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5 Dec 2019

French Riviera: A Weird Trip To Monaco

Monaco

Weird. It's the only way I can think to describe Monaco. Not unpleasant…. just weird.  

We decided to head there spontaneously during our trip to Nice, France because we fancied a bit of a day trip and it was only 20 minutes away on the train. It’s famous for many reasons and, as is always the way, curiosity makes you want to go see what the fuss is about. 

You know that scene in Shrek (bear with me…) when Shrek and Donkey arrive in Duloc and the whole place is like a toy town and completely deserted? That’s pretty much how we felt when we arrived in Monaco. It reminded me of Disneyland only without Micky Mouse or the sugar-high children. (It was seven euros for a can of coke so sugar was limited quite frankly.) 

Monaco

Monaco

Monaco

Monaco


Monaco, the second smallest country in the world, is dramatic, astonishingly packed in and clinging on to the side of the mountains. It’s almost unnervingly clean, chocked full of designer shops, the grandest casino I’ve ever seen and the most yachts you will ever see in one small space. It’s like a toy town. 

We were originally baffled by the lack of life (and the sheer amount of yachts) but as we headed around the coast and up the hill, we found signs; restaurants, shops and a market. But I still couldn’t shake the lack of… atmosphere. Vibe. Whatever you want to call it. 

We climbed the steps to the palace where we got a better view of the buildings rising up into the mountains. It was impressive although not necessarily beautiful. The palace and the old town were prettier and felt slightly more real. There were at least people shopping and eating in restaurants and generally doing their thing. But after spending the previous day in Nice, it failed to wow us; we were ready to head back after just a few hours. 

I’m glad we went to Monaco; it was a strangely interesting place to observe in a bemused sort of way. Not sure I get the fuss though. 

Monaco

Monaco

Monaco

Monaco

Monaco

Monaco

Monaco


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