Saturday, 18 August 2012

Day 11 - Monaco

Breakfast view
Sue slept in and I was left alone, in the open air, rooftop restaurant, with every conceivable breakfast treat you could imagine and only the chef and the Mediterranean for company.

Sue eventually woke up but took some convincing it was 9:30am. She was gone for an hour or so, whilst I had free time for writing.

With a free day ahead of us, we put the walking shoes on, heading up the staircase behind in front of the hotel which led to the Casino. We walked around it, took pictures, admired some more big boats and eventually found ourselves outside the main entrance. Opulence was matched by automobiles, with every high performance car you can imagine in the parking lot. The Hotel de Paris flanks one side of the square and exclusive eateries the other. On the top side, a beautiful park climbs the hill, the green broken by  spectacular fountains and the almost obligatory thoughtful sculptures. Princess Grace is said to have played a major hand in the establishment of parks and gardens.

To the west is Le Metrolpole, a shopping centre much like we have at home. Just imagine Kmart Plaza with chandeliers, spiral staircases, concierges in the toilets and every shop costing you the basic wage just to walk in and drool. Despite not possessing the entry visa for such an establishment, we blundered in - as is the Australian way - me with French limited to pleasantries and requests for water and Sue with her near perfect French accent wrapped around English words. Despite the odd handicap and the exacting eye of the security guard, we managed to find a pleasant little cafe off the main jewel encrusted thoroughfare. The security guard, who quite obviously was not fooled by my yocal appearance (wide brimmed hate, Woodstock T-shirt and Redback high ankle walking boots) and had me pegged for an international jewel thief, retreated to talk with his mates - it was either that or he had sore ear, because he kept fingering it.

I had pasta, Sue gnocchi and both of us exhausted a bottle of Chianti without the digestive aid of liver beans or human organs. It was delicious.

It was hot outside: amend that, it was bloody hot outside and despite hats and sunscreen and water and dispositions attuned to prolonged sunshine, the walk to the beach was a scorcher. We didn't stay. I didn't have trunks and Sue didn't have the boobs.

Back at the hotel, air conditioning was a cooler and calmer alternative and there were other things to catch up on that the unrelenting pace had interrupted. Swept up with our romantic surroundings, we hung the sign on the door for a tete a tete. With that in mind, a word of caution to future travelers ... don't put the "Please make up my room" sign on the door when you mean to put out "Do not disturb."

There were no winners in the unexpected and embarrassing event which followed.

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