Nice and Monaco

So back on the Busabout bus we made our way from La Spezia to another country and that meant another language. From Bonjourno to Bonjour, Grazie to Merci, it was just a good thing that most people in both places spoke english. While on the bus we had an impromptu language lesson, the basic terms that would help us along were covered. You would think that I had it nailed. Not so much.

Well It’s not that I had no idea what I was saying, it was just a bit of a challenge switching from one language to another. Believe it or not, my first word to reception… “Bonjourno” said with all the gusto of a confident traveler. Needless to say that I was quickly corrected and the conversation thankfully continued in English.

The Antres Hostel is across the road from the Gare Du Nice Ville station. It is also a 15 to 20 minute walk to the beach. There is no shortage of shops to feed any shopping addictions. The service at the hostel was good, the shared accommodation was fine too. It was a hostel with a hotel feel. Interestingly there was a shared courtyard with the Baccarat Hotel. My only gripe was the a the courtyard closed too early.

After the physically demanding Cinque Terre, the flat city streets were a welcomed respite. I walked down Avenue Jean Medecin to get my bearings and to get a feel for the people here. One of the more confronting things that I (naively) did not expect is the street beggars. One actually sat between two bank machines and asked for spare change from people as they used them. I quickly got an uneasy sense of the place and from that point on paid close attention to my belongings.

On my to do list, as with most travelers that come to this part of France is to see Monaco. Regardless of whether you know Monaco from the movies, or if you’re an avid F1 fan, there is no doubting the incomprehensible wealth that surrounds you. It’s an easy train ride from Gare Du Nice to Gare Du Monaco with no changes. Once you walk out of the Gare Du Monaco station you are immediately presented with garish wealth… and tourists.

The days exploration took us along the pier lined with multi-million dollar boats all fully staffed. They are floating mansions that are capable of circumnavigating the globe. I put them in the category of ‘Things you cant dream of dreaming to afford’. There is actually a relatively inexpensive bar just on the boardwalk. It wasn’t expected but in the hot sun, it was certainly appreciated.

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