Blogs from Monaco, Europe - page 5


Europe » Monaco October 12th 2010

We boarded our Costa Cruise in Barcelona. Costa is an Italian Cruise line. Within an hour, we started to realize that no one spoke English. We went to our English speaking meet and greet. There were 6 people there. In total, the cruise ship can carry 920 people or so. Our English guide for the week was in fact, English. It turns out there is only 1 other American aboard the ship, a 50 something single female from Colorado. She is already my mom’s new bff. 21 people in total that speak English (excluding the crew) are aboard! The ride from Barcelona to Monaco was apparently the harshest of the entire cruise due to the current. I of course took a precautionary pill that put me in a coma for about 11 hours (I slept from ... read more
Monte Carlo
Oceanographic Museum

Europe » Monaco October 5th 2010

OK, they said this would happen… When we got here, we did a workshop on Culture Shock. The first stage is “Honeymoon”. Oh, is it ever! Everything is novel, exciting…every experience is an adventure! We are experiencing so many new and different things, and we love every minute of it! I’d say in most cases we are still experiencing Honeymoon phase. However… the small bits of “Rejection” are starting to set in. I wouldn’t exactly call it rejection in our case, but more of a homesickness for certain things. And it’s interesting what I am finding myself homesick for. Of course there is the obvious, our family and friends. But it helps that it’s so easy to keep in contact with everyone. For me, it’s more of the little things. For example, I really miss having ... read more
Our first field trip!
There are working wells all over these small is common that they do not have running water.
Another well in Capriana

Europe » Monaco » Monte Carlo September 25th 2010

I awake pretty early, and I make my way to the train station. Today would be my last full day in Europe, and I wanted to make the most of it. I arrived at the train station, and I was going to ask for directions. Unfortunately for me, the station had no attendant this early. I thought to myself, “What do I do now?” Lucky for me, there were two young guys at the station. I was hesitant at first to talk to them for they appeared to be like many young kids these days. Longer hair with baggy clothes, hat turned sideways, etc... One was riding his tripped out stunt looking bike. Anyway, I asked if they spoke English, and they did. I asked them how to get to Monte Carlo. They said they were ... read more
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Europe » Monaco » Monte Carlo July 8th 2010

Cannes, France, 7th July, 2010. We docked at the Southern French port of Cannes around 6am to a misty day which was a sign that it was going to be quite hot. This is no surprise really as we have been sweating solidly now for 6 and a half weeks. A cold, wet day would be a blessing but that was not to be. The port of Cannes is nothing if not very clean and beautiful with lovely golden beaches and plenty of shops and hotels on the seafront. We hopped on our tour bus for the drive to Monaco and what a lovely and pleasant drive it was. The countryside around here is stunning. We drove through Grasse and Nice and after 90 minutes we arrived at the Principality of Monaco and all can say ... read more

Europe » Monaco » Monte Carlo June 14th 2010

Southern France: It took just four hours to travel from Le Mans to Aix-en-Provence. I was not used to this type of train service. It was a double decker and the seating was comfy the ride gracefully smooth. On arrival the Lady was there to meet me. I had not seen her for a while. We talked for hours. She showed me around Aix. It is a beautiful town. The grandeur of the past is clear in every building. It is a spa town, dating back to the Roman era. Loved throughout the centuries it has withstood time. There are fountains strewn across the town. All unique and intricate. The weather and landscape both notably different to the rest of France. The town is surrounded by jagged rocky hills and mountains. The plan would be to ... read more
2 Harbour
3 Casino
4 Grand Hotel 3

Europe » Monaco » Monte Carlo May 12th 2010

The next day we went on an awesome day trip to Monaco (our 8th country so far!). The sun even came out! We made it just in time to walk up to the Palace du Prince and see the changing of the guards. It was all very theatrical! We then went for a walk through the old part of town and took in the fabulous views over the harbour. It was the day before the start of the Formula 1 Grand Prix so there was lots of setting up and preparations going on. We got to walk the length of the track which was pretty cool. We later heard that Mark Webber for Australia won - awesome!! The track goes right past the famous Casino. We stopped here for a while (just outside as we didn’t ... read more
Palace du Prince
Palace du Prince
View of Monte Carlo

Europe » Monaco » Monte Carlo March 12th 2010

Despite Monaco's lingering image as "a sunny place for shady people," in W. Somerset Maugham's famous phrase, present-day Monaco is really more of a conventioneer and package-tour destination. Only 4 percent of its state revenues comes from the storied casino, now mostly patronized by hard-bitten Russians, and just 10 percent comes from banking transactions. The biggest chunk of national revenue, about two-thirds, comes from a value-added tax on goods and services sold in Monaco, which the principality shares with France. I would definitely recommend a trip to Monte Carlo, Monaco taking a chance to stroll the waterfront and get a glimpse of how some of the high society folks live. You will either leave Monte Carlo - just like me - in awe of all the amazing elegance and the high style living wondering where people ... read more
Oh the view.........
First impression
View from the palace

Europe » Monaco » Monte Carlo January 28th 2010

Thursday 28.1.210 day 106 Monaco changing of the guards We checked out of our hotel and headed to Monaco to see the changing of the guards. It was lots of fun with a marching band and lots of guards doing synchronise gun swapping. We then drove to San Remo in Italy and then up to the Italian alps there was lots of snow and it was starting to get cold and dark and the road we were on had signs saying chains were required so we decided to stay in the Italian alps near Turino over night and get the autobahn out in the morning rather than keep going on the winding roads. ... read more
Italy before Imola 060
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Italy before Imola 033

Europe » Monaco » Monte Carlo January 24th 2010

So a lot of the questions that we're getting from you all back home have to do with: a) what the van is like b) what we do for sleeping and eating arrangements, and c) how the hell we're surviving in the middle of a European winter that is not by any means the mildest they've had in recent years. So this blog has less to do with where we've been and what we've seen and more to do with the day to day workings of two Aussies and a Toyota. The van stuff kind of has to be separated into two distinct parts - the old van and the new one. If you haven't been following, while we still had the old van after a couple of days in Barcelona, we were broken into and ... read more
A Typical Evening's Entertainment
Booze Is A Staple Part Of Our Diet
Aleks Nibbling On A Pack Of Ciggies

Europe » Monaco » Monte Carlo January 14th 2010

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