Our day trip to Monaco
Day 74 - We woke up bright and early and walked to the post office to finally send our box. The post office was closed. "Unbelievable," I said and walked the Beast of Burden Box back to our hotel. I asked the concierge why the post office was closed and he explained to me that it was a French holiday. "What holiday is it?" I asked. He pondered a second to find an appropriate English word to describe the French holiday. Not finding one, he said: "It's just a French holiday. Banks and post offices are closed today."
Those sneaky bank bastards! It's bad enough that they only operate from 9am to 2pm. Now they want an extra Monday off! This is almost as absurd as one day strikes in Rome. We would try again tomorrow (sob). Not to be deterred by the slow start this morning, we went to the train station and caught a train to Monaco
. As you surely know by now, I have a fascination with small countries. Monaco is the second smallest country in the world next to the Vatican City. When we arrived, they had set up for the Grand Prix and the main roads were blocked off with guardrails and chain link fences. The harbor was full of gigantic boats. I thought the ones in Nice were impressive but this put them all to shame. We walked to the Monte Carlo casino and had a look around. I have to pause for a moment to tell you about the best invention I've ever seen. In the Monte Carlo casino are toilets that clean their own lids. That's right! After every use a little arm comes out of the back of the toilet over the lid while the lid spins, sanitizing the whole thing. In doing so, it also warms the seat. I've always dreamed of having a urinal but right behind that dream was the dream of a self-cleaning toilet that would warm the lid so I didn't have to sit on a cold one. Anyway, I digress. Outside of the Monte Carlo casino, a constant parade of $100,000 cars go by. One of the Ferraris revved his engine as if to say, "look, I own a Ferrari." The two cars behind him followed suit as if to say, "look, we ALL own Ferraris!" Again, we had another late lunch. I've got to stop doing this to Karla-for my own good. She gets in a terrible mood when she doesn't eat. I think it was a little bit depressing to see all these people with millions of dollars and know that we didn't even have one of those millions.
The wind picked up and it started to drizzle so we left Monaco
. A neat place to see, but I wouldn't want to stay there unless my bank account had more zeros behind it. Back in Nice, we relaxed and had some dinner. Karla wanted to have a night in but I coaxed her to walk around with me through old Nice. "Just 20 minutes of walking around. If we find a café we'll stop in it," I said. The walk started off romantic enough but after an hour of walking, I realized I had no idea where I was and there were no cafes to be seen. We were in a dark part of town and it was starting to rain. This was NOT the romantic walk that I had intended. Thank God I had fed Karla before we left. At Karla's insistence, I asked a pizza boy who didn't speak English where we were and how to get home. Somehow I had thought we were going parallel to the coast, but a road turn and changed names and we ended up going perpendicular way off into nowhere. Luckily I did have a map with me so once we were pointed in the right direction we navigated home just fine. The 20 minute walk turned in to a 3 hour walk but we did enjoy ourselves and we did get to see lots of the city.
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