Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo is the second smallest country in the world after The Vatican. Although it’s size is only about two square kilometers there is a lot to do here. We took the hop on hop off bus tour. 


We saw the palace. 


And then went to the car museum. There were so many beautiful cars. 


Finally we went to the aquarium. There many many strange and beautiful fish. 

I had post cards to mail but they had French straps on them so we walked in to France so I could mail them before we head into Italy tomorrow. 

Cannes to Monte Carlo

We took the train today along the Mediterranean to Monte Carlo. It is in a beautiful setting. 

Monte Carlo is clearly a high income locale. We walked around a bit and checked out one of the casinos. The card gods were on our side and we won €150. 

The main Montre Carlo Casino charges €10 to get in and then the minimum bet is €25 so we just checked out the lobby. 

There are lots of high end shops here and lots of fancy cars. 

For dinner we started with octopus salad. 


Then for the main course fish and pasta. 

On the walk back to the hotel we saw two Maseratis. I suspect we were on the Grand Prix route because they seemed to be enjoying shifting down into the turn. We had desert and a nightcap in the hotel bar before heading back to our room. 

Cannes

It was a beautiful day in Cannes today. La Croisette is the walk along the water front.  Duke said that now that he is 65 he can sit and watch the world go by. We are talking about Duke so I don’t think so!!!

We walked along the promenade watching the people, the fancy shops and the big yachts. 

 We had a fantastic dinner at a restaurant called Mome. The service was great, the atmosphere nice and the food delicious. 


Afterwards we checked out the film festival hall and the casino. 

Aix en Provence to Cannes

Duke’s 65th Birthday!!! It seems entirely appropriate that we spend it traveling! This morning we took a train to Marseille. I think it is interesting that McDonald’s in the Marseille train screen has touch screens where you can order and pay .


From Marseille we caught a train along the French Mediterranean coast to Cannes.  What beautiful country, lots of wine grape vines,  old farm houses, and because today was a beautiful sunny day lovely Mediterranean coastline and sparkling blue water. 


In Cannes we explored a bit . We had a late lunch of mussels and fries. 


and had a marvelous steak dinner to celebrate the Birthday Boy!


The raspberries flambé with ice cream were spectacular. 


Aix en Provence

We spent today doing laundry and exploring Aix en Provence. I think Aix is one of the most beautiful towns in the world. And the sun was shining today which makes it even more beautiful. 

We had crepes and coffee mid morning. 


We tasted nougat and bought some. 

This afternoon we visited Cezanne’s studio. The painter Cezanne was born and raised in Aix. At the end of his life he came back to Aix. He built a studio and painted here for the last five years of his life. The studio was built so that its big north facing windows provided excellent light for painting. He was not famous when he was living. After he died his son found it difficult to sell his painting. The studio was not changed after he died. It has many of his things in it. The English speaking guide was very good at helping us understand a little bit about Cezanne and his work and how the studio was a part of that work. 

Carry le Rouet to Aix en Provence

This morning the owner of the guest house we were staying in drove us to the train station. We caught a train to Marseille and then changed trains for Aix en Provence. 


Many of the train stations in France have had pianos for people to play. 


In Marseille I saw something I have never seen before, a pedal powered charging station. 

In Aix we are staying with the wonderful family that Allison lived with when she studied in France. On the way to their house we walked through the old center of Aix and stopped for lunch. We ordered mussels with a Roquefort sauce and a salad Nicoise. They were both wonderful. There were about 50 mussels in the mussel bucket. 

As I mentioned a few days ago, my iPhone has been acting up. They have an Apple Store in Aix. I made an appointment for 5pm for the Genius Bar. It turns out my screen problem is a known problem. It cost me €155 to get a new phone and it took a couple of hours to get set up but I’m back in business.