Gallery, Travel

The French Rivera at its best!

 

As I sit watching the Monaco Grand Prix I can’t help but wish I was back there sunning myself and watching the rich on their boats. Monaco was just one of the places we visited over the ten days we were staying in Nice and this is a little run down of the best things to see and do in the French Riviera.

My mum and dad had always spoken about camping holidays when they drove to the South of France and Italy some 20+ years ago and how it was one of the best places to go.  Bearing in mind they were without children, camping was earlier then so it was decided we would rent a house near where we wanted to be and it would save taking all the equipment with us.  The thought of being in the car for a total of 1000 miles was something I was a little sceptical of but assured by my dad “it’s part of the holiday, it’s not as bad as you think”.  We managed to eventually find a house on homeaway.co.uk and the decision was made, Nice bound!

The journey was going to be broken into 3 parts, Ashford being to closest to the Channel Tunnel then half way down France in Lion.  Lion was gorgeous in its self, very quaint and quiet but it was the first time it sunk in, “I don’t have a clue what you are saying” as we stood in reception.  It wasn’t till we reached just south of Rousset at one of the service stations and opened the door, the heat just hits you when you’ve been in an air-conditioned car.  After leaving Lyon there wasn’t much in the way of town and building as we had paid extra to go the toll road route which cuts out all the little towns and make the journey that little bit shorter.

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The one thing that got me was how dry and bare it was.  The grass isn’t exacted in abundance like it is in Scotland.

The rest of the journey was a little more entertaining and you could tell there was civilisation nearby.  There was a point when we could tell that there wasn’t long left as we could see the sea and the hotels of Cannes and Nice was appearing on the road signs.

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The journey was definitely worth the wait as when we finally got to the top of the hill as realised the house we had booked was a little further away and through some rather questionable industrial estate roads, this was the view that greeted us.  Simply stunning!

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The house was on 3 levels and split into 4 apartments, one of which was the owner’s residence.
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Just to the right of the picture is the sea front of Nice and the Nice stadium is there somewhere.

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The pool was a godsend!  Even though we were sharing the complex with 3 other sets of people, we very rarely shared the pool with anyone.  The outside shaded area was lovely to have when you wanted some shade from the sun.

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After having a day to recover from the journey and get a few of the essential supplies, we decided to head to Monaco and get our bearings.  The journey was something to behold.  If there is a list of the best roads in mainland Europe, then this is one of them.  The views from the coastal road were just breathtaking and that’s before you start the road down from the hills and in the principality itself.

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The famous saying is that Monaco is the playground of the rich and famous and that is very true!  The harbour is quite often full of the world biggest and most expensive yachts being cleaned and maintained by the live-on staff.

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If you are a fan of the Grand Prix series, you’ll maybe know about the tack being full of tight corners and stunning backdrops.  Whether it is passing the famous Casino or going through the tunnel.  Having watched the Grand Prix for years, it was surreal being able to walk the track and experience the beauty of the city of Monte Carlo.

 

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It is clear that there is money in Monaco.  This is the underground tunnel to the lifts of which there are a few.  In Monaco, there is the rumour that there is just as many police to the number of registered residents which explains why there is no graffiti and everything is in such good condition.

Despite it is a town at the heart of it, it is also a principality.  A visit to the castle is a must if you’re visiting the area.  With the castle being used by the Royal family of  Monaco, you can still get into see parts of the castle and find out a little more history of the principality through the years.  Every day, at 11 o’clock there is a public display of the changing of the castle guards.  They were not exactly the kind of guards you would expect to be protecting the castle, more the kind you’d expect to be protecting a cake stand with disappearing contents.  Never the less it was a spectacle to see.

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In addition to the Castle, there is the personal car collection of Prince Rainier on display to the public.  Having been brought up surrounded by my Dad’s fascination and knowledge of vintage motoring and cars, it was going to have to be on our to-do list.  With the display include various pieces of memorabilia such as Ayrton Senna’s last racing helmet worn during a Grand Prix, it is full of history.

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The one thing that surprised me about Monaco was that there is always building work going on and the sound of drilling and building is just around the corners.  Whether it is building more accommodation or high-end apartments complexes, the only way to extend the population and make the most of the beauty of the principality is to build up.  Even the car parks are underground due to the lack of space.  I for one would not like to have a big car or have something to deliver into Monaco!

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For anyoeone with a bucket list, I would definitly recommend a trip to see the beauty of Monaco for themselves.  The pictures don’t do it justice!

If you liked this little run down of Monaco then be sure to give this post a little like and share it with someone looking for inspiration for this year’s holidays.  Keep your eyes open for another post with the rest of the holiday including Nice and Cannes.  In the meantime you can head over to Lauren’s Wide World Instagram and see what im up to.

Until next time in away to try and find a holiday for this year, leave suggestions in the comments blow if you think theres somewhere you think I should visit, I’d love to know.

 

Lauren XO

 

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