Monte Carlo or bust

Suzanne Barney on 30 September 2015
I should have gone to Monte Carlo over 30 years ago (showing my age) when I was on a Harry Shaw camping holiday in Port Grimaud in the South of France. But I never got up in time for the excursion so alas I never made it. So I decided that it was somewhere I needed to see whilst on my cruise. The ship berthed in Ville France which was a lovely French town with plenty of character, bars and restaurants. If you didn't want to go on an excursion it is a perfectly fine place to spend an afternoon. It was a pretty drive to Monte Carlo of about 45 minutes. There are a few tunnels to navigate, passing famous people’s homes en route. A half day tour is perfect.

The thing that hits you in Monte Carlo is how clean it is. It is spotless. There is obviously a lot of wealth and this is shown with the flashy sports cars that pass. It feels a bit like 'Disney' as it all seems so pristine. We were able to visit the Cathedral where the fairy-tale wedding of Grace Kelly and prince Rainier took place and we also got the opportunity to have a look around the casino that opens its doors to the public for a general browse for your own casino Royale (or Dirty Rotten scoundrel) experience. The casino is a work of art very beautifully decorated. But has the same flashing light fruit machines found on board the cruise ship (and in Vegas).

Monte Carlo involves a fair bit of walking. There are a lot of steps to get to places so you need comfortable shoes and to be reasonably fit.

You get chance to see the grand prix circuit and our coach was able to drive on a section of it.

It was a windy, cloudy day in Monte Carlo as a storm was approaching which was a shame as I am sure in the sunshine it would have come over a lot more striking. But it left an impression of a place we would like to re visit on a city break as it had a nice feel to it.