Thursday, June 8, 2017

Glamorous Monaco

Monaco is the most glamorous place I've ever been. Parts of Paris are very glamorous, but then you'll walk by a weird smell or some graffiti (big city stuff) and the spell is temporarily broken. In Monaco, even the underground area of the train station is made of marble. It's a tiny country, but everything is pristine and dripping with money.

I knew my family would love Monaco, and I was right! I finally found someplace in Europe that my dad really likes! 

No one in my family had been before, so it was at the top of our list to do while they were visiting the Riviera. Unfortunately David had to work, but the rest of us drove over on Tuesday morning.

We decided to ride the cheesy hop on/hop off tourist bus to get around easily. Monaco is very small, but it's made up of cliffs and hills. So walking around there is not for everyone!

Our first stop was the casino. The casino itself (designed by the architect who designed the Paris Opera House, Charles Garnier), and it's neighbor, the expensive Hôtel de Paris, are both beautiful buildings.

Casino reflection! 

Instead of just walking around the outside like we'd planned, by dad decided to treat us to lunch at the fancy restaurant inside the casino. I didn't feel classy enough! 

They almost didn't let us in because a few of us were wearing shorts. A waiter had to come evaluate our appearance in the lobby before letting us in haha

The French tend to eat their bread without a plate- just straight on the table. So we didn't have plates for the bread, and we felt so self-conscious about making crumbs in the nice restaurant. Me and Jenna tried our best to surreptitiously clean ours up.

As expected, the food was delicious. We spent a few minutes afterwards admiring the game room and playing some slot machines. Jenna can brag that she doubled her money. She only started with 10 euros, but still. I think my dad walked away 2 euros richer than before. Sadly, not quite enough to cover the cost of that lunch ;)

It's too bad David wasn't with us, because he is a huge James Bond fan, and we were definitely getting those vibes.

Next, we rode the bus over to the Palais Princier (the prince's palace). Here are a few shots taken on the way.

Castle on top of the hill, yachts down below!

The palace sits on top of a high rock with some pretty great views.

Russian tourists are my favorite. Sometimes I'm a stalker.

We toured the palace. It's always interesting to me to tour palaces where royal families still live. The prince of Monaco and his family live here during the winter, so it's only open in summer. 

Prince Albert recorded the intro to the audioguide commentary in English, and it was funny that he has a perfect American accent! But it makes sense if you think about it, because his mother was the American Princess Grace Kelly.

I had to skip through several parts of the rest of the audioguide, though... for a very important reason. The British commentator pronounced Monaco like MaNAAAHco, and it hurt my ears. He said it every 5 seconds. 

Since it was just around the corner from the palace, we had to stop inside the cathedral. 

Our last destination was seeing the royal car collection. I have this thing where all cars look the same to me, so it wasn't really for me. For a lot of people, seeing luxurious cars is why they love Monaco! Jenna's husband Cabren was in heaven. We were visiting just a few days before the Grand Prix, so a lot of special things were set up for that.

Until next time, colorful Monaco! 

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