The Cote d'Azur
Trip Start Apr 18, 2009
4Trip End Apr 22, 2009
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Our first day was to be a driving frenzyMap Link. We set out early for our 2.5 hour drive to Monaco. We had to do it. It's Monaco! We thought we would take the highway there and hug the coast on the way back. Little did we know that most of the highways in France are toll roads.... About 25 euros later we were in Monaco. We will avoid the toll roads in the future! Monaco is crazy. There is so much money there you cannot comprehend! The yachts in the harbor and the crazy expensive cars. Dang. Monaco is less than a square mile but it is stuck to the side of a mountain so lots of up hill walking. The Monte-Carlo grand prix is in May and they were already setting up bleachers. We made our way around the harbor from the casino. Again the yachts.... Who owns these?? Up the hill to the palace and the cathedral where our beloved Grace lies. The streets are so narrow and packed with souvenir shops. I read a wonderful biography on Grace and her life in Monaco with Rainier. It seemed surreal to be there. We grabbed a quick baguette sandwich from a street vendor (we were not dressed to go into a restaurant for lunch, nor were we willing to part with the cash!) and made our way back toward the casino. As I said we were not "dressed" so we couldn't go into the casino but you could see the money all around. What a crazy place!
Back in the car we headed out. There are three roads that head west from Monaco. One hugs the coast, one is about half way up the mountain and the third is way up the mountain. We got several recommendations to drive either the middle or the upper corniches. We chose the middle so we could stop in a neat village called Eze. This town is built on the side of the mountain. It has tiny little streets that are a maze. Because the town is built up you don't realize that you are hugging the side of a mountain until you happen to catch a glimpse of the view through a private courtyard. The view was breathtaking! Lots of art shops and one olive oil shop we wouldn't even go into because we knew we couldn't take any home. (We don't check luggage)
From Eze we went to Nice. There were a few things to see in Nice but the MOST important thing in Nice was 'the best gelato in Provence'! This is a MUST! There was no distracting me from the good stuff. The place is Fenocchio. Not to be confused with Pinocchio which is kitty-corner on the same square. If there aren't masses of people waiting patiently around you... you are not in the right place. I had lavender and jasmine. Steve had rosemary and thyme. I know it sounds weird but we were in Provence and this was Fenocchio! All four were really good. I wanted seconds but Steve refused