Monte Carlo, Monaco
One of the most breathtaking views I experienced in my time on the ship was simply looking our at the ships and yachts in the Port of Monaco. This port was high on my list of ‘ports to be excited about’ – mostly because our previous hotel director on the ship, Bertrand, lives in Monaco and agreed to show us around. He met us on the pier and we all (Kathleen, Krystle, Jeff and myself) happily piled into his robin’s egg blue Renault for a drive and tour around the principality. We couldn’t have asked for a better tour guide. First we visited the famous casinos of Monte Carlo, which was a trip in itself because Bertrand is technically not allowed to go into the casino as Monaco citizens are not allowed to gamble, so we snuck our way in to Le Grand Casino for a nice view, then redirected ourselves to one of the casinos with slot machines. I firmly decided I would spend no more than 5 Euro, but I just HAD to take my chance in a Monaco casino. One spin on the machine and I won 17 Euro! Cash out, walk away, keep that smile on your face. We then got to walk around the very beautiful Hôtel Hermitage, where Bertrand ignored velvet ropes barricading private rooms and showed us every nook and cranny of this GORGEOUS establishment. I could happily spend the rest of my life on the patio of this hotel, overlooking the Port of Monaco. But time waits for no one! Next stop in the Robin’s Egg was the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort, where we lounged at L’Orange Verte – and I took my winnings to indulge in a nice afternoon Viognier. What a beautiful place to spend the afternoon. Our last visit was across the principality, so we raced along the Formula One track in our Robin’s Egg, and then saw the government buildings of Monaco, as well as the old cathedral where the royalty of Monaco are buried (including Princess Grace). It was a thrilling day – so spectacular to see Bertrand again, and the five of us really had such a wonderful time in the beautiful principality of Monaco.
Next up: Livorno, Italy (including Florence and Pisa!)