Our journey to Monaco was due to take up most of Thursday but, due to a problem with the brakes on one of the train’s carriages we were stuck outside Monaco for an extra 50 minutes. Monaco is a picturesque principality, its station underneath the mountain is impressive. It’s taxi service is a little less so. It seems there are hardly any taxis in Monaco as everyone drives (or flies in by helicopter) and the taxis there are don’t really want to serve you unless you want to go to the airport.
We finally got to David Coulthard’s co-owned ‘Columbus Monaco hotel’ about 9:45. Checked in and headed straight for the restaurant! The food was stunning and the expensive bottle of Verve Cliquet Rosé went down very nicely! There’s nothing quite like burning a hole in your wallet to make you feel right at home in Monaco! Today we only had the morning to explore Monte Carlo. Heading to the starting line of the famous circuit roads. It was a surreal walk around the roads that make up the circuit. Recognizing elements of it whilst being utterly confused by other parts. We’ve only ever seen Monaco with its roads and buildings shrouded in advertising banners and safety fences so were surprised to find shops and buildings next to the track that we’d never seen before.
Walking around Casino Square was great. Whilst we didn’t have time to go in and win/lose any money we enjoyed looking at the array of gorgeous sports cars parked outside. Having my picture taken in the tunnel was funny. Probably the world’s most famous sporting tunnel (how many are there?!) but on any other day of the year it’s just a normal tunnel. The array of boats were amazing. Some massive 3 storey ones with hot tubs, jet skis and dinghies on board. Still they are dwarfed by the cruise ships that pull into port most days.
Getting a cab from our hotel to the train station proved impossible so thankfully concierge gave us a lift. We had to pay for our train to Paris as it appears in France their trains have a small number of inter-rail seats and they were all taken. Still we got in at around 10:30pm after a 940km journey, most of which was at 170mph in overly tilting train that made walking passengers fall all over those that sat.
We got to our hotel that’s north of the river Seine. The Eiffel tower sparkling as we drove past. Too late to eat too hungry to sleep and the start of a possible cold coming on. Still we slept in for the first time in ages. Now we’re off for a walk around Paris!