July 20, 2014

Cruising the Mediterranean-Day 6 Monaco & Monte Carlo

I should say up front that this was by far my favorite excursion of the cruise. It was a beautiful day from start to finish. We started in Cannes and took a scenic drive through Nice to our first stop in Monaco. Our tour guide, Ana, walked us to the Palace of Monaco, where we watched the Changing of the Guard. After that, we were free for a few hours to roam around.

When we stopped for some lunch, I was able to use my very limited knowledge of the French language. Side note: you hear about how snobby French people are, and I wouldn't disagree with you when it comes to the Parisians; but I have to say, the people of the French Riviera could not have been nicer.

Okay, back to Monaco. After lunch, we strolled through the most beautiful park I've ever been in. There were amazing pieces of artwork set in various places as you walked through. The foliage was so diverse, I couldn't help but be amazed at what was around me. There were cacti, eucalyptus trees, lemon trees; one things for sure: it smelled great!

Once we met back up with the rest of our group, we took the 5 minute drive down the hill to Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo, man. We were in Monte Carlo. When Josh and I first found out we were coming to Germany, Monte Carlo was at the top of our list of places we wanted to visit, and it didn't let us down.

We stood in front of the Hotel de Paris and Casino de Monte-Carlo, and one-by-one, expensive cars kept rolling out. Josh was in heaven. Fun fact: the nicest cars get parked in front of the casino. It's almost like a competition to see how long your car can stay out front. If you watch "Top Gear" (the real one, not the American one), you'll know that a Model T was able to stay out front all night-that's unheard of! Also, the valets couldn't drive it, so that helps.

Our afternoon was mostly spent checking out cars, and eating gelato. Not a bad afternoon at all! Since I have no idea what these cars are, they started looking the same to me; but Josh sat there naming them off with ease. He was definitely in his element here, and it was fun to see him so excited.

I won't waste any more time telling you about this great day. Here are our favorite pictures from our Monaco & Monte Carlo excursion:

We woke up to this fabulous view of Cannes from our balcony.
  This is our ship, the Norwegian Epic! For this excursion, we actually had to take lifeboats to shore.
Sneaking in a nap on the way to Monaco. He can sleep anywhere!
It's amazing how many yachts and sailboats we saw this day, but if you live here, why wouldn't you have a boat?!
That monument carved into the mountain was originally a World War I tribute, but is now dedicated to all fallen soldiers of both world wars.
Is this even real?! I have never seen such beautiful water before!
Can you imagine living here all the time?!
This was the alley we walked down to get to the Changing of the Guard. So clean, and quiet, it was almost unnatural.
Josh and Cole waiting for the Changing of the Guard to begin outside the Prince's Palace.
Gosh, I love this kid so much!
Me in front of the palace, after the Changing of the Guard. People don't waste time getting out of there!
This is the view from next to the Palace of Monaco.
Cole didn't want to take pictures, but that didn't stop me, Josh, and Josh's goofy hat.
There were police boxes! No sign of the Doctor though, shoot!
 Our stroll through the park.
 This was my favorite statue. Josh thinks its a goodbye hug, while I believe it's a welcome home embrace. You be the judge.
The birds come so close to you!
Selfie from the park.
In Monte Carlo there are a few statues celebrating the Grand Prix.
The best way to get the whole view of the Casino de Monte-Carlo is to use this fountain's mirror!
Another statue in honor of the Grand Prix.

Now Josh's favorite part...the cars!
This was taken by the Prince's Palace, it's an Aston Martin Rapide. All the other car pictures are from Monte Carlo.
If this isn't the epitome of the living here I don't know what is. A bright red Ferrari (cruising down Princess Grace Avenue), a beautiful yacht sailing the Mediterranean, and you see those red and white stripes in the bottom-right of the picture? Those mark out the course for the Grand Prix.
I think Josh told me this is a vintage Ferrari, don't quote me on that though.
Pagani Zonda Tricolore.
Take a good look at this car. We didn't realize it at the time, but we were looking at a car with a $2 million price tag that is capable of doing 220 miles per hour. If that wasn't cool enough, we found out later that it is one of three in existence. Now that is pretty cool!
A McLaren P4.
On our way back to the ship, we saw this restaurant's sign, I like their vibe!

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