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Published: December 14th 2005
With a lovely day in Nice behind us, our new friend made, and boundless suggestions from John Cleese (whose real name we discovered is Ouf - mad! We made a rhyming song about him later) about what we could do, we decided to hit the road and visit Monaco. Since there was (and still is apparently) a train strike on, we had to catch the bus, but the bus ride was fantastic. The Mediterranean coastline is absolutely spectacular. The ocean is soooo blue and the cliffs are white and huge: I've never seen anything like it before in my life.
About half an hour of crazy French bus driving on roads perilously close to the edge of the cliffs and we landed in Monaco. We've never seen so much money in one place before! The shopping - think Gucci, Prada, Valentino, Cartier (Jacki is still picking up her jaw from the ground) - is insane, and your walk along the perfectly manicured streets is guided by a red carpet. Seriously. All we needed were the blinding lights of the paparazzi and we would have felt like movie stars. For a small (two square kilometre) country, Monaco is simply amazing. They
We would of loved to go in... Somehow I don't thing jeans and trainers would cut it with Gucci & Prada?
seem very proud of their monarchy - a publicity shot of Albert (Yes, that
Prince Albert) graces the window of almost every shop.
The gardens in the centre of town are stunning, although I still stood in dog poo (apparently a love of all things canine is a prerequisite over here) not exactly the sort of souvenir or lingering memory that I wanted to take with me. Jacki made me throw my shoes out and am now wearing one of the 10 pairs of shoes she has aquired along the way (no wonder our packs are getting heavier)
After a brief stop in the public loo (gee, with all the money floating around, you think they'd let you go for free) we headed to what Monaco is probably most famous for (aside from piercings) - The Monte Carlo Casino. It is breathtaking. We wouldn't have gotten past the front doormen if we'd tried ( and believe me (jak) I would of loved to have gone in since I've gone like 3 weeks without gambling). We did however, get our photo taken on the front steps.
Well after a great day we decided to unwind with some vodka
We want a yacht!!
(cheapo) and pringles (sour scream & onion?) with Christina in the common room. Thus forming the cool kid crowd - as everyone else lived there permanently and were seemily having their own dinner party. We as usual found the back corner to sit and get drunk like misfits, avoiding the crooked-oversisedglasses-wearing-crazy-lady. I (jak) even donned my best Kath & Kim tropical-print-headband for the occasion. V attractive I must say! And teamed with some crazy guys pink framed round sunglasses I was looking very much the hornbag. Long night short the cheap vodka went down well, as did the cheap wine after, and we had quite a merry night with Christina, Bobby from Canada (who crochets? and plays chess...), Steve & Damo from Nottingham (Robin Hood & Sherwood Forest
) - who informed us that we pronounce it wrong (Its nottinghem not nottinghaaaaamm!) and some random french-english speaking Lebanese dude Marawan (his parents liked to smoke) who had a penchant for wearing headbands too, but in black with a tonne of hair gel. He thought he was rather Kewel...
Well although the cheap alcohol seemed like a good idea at the time we realised in the morning why it is cheap.
Christina, Lauren & Me walking the red carpet
Well Lauren did but maybe thats because she and Christina shared an extra bottle of vinegar that i think they sell under the guise of wine here. t is deeeeeeeee - sgusting. (Yes Jacki it is rather, but you tend not to notice at the time.)
Anyway we must be off, hangover is calling in the direction of Maccas around the corner. You know how it is... Well until Italy (yes we are really going this time) its time for the Five Things We've Learnt So Far
* In Monaco, it is the height of fashion to wear authentic fur. Being swathed in dead animal really doesn't sound too appealing though, does it?
* Girls, don't ever, EVER, take your credit card to Monaco. I think it would grow a mind of its own and definately lead to bankruptcy. (Im saying this as if I had mine that Gucci bag that I have been brainwashed-into-believing-I-must-have by european women/advertising would now be in my arms..)
* While donut sticks look fantastic, they are really little more than stick shaped lard, and unless you are a masochist, I advise you to steer clear.
* Crepes however, are great
The Port. Again.
They had like a mini fair going on
and are everywhere you go. Just watch out for the nutella. They have a crazy infatuation with it.
* Train strikes suck. If I didn't know any better I would swear the French railway is trying to keep me and Lauren in France..
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