Monaco was a place of golden, shiny, unnecesary wonder. A place where even your dreams seemed insignificant next to the realities of some. The grandeur of the second smallest country in the world is truely unbelievable.
Things To Do In Monaco
We only spent around 3 hours here, heading over in the evening while staying in nearby Antibes, France.
A quick drive along winding coastal highways; the boats, cars, houses gettting bigger and bolder as we drove closer. Topdeck provided an incredible picnic on the drive over, as the prices for meals in Monaco were way out of a campers budget.
Dressed in our best, we pretended our juice boxes were fancy champagne, complimenting our cheese platter and handmade mish mash burgers.
First landmark of this 2km² of grandeur was the Oceanographic Museum. The building itself is a 106 year old historical masterpiece, perched on the edge of the mythical Rock of Monaco. The founder, Prince Albert's vision was to 'Gather together the two driving forces of civilisation: Art and Science.' Jellyfish, octopus and fish encase its doors, behind which over 6000 specimens are on display. This is one building on the top of our bucket list for 'next time'.
Saint Nicholas Cathedral
We made our way up the coastal slope passing apartments that left our jaws permanently dropped. We snapped piccies at the Saint Nicholas Cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III. A nice little piece of history to which my grandma seemed most excited.
The Prince's Palace
We continued our way up to the Prince's Palace. Here, history tells of how Monaco has remained true to it's ruling family, through many different interferring nations. The statue on the side of the courtyard, deceivingly innocent, is of a man, in 1297, who pretended to be a monk in need. This man and his small army were invited into the Palace, feed and sheltered, to later kill the ruling italian family and return the nation to it's French roots. This site is the original site of Monaco's fortress, dating it's independance. The building remains true to it's history through it's unique architectural quirks.
Monte Carlo Casino In Monaco
To enter the Monte Carlo Casino, there is a 10 Euro entrance fee, but just to be inside and able to gawk at the jewels encrusted on the walls and roofs, is well worth it. We ordered fancy cocktails and watched blackjack, where the bets consisting of multiple zero's had us nearly choking on our drinks. I played my luck on the pokies and came out even, winning back all of my spendings for the night!
Our night in Monaco ended with an evening stroll along the water, sea breeze in my hair, splurging on the most expensive ice cream I've ever purchased, and seeing a convertible Range Rover.
The history, coastal landscape, and over-the-topness jampacked into this tiny 2km² of grandeur left it an unique vivid memory as we continued our European Adventure.