If we thought Cannes was fancy, we had no idea what was in store in Monaco! And we saw it all. We took the #100 bus with gorgeous scenery along the way before spying a city built seemingly straight up from water to cliffside with more big yachts than I have ever seen in one place.
We started at the Palace, perched high on a steep hill, which we climbed and got there just in time to see the daily Changing of the Guard. They take this very seriously, and we had front row seats.
Then we hopped on a bus for a tour of the municipality, which is bigger than we had anticipated. We kept noticing Olympic Rings and discovered that the International Olympic Committee is meeting there this week – they were making them feel welcome.
Then, the best part – Monte Carlo. We got out at the Monte-Carlo Casino – scene of many a James Bond appearances – and were in complete awe. In a horseshoe square was the Cafe de Paris, then the Monte Carlo Casino, then the Hotel de Paris – all famous and decorated in style.
And a Few Rolls-Royces
Although it was only around 1 pm, cars kept pulling up and drivers jumping out as valets took over to park. And not just any cars, but Bentleys, Roll-Royces, and Ferraris – one after another, almost too many to count! The poor BMWs and Porches seemed rather dreary by comparison. We even got to window shop, as they had both a Ferrari and Rolls on display, with their stickers listing all the features and line item prices. The Ferrari was a cool 338,000 Euro, but the sticker explained that the buyer would get to choose the color of the seats and floormats.
We gawked and took pictures before heading into Cafe de Paris for lunch. This is one of those places everyone has to try at least once – like Tavern on the Green. The food was really good, the setting amazing, and the fellow diners the best. The guidebook said it would be full of tourists, locals, and jet-setters. They were right. Women who looked like supermodels strutted in and never removed their sunglasses, fur-clad “ladies who lunch” swept in, offering “Bonjour” and air kisses to friends across the room before settling in at what looked like their regular table, and well-dressed older gentlemen wearing suits with no socks sipped Rose, smoked cigars, and conducted whatever business Rolls-Royce drivers conduct – and then there WE were, trying not to stare. What fun!
And then we boarded our #100 bus back to Nice, sharing the road home with all those Ferraris. A magical day in the Municipality of Monaco.