At Villefranche we left our ship and boarded small tender boats which took us to the harbor where we joined our guide and boarded the bus.
Our guide, a charming woman from Nice, France, filled us in on the history of the area as we enjoyed the views along the Lower Corniche Road as it hugs the coastline. A 20th century monarch of Monaco, Prince Charles, ordered a road built which would enable the rich tourists to travel easily between Nice, a seaside village, and Monte Carlo. His hope was to build his country’s tourist attractions, gambling in particular.
Monaco also hosts the Monaco Gran Prix, a road race that takes place on city streets. If you have ever watched the Gran Prix on television you can recognize the city streets as they curve around and the stores are very close to the road.
Our first stop in Monte Carlo was to view the changing of the guard at the Prince Palace. Photographing over a crowd of people was tricky. Holding the camera over my head was the only way that I caught some of the action.
Next, we toured the church where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, the American film star, were wed. They are both buried in the church.
Inside the church we could see wonderful golden mosaics on the ceilings.
In Monte Carlo, we had some time to kill so we could grab some lunch from the vendors in town. Or we could souvenir shop.
Monaco is a country which has an area of 2.02 km2 (0.78 sq mi), and a population of 36,371. That makes Monaco the most densely populated country in the world. The following picture gives one a feel of how densely it is populated.
Nice was our next stop and it wasn’t far away. We had a view of the beach as we drove into town.
Our guide took us to the old part of Nice. Below is our group stopped at a Patisserie or Pastry Shop where we were given some background on the area. Our guide is hold the orange flag.
We were given a little bit of time to explore the old town and it just so happens there was a flea market going on.
Surrounding the market on all sides were beautiful old building that looked so characteristically French. Some buildings were imposing with classic architecture.
Others buildings were charming and inviting.
Here’s a view of the palm tree lined beach road.
It was warming up and there were quite a few people enjoying the sand and surf. In Nice, how do you say “Your city is very pretty?” “Votre village est tres jolie!”
Our next stop will be Florence. Tune in again.