Monday, 28 November 2016

EsTrails: Day Trip to Monte Carlo, Monaco

Viewpoint of the whole of Monaco
Hello beautiful earthlings~

I am going to continue where I left off from my previous post. After our short trip to Èze, we took the bus #112 (the stop was right where we got off the bus from Nice) and headed to Monte Carlo.  The bus journey was quick. It was less than 20 minutes.  Bus #112's last stop is at Monte Carlo which was very handy.

We briefly walked around a park before getting near where the Monte Carlo Casino is.  I was amazed at how lavish this small city is.  In Ireland, we rarely see a luxurious car.  So seeing a number of then just parked right outside the casino made us giddy and a little envious.

Our friend ZJ was particular excited to these cars.

The city is just filled with luxury brands after another.  In Ireland, all the designer brands are housed in a department store unlike Monte Carlo where the stores had its own space! I could not let myself go in one of those stores. I would just cry getting out the store since I could not afford a single item from those shops.

We then headed to Cavallari where they had Ferrari cars on display. Car enthusiasts would have stayed at this spot to admire this shiny, red baby.

We headed to La Condamine.  It is the central ward of Monaco.

Restaurants around this area were more affordable to us compared to the restaurants near the casino. We had our lunch at Bilig Café.  I had their spicy arrabiata pasta and a glass of rosé (do not judge! Holidays are the only times when I indulge with a glass around noon okay? 😂)  My friends had their crêpe and steak.

Rampe de la Major
There probably are buses going to the Prince's Palace but we decided to burn off the food we consumed and to beat food coma.  So we went up these steps (I think this is the Rampe de la Major) that leads to Monaco-Ville.

Prince Rainier III statue

The Prince's Palace of Monaco
The area was just beautiful!  The sun greeted our faces and we were delighted to have that warmth welcome us that we were deprived off already so soon in Ireland.

We did not get the chance to tour around the palace and the State Apartments. The prices were actually affordable and if you are a student, BRING YOUR STUDENT ID WITH YOU! It does not matter which country you are from as they accept all student IDs and you can then avail for the student rates.

At the side of the palace, you could see the view of Port Hercule.  We did not have the chance to walk around the port when we were in La Condamine area, unfortunately 😢.

Saint Nicholas Cathedral is only a few minutes away from the Prince's Palace.  There is a "dress code" that has to be "followed" when entering the cathedral. Basically you can't be in a bikini and  bring food in like ice-cream.

The church ss absolutely beautiful with massive walkways and arches.  The details of the roof is just stunning.

Around the altar is where the previous monarchs are laid to rest including Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly.

Excuse my poor photoshop skills as I removed people from the background. 

After the Cathedral, we headed to the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.  The ticket desk is right outside the entrance. My friends paid €10 for the student rate and I paid €14 since I thought I forgot my student card back at out apartment but it was just at the bottom of my backpack all along. I could have spent that €4 somewhere else 😓.

I got really excited when I saw axolotls in the aquarium.  I wanted to have one as a pet since they're the closest thing of me having my own Toothless but they're so hard to maintain and are endangered.

The next floor had all the exhibit of a bunch of collection of the marine world from equipments to preserved sea creatures.

There is another floor where you can pet a baby shark! One of the baby sharks acted as if it was a rock star and loved the attention.

I particularly love this photo because of my stolen photo of Crys 😍

Another good thing we love about the aquarium is that they have FREE WIFI! We stayed there for a couple of hours since it was the only way for me to contact my friend.

My friend Madelaine brought us to this Italian gelato place called La Gelateria. I had two scoops, one of which was pistachio and I cannot remember the other one.

We asked Madelaine if Monte Carlo had a shopping centre and she brought us to Métropole Shopping Centre where it had so many luxurious brands.  We even met an Italian who was a former boxer and he said he was friends with one of the most prominent people in Ireland. I don't know if it was true or not but hey we managed to meet someone.

We then headed to the Champions Promenade. It was beautiful but it was already so late in the day that there were nothing much going on.

Madelaine's brother Hector and partner Marine picked us up and gave us a lift and showed us around. They took us to this viewpoint on a highway where you could see the whole of Monaco.

They were feeling adventurous and took us to dinner in Menton!

La Cannibale Pizza
They brought us to this restaurant called The Melting Pot.  It was a fusion restaurant between Italian and Japanese cuisine.  Well not fusion but they served both food from pizza to sashimi.

We had their La Cannibale Pizza thanks to Madelaine.  We ordered more from their menu.  

We also tried their signature cocktail. It was delicious!

After the dinner, we had lemoncello.  It is an digestif cocktail served after dinner to help digestion. This thing is magic. We did not feel bloated after that big dinner.

Watch my vlog:

I would like to thank Madelaine, Hector and Marine for showing us around and for bringing us to dinner. You guys were so gracious to us and hopefully we can return the same thing when you visit Dublin.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this blog post.  I know it is quite long but I am very thankful for my readers (if there are any; they're mostly my seastars) for sticking up with me. I love you guys!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I will see you in the next one.

Peace & Love,
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