Our next stop was to the 2nd smallest country in the world, Monaco (size of central park in NYC — The Vatican City being the smallest country). Four things come to mind when I think of Monaco and the French Riviera: James Bond, Monte Carlo Grand Prix, Princess Grace, and Luxury.
The French Riviera has a micro climate in that the French Alps to the north protects the area from cold weather, and the location by the Mediterranean Sea provides 300 days of warm sunshine.
Our day long excursion was to tour Monaco and drive the French Riviera to Nice, France. Unfortunately, it was in a bus and not a Porsche convertible.
Our cruise ship is in the background in the city of Monte Carlo.
The building at the top is the church where the wedding of Prince Rainer to Grace Kelly happened, and they are both entombed inside. After the wedding ceremony, they both walked through the gardens to greet the people of Monaco. We really picked a great time to visit, as all the flowers are in bloom during Spring.
One of the first things we noticed about this area, is there is absolutely no trash, graffiti, panhandlers, etc. The city is incredibly clean and immaculate, and safe. It has to be because of how many completely wealthy and famous people live here!
Race fans will recognize the streets of Monte Carlo as this is the site of the Monaco Grand Prix, the most watched race in the world. The race is in May, but the road course is setup all year. The road course is the city streets of Monte Carlo. This is the famous Fairmont Hairpin curve.
The Grand Casino of Monte Carlo….where the rich and not so rich try their luck in the casino. James Bond (Casino Royale) is the setting here. Tours of the casino were allowed during the day, but at night it is all about the gaming.
At the top of the mountain in the city of Eze, is a cactus garden with many different plants and flowers. The attraction is the view. Our guide said that this is an incredibly clear day to where on the left, the first area of land sticking out is Cannes, France. The next is Nice, and then the last is St. Tropez.
Zoomed into St. Tropez, France.
On our drive back from Nice along the French Riviera to Monaco.