the only thing that makes you richer.

I recently read a quote somewhere that said travel is the one thing you can spend money on that only makes you richer.

Hmmmm.  Well, that and possibly gambling in Monte Carlo.  But that’s definitely not guaranteed.  I wouldn’t know though because we never actually made it to the Casino de Monte-Carlo while docked in Monaco, the 2nd port of call on our recent cruise.  Instead we took a side trip to Eze (which I’ll share in another post) and then spent the afternoon wandering around Monaco-Ville on our own.

In contrast to our first port of call in rainy Genoa, we woke up to a lovely sunrise and blue skies on day two.  This was the view from our stateroom balcony.

For those of you not familiar, Monaco is 2nd smallest country in the world.  The only one smaller is the Vatican, which apparently technically qualifies as its own ‘country’.  Monaco encompasses a mere .78 square miles although it has been growing recently as they continue to reclaim land from the sea.  It is bordered on three sides by France and by the Mediterranean on the 4th side.  I suppose France would frown on them trying to expand on those other three sides, so the sea it is.

Monaco also has the world’s lowest poverty rate, highest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita, and most expensive real estate.  Accordingly Monaco also has one of the largest police forces per capita in the world, and thus an incredibly low crime rate.  And trust me, it shows.  By the way, I say ‘accordingly’ not because Monaco has expensive things to protect, but because a large police force is expensive to maintain and Monaco can afford to do that.

There was such a difference between Genoa and Monaco.  Genoa was dark, moody, gritty, and I’ll admit just a little intimidating, not to mention overcast and rainy.  In contrast, Monaco was bright, clean, very welcoming and sunny.  Yes, it’s possible that the weather had something to do with it, but I think it was more than that too.

Our ship was docked in Port Hercules, which is an incredibly convenient location.

I took that photo from Le Rocher (the rock) or Monaco-VilleMonaco-Ville is the historic district of Monaco that contains the Prince’s Palace, the Oceanographic Museum, St Martin Gardens and the Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate where Grace Kelly is buried.

As you can see, we were the only ship docked that day.  When I was originally posting about this trip I mentioned that we were going in the off-season because it’s cheaper and less crowded.  The trade off is less predictable weather.  Our plan definitely paid off here.  It was a beautiful sunny day with temps in the 60’s, and there were no crowds anywhere.  Mr. Q and I practically felt as though we had the entire place to ourselves most of the time.

From the dock there is a series of elevators, walking paths and escalators that take you to the top of Le Rocher.  How cool is that?  They made it incredibly simple to just hop off the ship and start exploring Monaco.

Here is part of the path that takes you there.

And here’s the view looking over that little wall.

The people staying in this place must have an amazing view of the sea …

And aren’t those aqua shutters to die for?

Although we didn’t take the time to go inside, the Oceanographic Museum looks amazing from the outside.

It’s a gorgeous building that is built right into the side of the cliff.

This is one of those moments where I wish I had a drone.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  But since I don’t have a drone, I borrowed this next photo from the web so I could just show you how amazing this place is.

Incredible, right?

Once we made it to the top we wandered around in Jardin de Saint-Martin a bit.

Next we took a look at the Prince’s Palace.

We missed seeing the changing of the guard, which takes place every day at noon.

We walked around the cathedral, but didn’t go inside there either.  It was such a lovely afternoon and we didn’t want to waste any of it indoors.

And I have one last lovely building in Monaco-Ville to share with you today, the Palais de Justice.

Tourists aren’t allowed inside this one though, so I don’t have to feel bad about only having seen the outside.

After a very pleasant afternoon wandering around on Le Rocher, we made our way back to our ship where once again we enjoyed the view from our balcony as we sailed away.

We’d been sailing back out to sea for about 30 minutes when the strangest thing happened.  Our ship turned around and went back!

I’m fairly sure this has never happened on any cruise I’ve ever been on.  Had our captain forgotten something back on the dock?

The captain made an announcement at that point, there was a medical emergency of some kind on board and we were turning around to meet an ambulance boat that would off-load the person and take them to a hospital.

So we said goodbye to Monaco once again, but this time feeling a little bit sad for whomever it was that had a medical emergency only two days into our itinerary.  That being said, it is nice to know that if you ever have a serious medical issue on board a cruise ship, they are willing to turn that ship around for you!

Be sure to check back next Wednesday for the third installment in my Adriatic Explorer series!


38 thoughts on “the only thing that makes you richer.

  1. Wow, I have never seen photos of Monaco, unless you count the photos of Grace getting married to the Prince! It looks like it has a temperate climate with the flowers blooming, interesting. Your photography is beautiful and your day trip looks amazing. I was thinking the medical emergency had to do with gambling and heart attacks… Thanks for sharing your trip.


  2. Absolutely beautiful place. The architecture is stunning. I could wander around any place all day and be content just looking at old architecture.


  3. Glad traveling in the off season worked well for you. It clearly made your visit more intimate and special. Well-planned travel always leaves one with a deep sense of satisfaction that outweighs the cost. That’s why we all keep planning our next adventure, right?!


  4. What a beautiful trip. I would have been interesting to see how they decorate the inside of their stunning homes. Quite different then us I would imagine.


    1. Well, in Monaco I expect they have a lot more money than I do and they decorate accordingly. A one bedroom apartment in Monaco would sell for around $8 million dollars, plus a $980/mo maintenance fee. Bwa, ha, ha, ha … yeah, I hope they are decorated beautifully 😉


    1. You totally should. This was our 2nd visit to Monaco. The first time we were there we strolled around Monte Carlo and we also visited the Exotic Garden, which was also lovely. Plus, you’ll read about our side trip to Eze in a couple of weeks, and that was amazing too. There is quite a bit to see in the area. Day trips to Nice and Cannes are really doable too.


  5. This was beautiful…and espeially with all the lights at night. Beautifully captured…great job giving your readers a true “sense” of the place. It’s almost like you can be there in your mind while reading along and looking at the pictures.


  6. I love traveling vicariously thru your trips. Such a beautiful place the architecture and the gardens are mesmerizing. You’re photography skills are pretty darn good too!


  7. Oh Miss Quandie……..I’m so glad that you used your time to go to Eze. It’s another one of those places in Europe that seems so quaint and fairy tale-like that it’s hard to grasp that regular people lead a normal day-to-day life there! And Monaco is pretty….but kind of like a stage set! You don’t get the feeling that a whole lot of people there are checking out thrift shops and up-cycling furniture. I’m sure there must be, but you don’t get that feeling (-: Fun to visit, though!


    1. Your comment had me wondering, do they actually have any thrift shops in Monaco? Somehow I doubted it. So I googled it and found the closest thing, a second-hand clothing shop (link here). But if you check that link you’ll notice that they don’t just have your typical cast offs, they have previously owned luxury clothing like Gucci, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana. Now that makes perfect sense doesn’t it? What do those wealthy people do with all of those beautiful things when they have already been seen in them once? Take them to the consignment shop of course. A pre-owned floral sequined cocktail dress for €1480? Why not?


    1. Your comment reminds me that I should be more grateful because you’re right, I have had the opportunity to take some amazing trips! It helps to have a mom who is a travel agent and who instilled the travel bug in both me and my sister at an early age.


  8. You have a true eye for photography. It feels like I was right there with you. Thank you for sharing your vacation with all of us!


  9. Beautiful place! I am a boater so love all of the yachts!! The shutters are fabulous! I would love to visit there someday. The architecture is beautiful. Thanks for sharing ❤️


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