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Monaco

By Hannah

sunny 15 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Monaco: Yatchs of all kinds including with Helicopter

Monaco: Yatchs of all kinds including with Helicopter

We woke up bright and early today, as we had to finish cleaning the apartment before we left. It was a lot of scampering around, but we finished early and were able to leave without delay. It took us about two and a half hours to get to Monaco, and we had to pay at about four toll booths, as the alternative route was over an hour and a half longer. Navigating the streets once we go to Monaco turned out to be a little stressful (our GPS can be a bit unreliable at times). However, it was worth it.

Monte Carlo Casino

Monte Carlo Casino

Monaco is quite the country, though it doesn't feel like much more than a city. We spent some time walking through a couple gardens and down by the harbour, and got the feel of how prosperous this place is. Translation: lots of yachts. One even had a helicopter parked on it. There was a sort of holiday fair on nearby, too, with elaborate, tacky decorations that included animatronic reindeer and elves. Walking further, we saw the palace were the Prince of Monaco lived, complete with guard marching back and forth, back and forth, with an expression as stiff as his uniform.

Monte Carlo: Luxury Cars in Front of Hotel

Monte Carlo: Luxury Cars in Front of Hotel

Of course, we couldn't visit Monaco without taking a peek at the world famous Monte Cristo casino and hotel. It would be like visiting Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. Or going to the movies and not getting popcorn. It just doesn't work that way. Outside the buildings there were fountains and tropical-looking plants, as well as a large assortment of flashy cars. Most of them were worth more than the cost of our entire trip. My dad went around pretending to own various Porches and Ferraris, while I learned the different emblems and the brands they represented. "Dad, what's that one?" "A Mercedes-Benz." "And the one with the circles?" "An Audi." "What about the white one over there?" "... that's a Mazda." And so on and so forth. We also spotted a couple of itsy-bitsy Fiat 500s, which looked more like toys than road-worthy automobiles.

Menton: Sunset on the Waterfront

Menton: Sunset on the Waterfront

We wrapped up our visit, taking a last little stroll up and down the streets as we made our way to the parkade. We spotted a Canadian console, which was unexpected but kind of nice to see, like a little bit of home. Then we parted ways with Monaco. Next stop, Menton, which would be our last night in France for a while. We pulled up at Hotel Lemon (not as bad as it sounds: apparently Menton and lemons go way back, and in a good way), ready to unpack and get to know our surroundings in the few hours before it got dark. Unfortunately, we had what you might call an "unpleasant altercation" right after we parked. I had unwittingly left my door open, consequently blocking the sidewalk. So, when a passerby approached, my dad naturally told me to close it. Only the passerby seemed to think my dad was talking to him. In English. Which he didn't seem to like so much. And informed my dad thusly. Abby and I weren't sure if he was quite "all there". Understandably, it put a bit of a damper on my dad's mood. We still managed to enjoy our brief tour, though. We didn't even get lost, really. And we enjoyed a beautiful sunset by the beach, along with many of the locals. We'll be headed to Lucca, Italy tomorrow. I'll have to leave French behind and start working on my Italian. Arrivederci!

Posted by KZFamily 09:35 Archived in Monaco Tagged monaco monte cristo menton

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Comments

Great to hear from you guys! We have missed reading your blogs. We look forward to catching up with all of you. We are impressed with the photos of your car collections. I think they have beat our smart cars!

by John Koning

Oh good! We've been wondering what you guys have been up to! I'm impressed that you made an effort to learn about different kinds of cars, Hannah, and I love your Menton/lemon explanation. Gorgeous sunset! Countdown to seeing your Mom again, hey?!
Judy

by jaalders

Great write up, Hannah, I felt like I was there. Has Dad booked one of the yachts for the next leg of out trip?
Mom

by KZFamily

Monaco looks cool but I'm waiting for details on Italy...

Your mission, girls, should you choose to accept it, is to get the blogs up to date before your Mom arrives on Wednesday.

I don't know if you're in Rome yet but check out Ciuri Ciuri for gelato and pastries (http://www.revealedrome.com/2011/03/cannoli-sicilian-pastry-rome-ciuri-monti.html). The location I went to was just off Via Cavour.

Ciao.

Jane

by Jane1

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