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2023 Italy Day 06

Turino to Monaco, Sunday, March 26

We awake in the Movie Room and it’s a new day! This has been a unique city and a unique experience! We pack up and go across the street to a restaurant that serves breakfast, albeit a Double Expresso to open my eyes, LOL. And a tuna salad sandwich. Sure would love to get an egg dish, but that is not a common meal here.

The door to our place is quite unique! One panel opens at a time like a doorway turned into driveway and there is parking inside a courtyard, but not for us!

I walk the mile to get our car and Elee sits with the luggage. I pick her up and turn the keys over to her so she can drive for a day. We head off in search of a back road across the Alps towards Monaco. The scenery is spectacular! The Alps all covered with snow as contrasted against bright green farmlands is exciting to our camera lenses! We wind our way up this route and come across the road closure that we saw on our maps but there is a way around it! We drive another mile on another road and it all comes to a halt! We are in the Alps on a spectacular road but we have been blocked.

Well, it certainly is an adventure! We have seen some beautiful scenery but we have to turn around. An hour and a half in each direction, not wasted because of the views so we’ll call it a 3 hour side trip into the Alps! And the views on the way back down are as spectacular!

We get back on the original route that our GPS suggested (okay so GPS isn’t as stupid as we accused it of! But it didn’t know how to get us up close and personal views of the Alps! So there, GPS!) and we work our way down to the coast where the GPS makes a mistake of telling us to turn left and we really needed to turn right! So it tells us to make a u-turn in 8 kilometers. Sure enough, there isn’t an exit for 8 (count them) kilometers! We make the necessary u-turn and get back on the way!

We cross the border into France and it is just a sign saying, “Welcome to France” (in French, of course!). Shortly after we see the similar sign saying “Welcome to Monaco”. Interesting that we see that sign but we are not yet in Monaco! Our GPS directs us to make a sharp turn to the left into some serious switchbacks to go down the steep hill!

As we are driving down the extremely steep switchbacks (emphasis on steep), our GPS again makes miscalculations as it is seeing us from a satellite view and the switchbacks from that perspective are difficult at best! Think a steep cliff more than a 45 degree angle, sometimes a 30 or 25 degree angle. The map on our GPS screen was crazy! But we figured out that ‘downhill’ was the key and we arrived, unscathed, in Monte Carlo, Monaco! We found our Novotel Hotel just by finding the correct Boulevard and just driving slowly (which irked the locals driving behind us to no end!). We found the hotel and Elee yells at me (did I tell you that we switched drivers 3 hours ago and I am driving now?) for I park in the hotel parking on the wrong side of the road? LOL, the most convenient place to stop the car on these narrow roads!

Have you see those James Bond movies where they race tiny cars on impossibly narrow roads? Think Monte Carlo! (or any other Italian roads in any city, for that matter!) But this is a beautiful city and we are intrigued to be here! Lucky for us, our concierge takes our keys and will park our car for us! We have no use for the car until we leave tomorrow! We will be on foot tonight and in the morning!

We get situated in our room and as we have only arrived around 5:30PM, we have limited daylight to see the city. Luckily for us, Europe has started their Daylight Savings Time this morning, only 2 weeks after the USA (Normally, they are one week behind the USA) and we still have 2 plus hours of daylight!

We check our computers and look for the “Palace of Monte Carlo” and see it is a 6 minute walk from the hotel. Sweet! We walk there to no avail. There is no Palace here. We walk down through a set of gardens towards a building that looks like a palace but it turns out to be a Hotel/Casino. Tomorrow we will try to locate the Palace. A nice lady on the street told us it is far away and we can’t walk there from here. So some more research is necessary to find it in the morning!

We find an inexpensive restaurant a block away for dinner (inexpensive is tough to find in a place like Monte Carlo!) and the food is good! Octopus salad and raviolis for me and a green salad (think just some lettuce, LOL) and eggplant parmigiana for Elee. Toss in 3 glasses of wine for a total bill of 45 Euros and it was well worth it with a take out leftover of ravioli for a snack!

It’s time to call it a night and the bottle of Barbera has dwindled to nothing as I write this blog! But that’s a good thing as it turns out that it was a bottle of “Vino Frizzante” which means it has bubbles or carbonation. Once opened, you can’t put the cork back in! Lucky me? LOL

Good Night!

2 Responses to “2023 Italy Day 06”

  1. Monica Wilson

    Gorgeous photos of the Alps, even if it was a wrong way! I can’t believe you are staying only one night in each place. That sounds too hectic a schedule for us. You are seeing a lot of places though! We leave for England tomorrow and our first three destinations are three nights each so we can really get a feel for Oxford, the Cotswolds, and the Lake District. And it is still not enough to see all we hope to see. (Plus we have to allow for England’s rainy weather!) All train travel (no driving on the left side of the road for us!)

    Liked by 1 person


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