The Rest of the Best in Monte-Carlo, Monaco

There are so many excursions to pick from at each port, that it is hard to decide which ones to chose.  Do you want to concentrate in one area over a full day or do you want to pan out and see a little of everything? We did a little of both, but we were really pedaling it, to get everything in that we wanted to see that day.  As we continued our walk up the hill in Monaco we came to the Oceanographic Museum, part of the Oceanographic Institute, which is committed to the knowledge of oceans. The museum was opened in 1906 under Prince Albert I of Monaco, (1848-1922) who was an avid explorer of the seas. In order to carry out his research, he built the museum next to the Palace on a sheer cliffside. One of the most prominent directors of the museum was French explorer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who ran the museum for 31 years from 1957-1988. The museum consists of four floors: the Aquarium in the lowest level, the main level with the temporary exhibits, the first floor with the permanent exhibitions and the top floor with the restaurant, panoramic observation deck and the tortoise garden! Today our time allowed only for the pass-by of Jacques Cousteau’s first submarine! Very small and very yellow! I can’t imagine getting in that!
Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Saint Martin’s Garden follows the lay of the land and is right next to the museum. Watch out for the sea creatures!

Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

The architecture in Monaco is very ornate and stately…………..

Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

and beautiful in pale pink…………..

Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

and the Saint Nicholas Cathedral is the resting place of Princess Grace.

Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

This orche-colored building was one of my favorites here.

Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Finally, we have made it to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco! Built in 1191 as a fortress, it was continually pounced upon by foreign powers. Since 1297, it has been the home to the Grimaldi family; who were first feudal lords and then became sovereign princes through fragile agreements with stronger neighbors. The Grimaldis had no other palaces or pieces of land and this one was quite small.  Many of the  Grimaldi princes made their home in France, rather than deal with this aging fortress. By 1889, the gambling casino, built by the Grimaldi family to bring in money, was deemed a playground for the rich. It attracted Russian dukes and railway magnates, and all their mistresses, along with many adventurers. In 1882, when Queen Victoria visited the French Riviera, she refused to make a courtesy call to Monaco calling it, “the moral cesspool of Europe.”

Prince Rainier III was responsible for not only turning around the fortune and reputation of Monaco, but also for overseeing the restoration of the palace. Upon his accession in 1949, Prince Rainier III immediately began a program of renovation and restoration to a palace that had only altered in seven hundred years with a tower or two. Together with his wife, the late Grace Kelly, Prince Rainier not only restored the palace, but from the 1970s also made it the headquarters of a large and thriving business, which encouraged light industry to Monaco, the aim of which was to lessen Monaco’s dependence on the income from gambling. Today Monaco is home to a large banking industry (there are no taxes here) and construction of new buildings is seen everywhere. Nearly all of my photos of Monaco has a crane it it.………………..

In front of the Palace everyone is queueing up to watch the changing of the guard.

Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

So, I strolled over to take a peak at the gardens………

Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

and the cannons…………….

Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

and look over the edge…………

Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

And then decided a nice sit down at this café was called for…………  that small door was for extra table linen and such, I inspected it………

Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

and then decided I could watch the changing of the guard from here and enjoy a nice glass of wine…………….

Old City, Monte-Carlo, Monaco

It’s not yet noon and I have walked up the hill and down the hill, and below the ground. We have ate pizza and drank wine, but now we must move on as we have two more towns to visit today!  We really enjoyed Monaco and would make this a destination again! We are off to Nice and Eze, or as the guide tells us Nice and Easy! See you there!

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