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Published: February 19th 2016
Tuesday February 16 – Today I went to Monaco. And even better, I met a friend there. A couple days ago, I found out that Lisa would be in Nice at the same time, so we made plans to get together. Last night we made plans to go to Monaco together today. We would meet there, since she was taking the bus and I would take the train, since I am practically living at the train station. Or at least, on the tracks. This lovely apartment just so happens to back up to the tracks, and the bathroom window overlooks the tracks. When I shower, I feel certain everyone zooming by would have a good view if only they looked up.
Anyway, I stopped by the tourist info office at the station in Nice and got the info I needed for the day, and then walked in to buy a ticket. The line was a bit long and I realized I would not make the next train unless I bought the ticket at a machine. I had a number for the ticket desk, just in case. But I went to the machine and had it all ready to go, but
it required a credit card rather than cash, so in the end I decided to just wait. Shame, because I missed the train by two minutes and had to wait another 15 or so for the next one. The train ride was about 25 minutes and had some nice coastal views along the way.
The train station for Monaco is underground and even had a free bathroom – so pleasantly unexpected. I had a map which helped me find the spot where Lisa and I were meeting at 10:30. It was the Prince’s Palace, and it was uphill, as much of Monaco is, it turns out. The whole country is just larger than the Vatican, at 2 km2, but it feels much larger. I looked for Lisa for a while and took a bunch of pictures in the meantime, but she was not there by 10:45, so I went for a stroll. We agreed to meet there at 11:55 for the changing of the guard if we failed to meet earlier. I walked around and found the cathedral. Inside I saw the grave of Grace Kelly, Princess Grace, and her husband, the then Prince of Monaco. I walked around
on a path overlooking the ocean and just enjoyed being outside.
I made it back for the changing of the guard a little early, and there was already a crowd. I found Lisa in it, waving frantically at me. She explained that she had had a series of unfortunate events earlier that caused her to be late. No problem. We watched the guard changeover and one guy had a total mishap – facing the wrong direction right at the very end. I’ve never seen anyone mess it up before. I only wish I had a picture of the moment.
From there we walked around, including another stop back to see Princess Grace. Eventually we ended up with sandwiches for lunch – I had steak and fries - and ate them with a nice view at the coast. From there we made another plan. Lisa was going to get a bus to the casino in Monte Carlo and play slots, and I was going to walk over there to see something along the way. From there we planned to catch a bus to Eze, a medieval village on a hill on the coast. There were not many buses, so
we needed to get the one at 3:10pm. We thought it left from the casino, but I checked again at the tourist info office and they said we’d have to walk to the next one. I wasn’t sure we would make it, but Lisa got out of the casino a little early, so we had plenty of time. She made a little profit in the casino, so that was nice. The bus only took about 15 minutes and we were in Eze.
We had to walk up into the town, and it was adorable. We strolled around and just took it in. ( See pics in next blog) Lisa bought a print from an artist that was very pretty, and then we started back down towards the bus. We were a bit early – the bus came at 5:30pm – but there was already a line, so we stayed there. When the bus came, we were the last ones to get seats, which was so lucky. The ride usually takes 45 minutes, but there was a lot of traffic and we stood still for ages.
Back in Nice, we took the tram for a few stops but had
to get off early as they were closing part of the track for Carnival. There are many people here for the festivities, but oddly, they charge for the privilege of watching the parades, so a large portion of the roads are blocked off at certain times. We then had a walk back to the center and found a place to get a crepe for dinner. I was starving and it was delicious. From there we said good bye and I headed back to my room for the night.
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