I went a few months at the beginning of this year without travelling anywhere. To be honest my mental health was rubbish for the first three months so I guess I was focusing on other things. I started taking Japanese lessons and also forming a lot of great new friendships. Work was going well too – I actually got promoted which was a big accomplishment for me. The time flew by in a sense, so I knew I was overdue a trip overseas.
As part of my efforts to visit 50 different countries, I decided to spend a long weekend in Nice, France, which I knew was sufficiently close to Monaco to allow for a quick visit. Monaco is actually its own country! It’s an absurdly tiny one so I realise the cheekiness of counting it, but thems the rules!
My trip was rather uneventful I have to say. I went by myself and didn’t meet anyone while I was there. I was quite grateful for the solitude! Nice is a lovely city to walk around, the seafront being the obvious highlight. What else did I see? I can’t remember.
Getting to Monaco was super easy. There are frequent trains from the station and it cost me around €4 for a ticket to get there, which I thought was exceptionally good value for an international train. The train line runs along the coast which was stunning and made the trip worthwhile in itself! The train didn’t take long at all to arrive in Monaco-ville.
The city is obviously on the coast and climbs up the surrounding hills, framing the absolutely dazzling harbour. Monaco is so clean and expensive-looking it’s like a little utopia. Are there any poor people in Monaco? The streets are spotless, the parks are gorgeous and manicured, the architecture is magnificent… I had a lovely time strolling around. I saw the Monte Carlo casino, the famous hairpin bend from the Monaco Grand Prix track (made me think of my dad), the lovely Japanese garden and of course the marina. I was less interested by the footballer hall of fame and more keen to see the statue to Princess Grace.
After taking it easy around the marina for a bit in the dazzling sunshine, I ambled up the hill to the old walled town, which had a completely different vibe. I checked out the royal palace and wandered down the streets, admiring the vistas of the harbour from the old walls. Lovely!
I think I spent the rest of my trip hidden away in my Airbnb watching cartoons. It was a holiday after all! Nice had been a lovely place to while away a couple of days. And get me 1 step closer to the big 5-0.