2 Jun 2012

Côte d'Azur: day 7 & 8

Monaco - old town

The weather forecast told us that today would be a grey and wet day, so we went to the old part of Monaco where there's tons of stuff to do inside as well.
The morning was windy, grey but dry so when we climbed the stairs to Le Rocher, we mainly had to make sure our jackets were well closed.

This part of town is in sharp contrast with the rest of Monaco and is really worth visiting. The princial palace, the small and narrow streets around it, the lovely views, the canons, the cathedral with the tombs of Grace and Rainier,... We basically just walked around, watched the changing of the guards at 11.55 am, had a quiche in a small sandwich shop and then headed for the Oceanographic museum. This museum is extremely famous all over the world and not without reason.
It's a fabulous place, the upper part is a 'normal' museum with skeletons of whales, dolphins, etc as well as contemporary displays (at the time we were there it was work by Marc Quinn)...including a statue of Zombie Boy, the artist's head in his own blood, etc.
The lower part of the museum is the aquarium, a fantastic collection of fish, corals and the like. On the second level of the museum you have a great view...
We spent a good part of the day there, and when we got out the wind had become quite powerful. We headed back into town, had a drink (a coffee cause it was really cold) and rain just started to pour down.
When we got back to the TER, we were soaked!

the Princial Palace

Changing of the guard

Grace & Rainier's graves

Got to the hotel, had a hot shower to warm up and then had dinner at L'Occitan. I had a pasta alle vongolé , thought it was good, the one at Le Gambas Rouge was better. ;-)

The next day, again, grey and rather wet so we stayed in Menton, did some shopping and walking along the coast towards Italy when it was dry. Had lunch in a bistro (a divine brushetta!) and walked some more. I hate rain on holidays, you just don't know what to do after a while. ugh.
But dinner made it all better cause we went to the best restaurant in Menton, Trattoria la Mamma! This small restaurant has a different menu every day. The owner (a very enthusiastic Italian) goes to the early market every day and sees what he can find. Then it's prepared by his fiancée with a lot of love (you can tell!). We both took the sole and my god...it was HUGE and just soooo good. with side dish of asparagus and more veggies, but the sole itself....pure heaven.

threatening clouds