Travel With Ysabel: Monte Carlo, Monaco & Nice, France

The month of March was dedicated to exploring France! Anyway, I had a NICE trip that managed to distract myself from the many occurrences that happened last month. The rain and the cold didn’t ruin us from having fun at [what we thought] the sunny south! We took an overnight train going to Nice and we were on the railroad for 10 hours.

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What attracts travellers to visit this ‘nice’ place?  Probably the clear blue Mediterranean Sea waters and the situated buildings clambered up the chateaus. Just nearby Nice (about a 10 minute train ride) is Monte Carlo, Monaco where it is marked the second to the smallest country in the world but also an ideal destination for the rich and sophisticated. In fact, this country holds the largest number of billionaire residents in the world. I mean, the place is massive with luxury!

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My friends and I were expecting warmer weather down south but weather didn’t cooperate well so it was chilly to say the least. We spent time by the sea and up in the mountains which explained also why we were exposed to cold temperatures.

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The Casino de Monte Carlo is one of the most popular casinos in the world. Smaller than the ones you see in Las Vegas, NV but not the least! The Casino de Monte Carlo is described as the world’s most prestigious casino and a building of the “belle epoque” which translates to the Beautiful Era. The belle epoque was a European era that lasted from 1871 to 1914, making the casino completed on 1890.  Also inside this building is a theatre and the office of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, a ballet company.

Panorama

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A little hike didn’t hurt to see the view of the entire city. Here we saw the statue of Francesco Grimaldi or known as the La Malizia. In 1297, he disguised himself as a monk to capture the Geonoan fortress built on the ‘Rock’ of Monaco and was able to fool the guards at that time. This ‘invasion’ earned him the nickname ‘Malizia’ which meant clever or crafty. We were also able to witness the change of guards at the Palais Princier de Monaco.

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Exiting Monte Carlo, we found ourselves up in the chateaus again through a 20 minute dizzy and bumpy buzz ride to see the Èze Village where you can also a coastal view of the Cote d’Azur and the other edifices. The feels of strolling in a Secret Garden abound as we explored. It was such a painstaking beauty to see the world in that kind of a perspective, what more if it was in the spring or summer when all flora has bloomed?

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The following day we explored Nice itself. We visited the Marché Aux Fleurs Cours Saleya or the Sunday Market. We bought big and juicy strawberries which we munched on for lunch while we enjoyed overlooking a good view of Nice on top of the Le Parc du Château (another hike up!).

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I didn’t think there were so many nice places in France I could see. This Buzzfeed article gives 42 reasons to never visit it (read the article and you’ll see the sarcasm there, lol) and I’m happy I ticked off 5 cities already! Off to the next travel, to Normandy! Stay tuned!