Monte Carlo covers most of Monaco, in the world’s second smallest country. It is a sea of multi story apartments.

Monte Carlo [2016]

A Stroll Around Monte Carlo

We arrived in Monte Carlo, Port Hercule, just after eight o’clock. The port is right downtown. And, we decided to walk around the town rather than take one of the tours.

The ship was docked at furthest point in the port at Quai Rainier III. We walked down towards the city. The road from the pier joins the Rue Grimaldi.  Where the road meet, there is a small green space and statue of Fangio with his Formula 1 car. (Which I neglected to take a picture of.

Royal Palace on Rock Out Crop - Left of Port
Royal Palace on Rock Out Crop - Left of Port

Instead of going into the city we went toward the palace and the museum, which are on a rocky outcropping. Going up hill,  along Avenue de la Quarantaine, we passed the International School of Monaco. Part of the sidewalk in this section is tinted glass. You don’t get a good view of the rooms below -- it does let light into those rooms.

The sidewalk turns into a path that overlooks the Mediterranean. Then to a massive parking lot. ( Cars access the parking lot through a tunnel. ) Inside the parking area is an elevator to upper level with access to the ‘Musée océanographique de Monaco’.

We didn’t go to the museum. We wandered around Saint Martin Gardens. Exploring  a number of alleyways. Coming out in front of the ‘Le Palais des Princes de Monaco’.

Fontvielle from Near Saint Marten Gardens
Fontvielle from Near Saint Marten Gardens

Not Seeing the Changing of the Guard

There was a crowd standing in front of the palace. A tour guide told me they were waiting for the changing of the guard, which was due to start at noon. It was ten to twelve, and we had nothing better to do - so we decided to see the changing of the guard.

From our position at the back of the crowd I couldn’t see much - Cathy could see even less. I hoisted my tripod and camera as high as I could and started recording. All I could see was a workman fixing the area in front of the guard - at least we would have a video when the guard changed.

We waited and waited - noon came and went. Eventually someone came out to say the changing of the guard had been cancelled due the repair work.

After not seeing the changing of the guard, we headed back to Rue de Basse. Winding on a path near Fort Antoine that leads back to the upper level of the port building.

Sidewalk Cafe - Rue de Basse
Sidewalk Cafe - Rue de Basse


Returning to the ship for a drink and short break, we decided to go into the city proper for a late lunch. A carnival was setting up along ‘Quai Albert 1er’. It took up all the pier and much of the sidewalk along Boulevard Albert 1er. 

Taking the first crosswalk to the other side of the street, we headed up Rue Princesse Caroline. It has limited vehicle access and is lined with shops and restaurants.

We usually try to get away from the tourist areas and find a place where the ‘locals’ eat. In Monte Carlo, I didn’t think I could afford to eat where the locals go. This would prove to be wrong. We found a number of small, reasonably priced pizzerias and cafes.

We decided on the Bilig Cafe. The menu was a blend of Italian and French dishes - we went Italian. Cathy gave the Classic Margherita pizza another try. I went with the Marocco - mainly because it was the only pizza I had ever seen with an egg as a topping. With two beer the tab came to just over €30 - which I thought was pretty reasonable.

Lunch at Bilig Cafe on Rue Princess Caroline
Lunch at Bilig Cafe on Rue Princess Caroline

Checking Out the Cars

Walking along Rue Grimaldi turning down Rue Suffren Reymond to return to the ship.

Suddenly - I was in heaven.

About halfway down the street is the Honda dealership. ( Well - Ets Cavallari (Ferrari Monaco) to be exact. ) While the Ferraris looked nice, what caught my eye was the Honda. Not one of the ones you would see at your local Honda dealer - but the Accura NSX - 573 hp, 0-60mph in 3.1 sec. -- AND IT’S A HYBRID ! At around $200,000 it is not something I am likely to own - but nice to drool over.