Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Monte Carlo, Monaco

From one gambling venue to another.  But oh so different they are. 

The Principality of Monaco is all about crystal clear blue water, not desert.  White buildings and luxurious yachts, not glitzy casinos and make-believe venues.  It was all so utterly surreal in its own way.

It was 1969.  I first heard of Monaco when American actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier in 1956.  The Grimaldi family has ruled Monaco for over 700 years.  It was a fairy-tale wedding of an American movie star to a Royal Prince. 

I never actually thought I would visit there, but we would be passing through on the train from Barcelona, Spain to Venice, Italy and a stop in Nice seemed appropriate.  My diary from that trip says that we took the bus from Nice into Monaco for the day, specifically into Monte Carlo.  Our visit cost all of $9.09.  Europe on $10 a day, lol.

We walked up to see the palace and went to the casino (but did not gamble).  But the highlight was the certainly the  Oceanographic Museum.  

File:Oceanographic Museum Monaco.JPG

At the time we were there, Jacques Cousteau was the director.  This is probably the best aquarium museum I have ever been in because of the very unusual variety of species that I saw.  We easily could have spent more time there.

Black and white alert:  Here I am standing at the museum:

We were only in Monaco for a single day, but it was very enjoyable.  It would be a great place to retire to and just sit and look out at the view.  I would not mind going back and seeing more of the Riviera.  Maybe combine it with a return trip to Majorca, which I almost blogged about for 'M'. 

Check this site for some beautiful photos.

We are now halfway through the A - Z Challenge.  I am having a great time doing this.  I have the rest of my letters picked and only have six more to write up.  I am so glad I started ahead of time.  Click here to see the list of other bloggers.  I've moved up to number 797.

M is also for Michigan, Mackinac Island, Minnesota, Maine, Mammoth Cave, Miami; Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin; Manitoulin Island; Majorca, Spain and Melbourne, Australia


  1. I would love to go there! It's like a sort of make-believe life there, I think, and that would be nice to visit!

    1. Yes. It is like being in your own fairy-tale world, if only for a day.

  2. Thank you for sharing - this is on my list of places to visit! New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.


  3. Sylvia, Thanks for stopping by. Saw your geneology post. Great idea.

  4. I loved Monte Carlo, and I did go to the casino which I thought looked like a London (UK) train station or a mausoleum. I was very disappointed. In those days I wasn't interested in aquariums, today I would love to visit. We were staying in the harbour, parents lived on a boat.


  5. It looks amazing - I'd love to visit too one day :)

    Happy A to Z ing from Spoon Paws @

  6. I have always been fascinated by Monaco. Your pictures and the story you have embellished them with make me feel as if I were actually in Monaco.

  7. I too only spent one day in Monte Carlo while our family was visiting in Nice, France. We took the train.

    The aquarium was amazing. Our two boys absolutely loved it. It was the highlight of our vacation.

    Now my dream is to go to the tennis tournament held in Monte Carlo, I believe it starts this week!

    Vamos Rafa!

    visiting from A~Z


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