Since Nice is only about half an hour or so to Cannes and Monte Carlo, it'd be silly if we didn't make a pit stop to the beautiful country of Monaco. Yes, it IS a country on it's own governed by the Grimaldi family. Did I mention that the youngest three Grimaldi siblings are good looking? ok, wait. Before you get a tad bit too excited, I'm gonna have to bring you to Cannes first.
Cannes was originally just a small fishing village that is now known worldwide thanks to Cannes Film Festival that is held every year to award the best in the film industry. Cannes will be filled with the rich and famous during the festival and fans will flock the town especially at the Palais des Festivals to get a glimpse of their favourite actors. Unfortunately, it does not happen during the season when I was there so no sighting of A-listers happened =(
Usually, tourists would arrive in Nice before heading to Cannes or Monte Carlo. From Nice, they can opt to take:
Express Coach (€15) - half hourly Express Coach straight to Cannes Centre via the A8 Motorway.
the cab/taxi (€80) - From Nice straight to Cannes.
Tam 200 bus (€1) - runs from Nice to Cannes via Nice Airport Terminal 1. Cheapest method to travel to Cannes BUT expect a long journey (about 2 hours) with the bus stopping at every few hundred yards with no luggage and take note, you might have to stand all the way there.
Once you're in Cannes, traveling on foot would be your best option as you'd be able to stop everywhere. Palais des Festivals, the port, designer stores and McDonalds are all within walking distance. You might even stumble upon hidden gems along the way and not to mention that the weather is beautiful. If you're not planning to stay in Cannes, a day trip would be sufficient enough for you to cover the main parts of the city. The main attractions for Cannes would be:
Old town, Marché Forville, Palais des Festivals, Port, La Croisette, the Beaches (most are private though), Îles de Lérins.
yachts of the rich and famous at the port
Palais des Festivals - the famous 22 steps where the red carpet would be.
if it was in America, it would be called The Strip, but La Croisette is a similar avenue-esque street with a classier feel. Rows of designer store are lined facing the beach and the array of goods displayed are just simply astounding. My family and I did manage to make a pit stop at Gucci during that one hour of leisure time =D
By the second day, I was already forcing myself to swallow another dry fillet o' fish T_T
After spending a few hours at Cannes, we hopped onto the bus and headed to Monaco which was about half an hour away. Monaco, in which the government district is Monte Carlo, is the second smallest independent country (yes people, it's a country) after Vatican. It has no natural resources thus Monaco relies on tourism and entertainment as their income. It is the place to be for the rich and famous, especially during summertime where they would flock the country to see and be seen. Plus, everything in Monaco is TAX FREE! yes, people, you heard right. TAX FREE!
You will NOT be charged for income tax thanks very much *fills in migration form*
Other than usual transportation mode to get to Monaco, you can opt for a helicopter ride if you have plenty of cash to burn. Oh and by yacht too!
Rainier III, the Prince of Monaco ruled Monaco for more than 50 years and was the longest ruling monarch in the 20th century. He was the one that changed the constitution and expanded the economy from just relying on casino and gambling as their national income.
This botanical park is dedicated to Princess Grace Kelly after her tragic death. You will find beautiful sceneries from this point: such as in the photos above and below.
Rainier III is known for being married to American actress, Grace Kelly and also the curse of Grimaldi family. Grace Kelly died in 1982 in a car crash while heading back to the castle due to a fog.
The Church where they got married in.
Well, while I was there, it seemed like the royal family was in town. Unfortunately, I didn't see any. If not, I think my sister would be extra sexcited since she had a crush on Pierre Casiraghi, one of the grandchildren of Rainier III.
view from the castle / Royal House
Other than relying on gambling and tourism as their main attraction, Monaco also holds the GP race every year and during that time, the town will be flocked with celebrities and royal families as it becomes the hub and playground for the rich and famous to watch the race, mingle around and socialize (in other terms - partayyy)
I admit that I would usually get excited when I see challenging roads, being a crazy driver myself. However, I can surely say that, it ain't easy in Monaco. Damn the corners are tight! and the roads are small! =(
Finally got to the main area of the town, in front of the infamous Casino and Hotel de Paris. No we didn't stay there. One night can cost me 2-3 designer bags mannnn I'd rather take the bags HAHA
Sat down, at a cafe right in front of the casino, oogled at sexy rides while waiting to be spotted by someone famous *flips hair*
ok, that. was. just. in. my. imagination. wahah.
Left the main town to only stop at a Parfumerie - a perfume factory.
Bought a few bottles and yes, I am a happy girl once again =D
I'm so easy to be pleased heheh
Next post, we'd be heading to Milan, Italy!