Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 18th - Monaco

Boarding the train to Monaco

We boarded the train to Monaco on Saturday, July 18th. The train speeds along quietly ... past the little seaside villages, past the city of Nice, past the breathtaking Villefranche sur Mer with its blue harbour and white sailing vessels. In just under an hour we pull into the famous train station with its signature white bulbs lighting the semi-circular ceiling. We arrived ... the richest city in the world - or at least the most expensive street in the world: Avenue Princess Grace Kelly. So, fittingly, a girl from South Hall St. in Allentown should be strolling down the beautiful street heading for the Cafe de Paris ... one of the most famous eateries in the world. Well, truth be told ... I have ALREADY eaten there last year ... but am now happy to share this incredible experience with Jim and Diana.

Monaco Train Station
The world famous 'Cafe de Paris' Monaco
getting ready for dejeuner ....

We chose a nice table under the white glass awning, ordered wine ... and set about to review the menu. I never like to order the same thing as everyone else .. or even if it's just the other person - I like to sample and share, but we are all in agreement; pesto ravioli it is. For each of us.

inside the Cafe de Paris ... Monaco
Diana and Ann toasting at the Cafe de Paris
pesto ravioli, le pain, vin rose
Crepes and cafe for dessert

Mmmmm .... delich!! and after, to share the crepe with pineapple and coffee ... yes, it may be the tiniest coffee in the world ... but it just might be the most potent in the world as well. Voila !!!
The world famous Casino - Monte Carlo, Monaco
on the steps of the Casino in Monaco

After dejeuner, we head to the Casino. The Monte Carlo Casino is the most famous attraction of Monaco, and probably also, one of the most famous destinations in the world. The casino complex is a gambling facility which also includes the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo, an opera and ballet house, and the headquarters of the Ballets de Monte Carlo. It is situated in the Monte Carlo quarter, although the citizens of Monaco are forbidden to enter the gaming rooms. It hosts the annual European Poker Tour Grand Final, the most prestigious poker tournament in Europe. The casino is owned by the Société des Bains de Mer, a public company, in which the government holds a majority interest. This corporation also owns the principal hotels and clubs of the community that serve the tourist trade. The route of the Monaco Grand Prix (the Circuit de Monaco) runs past the casino. By the way, NO cameras allowed in the casino. Forbidden.

Casino Monte Carlo - Monaco
the reflecting fountain
World famous Hotel de Paris - Monaco
World famous Hotel de Paris - Monaco
hangin' with the staff of the Hotel de Paris
the interior of the Hotel de Paris, Monaco
the side entrance to the Hotel de Paris
Fiat - parked along the street of Monaco
The Grace Kelly Theatre - Monaco
the yachts and harbour in Monaco
Ann in front of the harbour in Monaco

After strolling about the richest streets in the world and hobnobbing - totally just kidding - with the billionaires ... we board the train and exit at the beautiful Villefranche Sur Mer for an incredible dinner by the sea ... more to come ...



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