Saturday we went to see the Russian Orthodox church in Nice and then made the quick trip over to Monaco for the afternoon.
We stopped at a cafe near to our hotel for coffee and pastries for breakfast. The cappuccinos were served with chocolates. For breakfast. Susie would be in heaven.
The Russian Orthodox church in Nice was worth a visit as we had never been to a Russian Orthodox church on our travels. Steve went to the Christian and Byzantine museum in Athens last year and learned a lot about Orthodox iconography, so it was fun for him to get to see a lot of that in situ. He is quite a tour guide, explaining the nuances of the various poses of Mary and Child. I should hire him out.
Monaco was a fun place to visit. You hear so much about it, and it is so tiny. The train from Nice is a real bargain at less than €7 return. We grabbed a sandwich picnic on the train and were in Monaco by 1. We headed down towards the harbor, where the Monaco Yacht Show was in full swing. My brother Lowell would have been absolutely beside himself. So many shiny boats and swanky cars and stuff. The harbor was absolutely packed wall to wall with boats, many of which were probably for sale.
We climbed up the hill to Monaco-ville, the old town. (Tip for the next time – take the bus up.) We wandered about, enjoying the views and the diverse gardens. The cathedral has a very beautiful altar area.
I was dragging, but an ice cream cone quickly perked me up.
There is an intersting museum at the palace (about 100m to the left of the main entrance) , focused mostly on Napoleon, but also with some Monaco history. An nice little museum and a great way to get out of the sun for an hour in the afternoon.
It would have been great to see the casino and the posh shopping district (across the harbor from Monaco-ville) – but I just didn’t have enough steam. By the time we got back to the hotel in Nice I was feeling rubbish, so it was early to bed for me and Steve went out and picked up some groceries for us to have sandwiches in our hotel room. Not how you want to spend your holiday on the French Riviera, but you can’t always be in top health on holiday.
Sunday we had a not quite so crazy morning flight home, and we were at our house by 1:15. Good thing as my apparently temporary reprieve from the cold/flu was over and the rest of the afternoon was spent with Steve running out to get groceries and flu-medication. Welcome home!
Overall Tips for Nice/Monaco:
Nice is a quick and easy hop from London, so a good place to get a shot of sunshine if the dreary English weather is getting you down.
Nice is a pleasant city to explore on foot. Much more accessible and less overwhelming than Paris as a way to get to see French town life. Food options were plentiful and not terribly expensive, if not particularly fabulous or ambitious. You don’t have to get very far outside of the old town to get into real work-a-day parts of the city.
A day trip over to Monaco is well worth the time. Just really interesting to see a little place you’ve heard so much about. Lots of big mega-cruise-ship groups – dodge carefully or just enjoy observing…