Monday, August 25, 2014

Monte Carlo

Monday 28 July
At Nice Airport we were met by Anya, our APT Tour Director, and Joel, our driver, while we were visiting Monte Carlo. Another couple in our group had also been on the plane to Nice.

We had arrived mid afternoon and soon realised that traffic jams also exist in southern France. There were lots of road construction projects which added to delays. Monte Carlo is a ward in the principality of Monaco. The area of Monaco is approximately one square mile and is bordered by France on three sides and the Mediterranean Sea on the fourth. Eight kilometres to the east is France's border with Italy.

After showing us some of the sites of the area we arrived at the Fairmont Hotel where we were to stay for the next three days. The hotel has a number of restaurants but the best place to be is the restaurant on the rooftop where breakfast was served each day. The hotel also has its own casino but the Grand Casino is next door.
The hotel has great views of the Mediterranean Sea.
View from our window

View from hotel roof
At the Meet and Greet Reception in the hotel at 6 pm we met most of the other members of our group - nineteen in all. Anya provided an update on what we would be doing during this stage of the holiday. We then went to the rooftop on the 7th floor for other views of the city.
From the roof of the hotel it is possible to walk on to a path that leads past the Grand Casino to the waterfront.
It was easy to imagine images from James Bond films as we passed the casino building.
Monte Carlo is definitely a compact city with every inch of land utilised.
The architecture has a character of its own.
However it is the boats moored at the marina that make the most impressive sight.
We spent some time exploring the foreshore with its entertainment areas, playgrounds for children and plenty of places selling food. We purchased a chicken wrap to eat as we continued our initial exploration before returning to the hotel.

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