GRANDS PRIX DE MONACO
Friday, May 04, 2012
We started our day half an hour later with breakfast in the hotel on the patio in bright sunshine. Our day began with setting Fifi for the Moyenne Corniche road to the Village of Eze; one of those picturesque small villages that hang on the side of the cliffs above Monaco. We found easy parking in the lot at the base and walked up and up, enjoying the shops and views. There is a very expensive hotel that has expansive grounds that can be viewed from above with an Alice In Wonderland size chess board, dolphins cavorting in a fountain and a family of elephants.
Further up we paid a fee to enter a cactus garden (Jardin Exotique) that offered wonderful plants, views of the Mediterranean Sea far below and grouping of statues of women with selected verses under each.
We visited the church and then headed down the hill; along the way there were some great models in a shop that had Terry looking for room in his suitcase but when the boys went in and priced them…that ended the discussion.
Leaving Eze we took the Grande (high) Corniche and continued on the road that Princess Grace died on many years ago…all the way to Monaco. Along the way we stopped in La Turbie to see the La Trophee des Alphes that was erected by the Roman Emperor Augustus to commemorate his victory. It towers over everything in the area. We also visited the cemetery during our walk around the village; and then the grocery store where we purchased food for our lunch that we ate later in the park in front of the Palace in Monaco.
We parked in a garage near the train station in Monaco and proceeded to walk down and down and down…..finally arriving at the base of the walk up the hill to the Royal Palace in the old fort that towers above the marina that is full of expensive yachts. We carried our lunch with us in backpacks and enjoyed our bottle of wine, sausage, cheese and bread after the long climb up to the top.
Watched the soldiers’ parade back and forth in front of the palace and then walked over to visit the royal graves in the Cathedrale. We noticed a very new and modern organ in the church…rather jarring in such an old building.
Down, down, down we went again from the old fort and then we started walking towards the route of the Grande Prix that is happening on May 24-27th. The boys were thrilled that we were getting to see the grandstands, the route barriers and all that goes with this famous race. We walked half of the course along the harbor side, around the Swimming Pool Corner and through the tunnel before cutting up towards the Opera House and the Casino. There we found numerous expensive cars that were parked on the street in front of the Casino and the Monte Carlo Hotel. After a flurry of photos we walked up the beautiful park and then continued walking until after a few U-Turns we found our parking garage.
We took the Basse (lower) Corniche on the way back to our hotel in Villfranche sur mer; making a complete circle for the day. Dinner this evening was at the Les Palmiers, on the bay in our little Port de la Darce. Tomorrow we head go to see a few more villages and Nice.
As I type this journal the fireworks are exploding over the bay...it lasted for over ten minutes...not sure why but what a spectacular view Terry and Linda must have from their room. It's truly been a serendipity day!