ferrari and Porsche laden streets of Monaco.

Eze



I took the bus first to Eze (heading east towards Monaco) and fell asleep on the bus! Luckily I woke up right at my stop and jumped off. whew! Eze was charming, super small, with nothing to offer except for touristy cafes and boutiques selling nicknacks, porcelain, cloths, and art from the few galleries that were hidden in the rock. But frankly, it was exactly what I needed after bustling Rome. I got a beautiful view of the ocean and saw a lot of the same shops over and over again because I made a few wrong turns and walked in plenty of circles. There's no time pressure. The map I had was an illustration which made the navigation a bit difficult, but it's hard to get lost in Eze. All the streets are intertwined and lead into each other eventually. I can't wait to post pictures of this place because it was the little details that made the town so cute. Everything from a yellow sundress hanging in a stone window to the little flower pot overflowing with aloe vera.

I needed a bit of juice before Monaco and stopped in at the nearby corner store and bought some fig newtons and a huge bottle of water. This should be fine. Eze had tons of hills so I was looking forward to being a beach bum for a while in Monaco.


Monaco and the Monte Carlo Casino



The bus wove back down the mountains and into the glamorous Monaco. It was super duper ritzy and very clean - no dog poop on these streets! The Monte Carlo casino was cool, I enjoyed it from the outside because just to go inside was 10 euros and of course they expect you to spend more.

The gardens around the casino were absolutely beautiful (those words don't do my pictures justice) with dark green palm trees and tropical plants arranged in the most perfect patterns. Every blade of grass was probably hand planted and the gardeners must go around and collect any fallen leaves/debris because the dirt around the plants was dark black with no blemishes. The water fountains were exotic and I spent over an hour just walking around the casino and its gardens. Out in front were super expensive cars that had backed in and faced the crowds of tourists who were all taking photos of the casino and show cars. While I turned the corner to walk around the back of the casino, a flashy red convertible Ferrari zoomed past me. The driver was a young looking guy probably in his 30s (naturally or maybe after some plastic surgery, who knows?) whith longer hair and dark black aviator sunglasses. I heard him put his car in a lower gear so that when he passed the front of the Monte Carlo, his car roared and turned the heads of anyone within view. Show off! But can you blame him with a car like that?

After enough time around the Monte Carlo, I walked down one of the main streets that had all the ritzy brand name stores you see in fashion magazines like Vogue. There were also stores I had never seen before, but I'm sure they were well to do and high end couture clothing. The most absurd store I saw right next to the Rolex store is Baby Dior. Pahleez. I was happy wearing my $15 Old Navy cotton skirt and my $8 tank top from JCPenny.

My next stop was Monaco's pristine public (and only free thing there) beach. The beach is made up of tiny little pebbles the size of frozen peas. It's much more comfortable than Nice's large rocks and it sort of feels like you're laying on a large bean bag chair. Now my question is - did Monaco import the smaller pebbles andmake the beach or is it natural?

I wasn't planning on getting into the water because nobody was with me to watch my stuff. However, I started to get really hot and wished I could go in the water for a dip when my wish was granted. A guy about 2 meters from me (also by himself) asked me if I could watch his stuff so he could go in the water. I said sure and asked if he could do the same for me. He had an American accent and seemed like the solo traveler like myself. The water felt SO good though it was a bit of a shock since my body was quite overheated from the sun. After the beach, it was time to take the train back since it was about 5 and I wasn't up for a 45 min bus ride back. Monaco was so over the top. I'm glad I visited it - maybe one day I'll sail my sailboat into it's harbor. hehe.

That evening, Lisa, me, Daniella, and Nicolas went to the waterfront and sipped on my bottle of Chianti from Rome - the one Marissa gave me. Right in front of us were these rollerbladers who were weaving in and out of cones placed a meter or less apart. They were unbelievable and I was surprised to know that one of them named Frank had only been rollerblading for a year. From there, we walked 20 minutes along the sea to a disco club that Patrick told me about called L'envenment. By then, it was midnight and when we got to the doors, they were closed. Already?! We talked to the guy outside who was putting up posters and he said that the club didn't OPEN until 1:00am. Hmm... But he continued and said that we wouldn't be able to get inside because of our shoes. Lisa and Daniella had on metallic thong sandals that were fairly dressy and clean and I had my leather sandals which were not amazingly dressy but they still looked nice and clean. Nicolas was silly and wore sneakers...but the guy said that even just us girls wouldn't get in - we had to wear high heels. Sorry, I forgot to pack my pair of 3" heels. I'll remember that for my next backpacking trip....

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