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Monte Carlo

September 19th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Casino de Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo, Monaco

I apologise for this post being a couple of days late, but with the end of trip involving some pretty mammoth drives and not much sleep I chose the latter over posting. If that makes me a bad blogger then I don’t care.

I am writing most of this post from poolside at our French gite just outside La Rochelle in the Vendee region of our continental neighbour. Got croissant and pain au chocolat for breakfast!

Whilst Montreux was one of the quieter stops on our tour we knew Monte Carlo would be one of the maddest. A 9 hour drive across the highways of Switzerland and Italy, an Alpine pass that had a lot in common with the road into Hades and more tunnels than I’ve ever encountered en route to anywhere saw us pull into the tiny principality of Monaco.

A quick beer at a local bar, turned into a long chat with an ex pat from Zimbabwe and an Italian. We couldn’t work out what line of black market business they were in, so I am sticking to my guess of arms dealers or human traffickers.

We then headed for dinner at a small Thai place to keep up our tradition of trying new things. The food was both tasty and very very spicy, which is apparently the Thai way.

A quick costume change saw us get suited and booted for our long awaited trip to the Casino de Monte Carlo. The casino is famous for its appearances in film (including the Bond series), TV and the famous Monaco grand prix. It really did live up to its billing! A stunning building inside with fantastic painted interiors and every bit as luxurious as I had been left to believe. Well worth lugging our suits around Europe for!

I couldn’t afford to put money on any of the gaming tables as roulette had a minimum stake of 10 euros (min table change of 200 euros) and the black jack tables were 25 euro minimum bets. As I couldn’t visit a casino without some gambling, I put 10 euros in the slot machines!

The cars outside the casino (including one with my number plate NR2) and the yachts in the harbour confirmed Monte Carlo’s reputation as a millionaires playground. I liked the city and lifestyle that it attracted, but I did get the feeling that it was all a little one dimensional and we had pretty much done Monaco in a night.

This was probably a good thing as the morning after was going to see us drive 1000km in 11hrs!

This is pretty much my last blog post for the trip as we are now settled at our gite in France. Keep up with the tweets at my Twitter feed or at Kieran’s site.

I will probably post some pics etc up on Twitter too.

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