Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Principality of Monaco -- Quest day 7

The ship pulled in to Monaco around 9 a.m. on the day before Halloween. We had walked a lot the day before but, even with Derek not quite recovered from his cold and a cold wind blowing outside, we headed out for a walk at around 10. The closest thing to the ship that looked interesting was this castle / fort thing that Derek is standing in front of so we headed up.
This is a view from the top of that fort. I really enjoyed that part of our walk. There were fun sitting areas and overlooks and it was well kept. I wasn't too afraid of the cannons going off since the cannon balls were all welded together.

This is just an example of one of the little nooks in the fort that I liked. At the top of the fort we quickly came upon the driveway to the palace. I joked that we didn't need to walk further because Derek would enjoy watching all of the fancy cars going in and out of the drive. This is the palace where Princess Grace (Grace Kelly) and Prince Ranier III lived and their son Albert II is the ruler now. We were told that we might see some of the royalty out walking their children -- but they wisely stayed indoors where it was warm -- or we think they did. We really wouldn't have recognized them as royalty unless they were labelled.

This is just a fancy building that was unique so I took a picture. Monaco was really interesting. It is built kind of like a layered tower. All of the buildings appear to be in some way resting on the bottom buildings. If you look up high in Monaco you could think you were seeing the Utah mountains -- but you wouldn't make that mistake looking down where you can see palm trees and giant cactus plants. After walking past the palace and through the quaint shopping area we went down the big hill and back up following signs for "Le Jardin Exotique". It took us quite high up in the city and it was interesting to see that if you found yourself having a heart attack after having climbed all of those stairs you could take an elevator directly down to the hospital from the sidewalk. Very convenient.

We made it to the "Jardin Exotique" but ended up looking at it through the fence since we were too cheap to pay the "exotique" entrance fee. Eventually we took an elevator down, down, down, to the harbor level again. It ended in a big underground terminal that we hadn't known was there. What an adventure! We walked to the area with the big casinos after that. The picture above was taken on the way there. I have a picture of the casinos too but I liked this one better. I was trying to show some of the layers of buildings -- but mostly you can just see a little church tucked in -- looking a little inadequate to fend off the evils of gambling!
We could see a park on a buildings roof and Derek asked if we should walk to it. I said no. It was after lunch time and I thought he should not overdo it two days in a row. When we had walked half way around the bay on the way back to the ship he was thankful that I had, for once, said what I wanted. He was tired. In my journal I write that the rest of the day we rested, visited, and had plans to dine with friends. Monaco was the calm before the Halloween storm!

*Just a note -- Monaco is an independent province and a member of the UN but is protected by the French military. They likely speak French but I really didn't talk to anyone but Derek -- who is terrific at speaking English.

1 comment:

LC said...

I am enjoying traveling vicariously through you. What fun little nooks to hide away in and read a good book. Isn't that what nooks are for?