a visit from Alassio and several trips on
the train from Roquebrune to this lovely
place we were lucky enough to be there in 2009 (on
the QM2 Cruise) for Edna's birthday. Unfortunately(?) this was four
days before the Grand Prix and everything was being got ready (lots
of scaffolding, stands etc.) but this did make an interesting diversion.
Monte Carlo is a special place, from the yachts in the harbour to the
cars parked outside the Hotel de Paris (very surprised to see a Smart
car parked here!) and the Casino. Didn't get up to the Palace this time
but perhaps next time (when we win the lottery?).
One (near) disaster. We had to go ashore by tender and there was no
sign of the shuttle bus. Most of the people on our tender were on organised
tours so there were just a few of us who wandered off to try and find
the bus. No luck so we went back and asked one of the tour guides where
the bus was. "To the main road and turn left". Went to the
road, turned left and walked. Saw a couple of reserved coaches parked
and asked if they were the shuttle buses. "No, they're for tours,
you need a number 6 bus". This was the local bus and NOT a shuttle
bus so we wandered around again. Suddenly a chap on a scooter (nothing
to do with Cunard) pointed down a road and told us that the buses were
down there. We walked and found a girl with a Cunard board who pointed
us in the right direction. She was at the end of a short cut from the
dock but there was no-one at the other end when we passed it! Cunard?
P*** up and Brewery comes to mind!
Never mind, we'd wasted 45 minutes of Edna's birthday but we saw the
Casino, Hotel de Paris (had a Coke at the Cafe de Paris) etc. and some
lovely views and then found a place for lunch (a cafe in a baker's but
nowhere is bad in Monaco and beggars can't be choosers). Steak, chips
and salad was the fixed menu with a pastry for sweet so we went for
that. The waitress couldn't speak English but luckily I remembered what
"a point" meant so we all had our steaks medium (whether we
liked it or not)! Somewhat fatty but very tasty and the pastry was excellent.
A few glasses of wine didn't go amiss either...
Hotel de Paris
Musical Mediterannean Took a photo of the Casino from the ship.
Looking at the clouds you wouldn't believe how hot it got!
The Casino from the Saga Sapphire
Big delays to get off the
ship (by tender) because of the rough sea. Gave the morning a miss and,
in the afternoon, Edna decided that she wasn't that keen so off I went!
Walked (quickly, didn't want to miss the last shuttle back!) from the
drop off point to the Casino (uphill, took 30 minutes) and it was the
worst time (heat wise) that I experienced on this cruise. "Only"
in the high 30s but very sticky! Took a few photos including a couple
of statues of Composers (we're both Classical fans).
Hector Belioz (1803-1869) - Symphonie Fantastique
Jules Massenet (1842-1912) - Meditation from Thais (one of my favourites
- played by the Lirica Quartet on this cruise!)