21 September 2013

Monaco and Menton

On our third day away, we decided to venture a little further afield and try to get to grips with the French public transport system - no mean feat. Always a gamble as to whether you're at the right stop, going in the right direction or even going to get on (or off), it makes for a slightly less relaxing holiday experience. Nevertheless, costing only 1E50 for a single journey - can you really complain?

You can't go to the south of France without visiting Monaco. A principality with its own royal family, Monaco is synonymous with wealth and it's not difficult to see why. With capital city Monte Carlo being home to one of the most famous grand prix, the rich and famous flock here to follow in Grace Kelly's footsteps. We jumped off the bus after a very scenic (but busy) journey along the coast, that took in Villefranche-sur-Mer, Eze-sur-Mer and Roquebrune, and headed straight for the sea. On the way, we passed the infamous Cafe de Paris, the Casino and the Hotel de Paris, all flanked by gleaming supercars and sunglasses. And, of course, Monaco wouldn't be Monaco without all the designer brands - Hermes after Celine, after Chanel, after Gucci...

But, it was all a little underwhelming. We jumped on the bus and headed east to Menton, a smallish seaside town on the way to the Italian border. With the bluest sea and the quietest beach, we strolled along the promenade (the French love their promenades) and shared a pizza at the table below. I grabbed a bikini from a local shop and we hit the beach for some serious sunbathing and snoozing, before stopping for a kir royale and ice cream.

We caught the train home and indulged in enough wine and baked Camembert to feed the five thousand. After all, being a wannabe Monaco starlet's thirsty work...

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