We arrived on time and had the ship docked by 8am. Monte Carlo was breathtakingly beautiful. The rock on the left entrance to the harbor with the Oceanographic museum, the cathedral and the palace were stunning. The dense set of buildings covering the hillside were just amazing.
After breakfast, we got off the ship around 10am and headed toward the Museum.
We followed Tom’s online guide to ride the elevator up to the area that is the old part of the principality. We decided not to go into the museum (we had done that before), but wandered around the cathedral seeing Princess Grace and Prince Ranier’s graves. They were playing organ music in the cathedral and it was amazing how loud and powerful it was.
One thing we noticed was how clean everything was. It was just beautiful. After the cathedral, we went to the palace planning to explore the inside. Unfortunately, it closed at the end of October. So, we wandered the very narrow streets until it was time for the changing of the guard ceremony at 11:55.
A squad of replacements marched out and replaced the squad that was inside of the palace, leaving two guards on duty. It was a nice show.
We then walked down the hill, walked by the port, and then up the hill to the Hotel de Paris and the world famous Monte Carlo Casino.
We were a bit confused what was the casino building as the building we thought was it, was instead the opera house. Eventually we figured out that the Casino is the upper floor of the opera house. The casino was not open and so we ended up standing by Cafe de Paris and watching the cars drive by. In the span of maybe four minutes, we saw four Bentleys, two Rolls, three Ferraris, and parked in front of the Hotel an Austin Martin. The rest of the cars seemed to be common- Mercedes, Porsche, and Audis. Clearly what the people living in the slums drive.
Oh yeah, we read that Monaco has zero income tax, zero property tax, and zero unemployment. No, the country doesn’t make all of its money off of the casino, that accounts for only 5%. Instead most of the money comes from the 43 banks housed in the city that offer Swiss-like privacy. Oh by the way, property costs around 4800 per sq foot, the most expensive prices anywhere in the world.
After ogling the cars, we walked back down the hill, around the harbor and then back onto our ship. It was about a four hour walk. We went back and had a quick bite for lunch and then went to the pool area and took a short nap (yes, a nap!!!) in the sun. It was lovely.
At 3pm, we went and picked up some tickets to the Magic Castle show for tomorrow night. Magic Castle is a private restaurant in Hollywood where while you are eating, magicians come out and do card tricks. They are supposed to be very good. They now have these shows on the ship.
We then got some free internet from the Port of Monaco and answered some email and Julie took care of some business. After that it was dinner in the dining room. Julie had lobster salad appetizer, sea scallops with pasta (an entree that she got as an appetizer portion), and a lemon sole for entree. She said that it was the best meal so far. Bob ended up having tomato soup, iceberg wedge salad, and pasta for an entree. After dinner, there was no show, so we decided to go to the movie: Olympus Has Fallen. It turned out to be a pretty decent movie. Bob liked that it seemed to be very realistic in terms of how everyone would respond to a highly coordinated attack on the white house.
The plan is to spend the night in Monte Carlo at the dock and then move the ship out to a tender location at 6:30 am and tender back into Monaco until about 4:00pm.