Monte Carlo, Monaco April 15, 2017

Arrival in Monaco on Saturday, April 15, proved to be an eye opener. The obvious display of wealth (and the hidden numbers learned later) is astounding.

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The Rotterdam may not have been the most expensive ship in port. The harbor and marina is quite a greeting.100 4566

New construction is everywhere, most of it owned by the Grimaldi family. Prince Ranier, who married Princess Grace Kelly, was a Grimaldi, the ruling family of Monaco. Outside of Vatican City, Monaco is the smallest country in the world, less than 1 and a half square miles, and also the most densely populated. Apartments are everywhere, including new construction which will only ad to the density.

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This new complex has caused quite a stir for 3 reasons. First, its height has caused many complaints as it’s location has blocked the view of the sea for many residents. Second, it’s shadow causes many residents to lack sun for two or three hours a day. Third, the top two floors comprise the penthouse. The complex was completed 2 years ago and the penthouse is still on the market. The price?? Three hundred million euros! By any monetary standard, that’s a LOT of cash!!

Our tour today was first to the top of a nearby mountain to take in the view of Monaco, then on to Nice, France, only a half hour away, by the great (highest) corniche, and the middle cornishe, and a return along the lower corniche at sea level. Along the way we saw the homes of Elton John and Sting, and former homes of Tina Turner, Greta Garbo and Errol Flynn.

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The Rotterdam in the harbor is dwarfed by the towering apartments and surrounding mountains. Sorry about the dates on the photos. My camera battery door is still acting up and I’m tired of resetting the date each time it malfunctions.

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Architecture on the homes is relatively ornate, and the views over the Mediterranean come at a very high price. Homes like this and quite a few apartments rent for around 30,000 euros A MONTH!

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The village of Eze and also Villefranche have beautiful bays with beaches teeming with people in the summer.

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Nice has pedestrian-friendly streets with plentiful transportation by tram and bicycle in an attempt to minimize congestion.

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Bicycles are free for a half hour. Put in a two euro coin to release the bicycle, and if it is returned even to a different location within 30 minutes, the two euros are returned. How do it know?? Keep the bicycle longer at a rate of 5 euros per hour. It sure beats walking.

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Judy even got photobombed by a passerby.

Nice is beautiful, but crowded, and the start of the tourist season is more than a month away.100 4560

The city is clean, architecturally beautiful and new construction must blend with the old city to minimize the shock of new additions.

Our tour, thankfully, only lasted four hours. We were happy to return to the Crow’s Nest on board for cocktails before dinner. Yup, it’s time to eat again!

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We will stay in Monaco until midnight, but that’s well past the time we will see our latest stateroom creature, and retire for the night.

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I HATE snakes, especially where I’m sleeping.