Monday, May 28, 2012

Tiny Country, Big Toys

A year ago we were in Monaco during the Grand Prix. It's a city (country) of riches with it's lily gilded even more during this time. Yachts and oil barons, trophy wives and private helicopters.

We were there as the last port of call for the cruise we were on, no I haven't posted about that yet. I'm going for my personal best of posting 13 months past a trip. But we were on the Windstar Windsurf, cruising up the Italian coast and into the south of France, with DeLille Cellars on board, pouring wine from 10am till you went to bed. Not a bad way to get around I'll say.

The ship had anchored in Monaco's harbor overnight, allowing us to enjoy two days in this beautiful city (country). As per usual we had pulled into port while we slept, awaking to the stunning coastline littered with expensive power boats and bathed in warm Mediterranean sun.

Our friends Lauren & Paul met us that first morning and we all took the tender to the main land. It was incredibly choppy with so much boat traffic, the driver had to dodge motor craft left and right.

We spent the day walking around Monaco, marveling at the cars, boats, people, etc. We could hear the Grand Prix's time trials in progress, the cars zipping around and their engines screaming, but the city had built walls around the entire course making it impossible for non tickets holders to grab more than a passing glance.

We made our way up to the palace, perched at the very top of the rock hill. The self guided Palace museum tour gave us a look at the rooms, art and furnishings of the royals. It's really interesting and it's all gorgeous inside but they don't allow photos so you'll just have to believe me.

Continuing around the old town we found a nice little spot for lunch just near the Cathedral. Is there anything better than enjoying a meal, outside in a pretty courtyard, in France? Non.

The cathedral is gorgeous and looks out to the sea. It's best known as both the wedding location and final resting spot of Grace Kelly, aka Princess Grace.

Continuing from there we walked past the famed aquarium, the Oceanographic Museum, directed by Cousteau for many years. We didn't have enough time to go thru it this time but it's on my list for next!

We finally made it down near the casino, with the race going on many normal roads were detoured, only to find it closed until after the race. We hadn't packed our formal attire so we wouldn't be visiting it that evening, as many on-board were planning to do. We had to cross a bridge made of scaffolding that was right over the race track to get back to where the buses were and as the cars flew by underneath you could literally feel the power and the speed. And it was loud, the kind of loud that throws your equilibrium off!
The Windsurf anchored off Monaco

Back on board we had a wonderful BBQ on the pool deck, complete with grilled lobsters, a stunning sunset and a little dance routine performed by the staff.

While many of the passengers had bought tickets to the time trials and the race itself, we had decided not to and with the sea traffic being even more insane the next day we all decided to spend the day in the sun, lounging and gazing out at the city and the parade of wealth. Complimentary wine in hand of course.

It was just the perfect way to spend our last day at sea. And we even saw a Jetlev!

Happy Memorial Day!
Monaco photos here

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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