Monte Carlo: Day 3 – 11.03.18………….Six Shades of Fifty - The big red bus!
We decided to meet for breakfast at 8.30am, which soon changed to 9.00am, but that soon changed, after a bit of compromise to 8.45am! Good. We had made a decision the night before to meet at 8.45am in the breakfast room, the reality was however that some of us appeared at 8.45am with the rest appearing at 9.15am.........it’s good when a plan goes to plan!
Well, what a fine affair breakfast was, just so much choice. We ate like we’d not eaten for days, going up to the breakfast buffet at least five times! They were rather small plates you see, more on the saucer size, so it was necessary to make frequent visits. We met ourselves in twenty years time in the form of a group of very well dressed ladies, who must have been in their seventies, all six of them from Lytham-St-Anne’s. Apparently they’re all ‘gym’ buddies, having met at the gym, and what a healthy group they were too compared to us ‘gin’ buddies, having met over alcohol!!!
The ‘six shades of gym’ ladies also arrived yesterday but whereby our priority had been to find ourselves a nice place to consume alcohol and have a snacklet, they had explored Monaco/Monte Carlo on the little train, seen the sights, got their bearings, booked themselves into the Monte Carlo casino and today where off to Nice whereas us, well, we were still deliberating what to do after breakfast! Not to be out-done by our smarter selves we regrouped around the breakfast table for urgent talks on what to do. The red Open Top Hop-on Hop-Off Tour Bus it was then!
It was rather blowy on the top deck of the bus and our recently coiffured hair was being given a right blow-dry in the wind, but it was a nice way to see the sights, and what sights they were. There were swanky yachts in the harbour, massive things they were, all sleek and gleaming......multi-millions of pounds just floating on the water. We passed the world famous Fairmont Hotel overlooking the equally famous Fairmont Hairpin Bend, the bus driver ‘taking the corner’ at a much lesser speed than that of Lewis Hamilton! We passed the very impressive Yacht Club, designed in the shape of a boat, passed the casino where 007 Casino Royale was filmed and saw some amazing cars driving about; Ferrari’s, Lambourghini’s, Bentley’s, Rolls Royce, Maserati’s, they were all two-a-Penny in this tiny principality home to the super rich who are fortunate to reside here.
We got off the bus at the Palace, the Royal Residence, where the Changing of the Guard ceremony was being carried out, took a few photo’s, wandered around the shops in the old town and then went in search of somewhere to grab a drink and a snack. It was gloriously sunny and warm so we took the opportunity to sit outside a cafe located on the promenade, ordered two bottles of wine, a beer, chips and a burger for Anne and Shirl to share. There’s nothing quite like al fresco dining, feeling the sun on your face, sipping a nice glass of cold crisp wine, eating chips and a burger. Well, we were dining at McBuns!
Taking the lead from our older selves, Tan had booked a table at the Casino for 19.30 later in the day so after lunch we made our way there to check they’d received said booking. The number of super-cars outside was phenomenal....and this was in the daytime! Who drives cars like these? Well. we did manage to see some of the drivers who let’s say, favoured the ‘silver’ look. Their wives/girlfriends/someone else were all looking decidedly younger than the drivers. Money obviously talks in a place like Monte Carlo Monaco!
After a bit of retail therapy was carried out in which shoes and fridge-magnets where purchased we regrouped on the roadside and decided to split up. Abi, Maice and I opting to walk back to the hotel with Anne, Tan and Shirl opting for the tour bus to take them to a few shops they wanted to visit.
Our walk back took us to the Palace where we negotiated a few hundred steps until we were in the Palace square. Could we find a way down to the other side? No, it just seemed to be a sheer cliff. There was nothing we could do except walk back down the way we’d just walked up and follow the road round that would take us to our side of the town but as luck would have it, the big red hop-on hop-off tour bus just happened to trundle along into the square. It looked so inviting we decided to hop-on and lo-and-behold three stops later we were back at the hotel! It was such a lovely day we sat out on Abi’s balcony drinking gin and eating our nibbles, and waited for the others to arrive. The three amiga’s finally arrived back about an hour later, having spent half an hour waiting for the bus. We did tell them a little white lie in that we’d walked all the way back to the hotel and had only just got back ourselves. Well, they’ll never find out!
Soon it was time to wrap up our little soirée and get ourselves all dolled up for our Casino Royale dining experience. We arrived in style in the hotel’s posh minibus and made our way inside. It was very grand, very ornate and very quiet. Not to worry, I’m sure it would get busier as the evening wore on, let’s face it, it was was only 19.30, not exactly the right time for gambling.
We dined in the Rose Salon restaurant and chose the ‘Roulette’ three course menu which was delicious. We seemed to be coerced into drinking more wine as our very attentive waiter kept replenishing our wine glasses after each sip! The Six Shades of Gym ladies arrived an hour or so later, sitting on the opposite side of the dining room. They’d had a lovely day out in Nice, getting there on the number 100 bus at a cost of €1.50 per person. A bargain, considering it’s a forty five minute drive. Maybe we’d go there tomorrow, and why not? We seem to be replicating everything they’re doing!
After supper we retired to the Casino and sat and watched the tables being played. It was far from busy but we did get the jist of just how addictive it could be. Some guys were playing the tables for over an hour so goodness knows how much was being won, and lost. Abi and Shirl played the slot machines and won between them €6.50.....cause to celebrate.....not!
Tan surprised us all with 007 Vodka Martini Cocktails, obviously shaken, not stirred, to toast our holiday and Abi’s birthday which was lovely. I must say an 007 certainly packs a punch!
We finally made it back to our junior suites around midnight, having had an absolutely wonderful day.
Roll on tomorrow whatever that will bring.......we do know rain is on the way!
Night all......AAMAST xxxxxx