Monday, August 25, 2014

Monte Carlo - Old City

Tuesday 29 August
In the morning we discovered that a small cruise ship had arrived overnight. The weather was fine and warm and it was going to be a beautiful day.

 After breakfast on the balcony of the rooftop restaurant we met Anya and Joel and the rest of the group downstairs, ready for the bus ride to the Old City. Our guide in Monte Carlo was Jean Paul. Monte Carlo is really divided into three sections - the Old City, the marina and waterfront area plus a new section of reclaimed land.
Jean Paul talking to group members
Our first stop was a lookout where we could obtain views of the Old City and other parts of Monte Carlo.
Old City
Many of the roads in this area have been cut through rock or travel through underground tunnels.
When we arrived at the Old City we walked through the gardens where we had other views of Monte Carlo including parts of the reclaimed land and its marina.
In the gardens there was a statue of Prince Albert I who devoted much of his life to studing the science of oceanography.
 The first building we visited was St Nicholas Cathedral where members of the royal family, including Princess Grace, are buried. Wherever you go in Monaco there are references to Princess Grace.
The next stop was a tour of the Palace.
At 11.55 am we watched the Changing of the Guard in the courtyard outside the Palace.
As in Monte Carlo, there were many interesting buildings to view in the Old City.
There were also lots of lanes to explore and, of course, opportunities to purchase items.
We decided not to return on the bus to the hotel but instead visited the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.
The museum was founded in 1901 by Prince Albert I and Jacques Cousteau was director of the museum from 1957-1988. The museum is also an aquarium featuring sharks and other fish.
Children's playground on roof of museum
The submarine used by Jacques Cousteau in his explorations of the sea - the yellow submarine.
We then walked back to the hotel.

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