Monaco et plus Nice

Trip Start Aug 25, 2006
Trip End Dec 15, 2006

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Saturday, October 7, 2006

I headed back to Monaco first thing this morning to do a proper lap of the track and check it out a little more. My time around was about 45 minutes, so not quite pole position. Having watched the race almost every year and having driven the track in Gran Turismo more times than I care to remember, it was strange to finally see all the corners I knew, because they were all exactly as I expected. Another amazing thing I noted was that the entire pit straight complex must be temporary becuase currently along that area is just a few cafes (very temporary looking also). I would hate to be in charge of the logistics of transforming Monte-Carlo into the race track version. And another thing, if you're wondering, Monaco is the principality, and Monte-Carlo is the region inside, pretty much consisting of the port and the casino. There are other regions in Monaco, but they're not important because they don't host a formula one event.

Again the front of the casino had an array of vehicles fit for a modern motor show, and the streets were full of exotics being flogged in short bursts. Being a Saturday there were more people out and about and there was some very nice scenery. I took a walk down by the dock and had a good look at some of the boats, some of which are a obscene display of wealth. I don't know why you would bother with a house on land if you owned one.

I came back to Nice and decided to head through to old town for a look. It's ok, nothing special. The lack of impressiveness comes from the fact that half of it is under construction. The main sqaure is almost all inaccessable due to being fenced off and dug up. So I headed up towards a modern art museum and a large concert hall. After this I walked to a nearby shopping center, espresso'd up and got on my walking thongs to climb up the hill with obervatory on it. This was at about 5pm and I figured I had about 2 hours of light left and could get the bus back down. I set off and all was good, until I figured out that the area my crap tourist map covered had ended. It had the observatory placed at an incorrect location. It was still above me on the hill, whereas the map said it was just below me. Anyway, from where I was I could see it up there, so decided to keep walking along the road in hope that it would wind its way up. About 1km down the road the footpath ended, so for the next 1.5km it was tight winding corners with no room for the cars coming to see me so I had a fair few close shaves and often wondered to myself why I hadn't turned back earlier. I finally got to the gate of the observatory just on 7pm, only to find it locked. Awesome. The bus back down was nice though, the mountain was pretty high and the sunset over nice was very scenic. I headed back to the hostel via the beach and got some nice shots of dusk.
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