Welcome to the 6th day of our journey, which we have spent in a very charming place - Monaco. Although the total area of the Principality is a bit over 2 square km, Monaco offers a great variety of attractions and entertainment for visitors. Generally, the whole area is divided into 4 parts: Monaco-Ville, the hill where the Prince's Palace is situated and from where one can have a wonderful view over Port Hercules; Monte-Carlo, famous for its prominent Casino and luxurious Hotel de Paris; Condamine, the quarter where most expensive yachts are moored; and finally the newest quarter called Fontvieille. Of course, for tourists most interest offering quarters would be Monaco-Ville and Monte-Carlo, however, it is definitely worth walking around other areas as well.
We have begun our Monaco tour by first climbing up the famous Rock in Monaco-Ville. One may go up with the stairs or there is also a possibility to take a lift. The views opening from the top are absolutely amazing - high mountains at the background, numerous white yachts on the blue water, and very cosy harbour Port Hercules. It is definitely a must for every visitor to take a picture of the opening panorama.
Then we were just walking around the quarter - Prince's Palace, St Nicholas cathedral, where the members of the ruling family are buried, some beautiful parks, and finally we arrived to the well known Oceanographic Museum. The building itself is very impressive - it is built on the rock at the height of about 85 m. The museum has various aquariums, where one may see fishes and other representatives of sea fauna from different climate zones. What impressed us most, was the chance to touch small "baby"-sharks in an open aquarium. Of course we had to wash our hands before touching them and there were trained people observing all us. Those "babies" were really small, not longer than 30 sm long, and not at all scary, although we have seen their sharp teeth when they were "smiling" to us. :)
Next, after having a small break close to Fort Antoine - sunbathing and swimming in a small bay - we headed towards Monte-Carlo. We have to admit that we were too lazy to go all the way through Condamine quarter to reach Monte-Carlo, so we took a Boat taxi called Bateau Bus. For only 2 euros per person and within 5 minutes we were transported from one side of Port Hercules to the other.
Monte Carlo is a home for one of the most well-known Casinos, which has been initially opened already in 19 century and which is now owned and operated by Societe des Bains de Mer - the company in which the ruling family of Monaco is a major shareholder. Next to Casino one may see not less well known Hotel de Paris, Cafe de Paris and the casino theatre hosting the Opera de Monte Carlo. Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to enter the Casino or even come a bit closer, as there were preparations for some upcoming event going on. But next time when we will have a chance to visit Monaco we will definitely try our fortune. :)
There are also lots of other nice places in Monaco - parks, beaches, luxury shops and cafe-lounges with stunning views over the sea. Even if the total area of Monaco is 2 square km, one day is absolutely not enough to fully feel the atmosphere of the place. We returned to our camping by train, because we finally decided that it is more convenient and a bit faster to travel by train rather than by bus. The train ticket costs a bit more the a bus ticket, but there are discounts for the young up to 26 years old. For more information on train connections, prices and timetables, you may visit the website: http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/paca/Fr/Default.aspx.
Please, have a look at the photos we made and don't forget to comment. Tomorrow we will tell you about our trip to Grasse - the capital of perfumes! Stay tuned! :)
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