Because I wanted to ride the Grand Corniche to Italy, I decided to visit Monaco as a separate daytrip and so I took a train to the principality, which was built by the French to transport guests to the newly built casino. For that it was necessary to change the name of the locality. It was called Les Spelegures, which meant ‘The den of Thieves’. Approriate but hardly flattering for the expected guests. So it was renamed to Monte Carlo, a much nicer name most people felt.
The gambling house was a huge success and the prince decided to abolish income tax as it was no longer needed. The rich came as ants to a bowl of sugar.
When I arrived at the train station I had problems finding my way to the waterfront, which is remarkable because the city state is only 4 kilometres long and less than a kilomtre wide. But it is a maze of tunnels for cars and elevators for pedestrians. Luckily, there are enough people to ask the way as it is the most densely populated country in the world.
Eventually I made my way to the marina which was full of toys for the ultra-rich.
[foto here, I’ll do that later, it’s dark now and I can’t find my camera]
It was very hot and I spent most of the rest of my time in Monaco, sitting in a shady corner of the park of the Casino. After all, I was here merely to tick of another country.
The train back to Cagne-sur-Mer was uneventful.
The day after that I got up early to get the most of the morning cool and cycled to Nice. From here it was a steep climb up to the Grand Corniche. It was only 8.30 when I got there but even then sweat was dripping from my head on my knees when I was working like a pack horse to crawl up the moutain at a speed of around 7 km / hr.
The views from Monaco were wonderful. Much nicer than from the city self.
In Latte, just across the border in Italy, I found a campsite and put up my tent. That evening I drank Lambrusco.