That's one big ass baby

Trip Start Jun 08, 2012
Trip End Jun 16, 2012

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Flag of Monaco  ,
Friday, June 15, 2012

Last excursion of my cruise brought us by tender into the port at Villefranche, France.  The port is lovely.  It has lots of small yachts and sailboats moored around the dock.  The surrounding coastline is beautiful and all of the house are an appealing pastel colour.
We took a nice, winding drive around the coast and our dual tour guides gave us an update on what we were seeing in both Spanish and English.
It did detract from the experience somewhat because the English guide spoke very softly and quietly and that's when all of the predominantly Spanish passengers talked loudly to each other.
We stopped in the city of Monte-Carlo and she showed us some of the sights.  The Casino, the Hotel de Paris, etc.  Later after another short busride we walked by both Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie's houses as well as the Oceanography Institute where Jacques Cousteau started and the high school for the locals.  There is a section of this area farther up where the cathedral of Monaco, the Parliament and the Royal Palace are housed.  It is roughly the size of two to three city blocks with a town square.  Everything looks immaculate and clean and we briefly watched the guard change at the Palace.  It didn't take long as it was only one guard replacing another.
At the Art Gallery right beside the Institute there was a scupture or maybe it's considered a statue? of a large baby laying on it's back.  Kind of cool and a little surreal.

From there as it is quite high up you can see the coastline of both France and Italy beyond Monaco so it's three countries in one shot.
I liked it quite a bit; it was quaint and charming and the drive was beautiful with all of the pretty houses.  If you live there you are required to paint your house every five years; only in the accepted colours that they approve of.
The real estate there is not surprising; out of this world expensive; at $8000 Euros a square foot in some spots.
Another gorgeous day in the sunny Mediterranean!
Next we drove to a perfumery in France called Fragonard.  The girl explained briefly in her charming French accent how the flower petals were collected and then steamed to make the perfumes essence.  I bought a nice soap for Steve there.  Nothing was overly perfume-y which I liked.  The factory is very clean looking and is on a hilltop so it's also a very picturesque spot.
All in all a good day; it was much shorter and at this point I was a little tired of the excursion pace so it was actually nice to head back to the ship.  We had started our day at 5:30 so I went for a nap.
When your roommate knows you're lying down for a nap and knows that dinner is at 8:30 and has a watch but busts in on you at 6:10 and shouts out "We have to start getting ready are you sleeping?" in a manic, loud voice you want to punch her in the neck.  Just saying.

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