Hi all! I’ve returned to the world of intermittent travel – starting with Monaco (and by definition, also Nice, I guess?)! I’ll admit, it was pretty much a work trip, but I still managed to see a lot of the beautiful city and its surroundings, as well as pretend I was absolutely minted for a few days. Which is always fun.
We landed in Nice at around 5pm local time from Heathrow (side note – didn’t bother with a lounge going out. I’ve had too many dodgy Aspire experiences and didn’t fancy paying £15 for some bean salad and a weak tea). The highlight of the flight was possibly seeing Geri Horner (aka Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice) and her squad at the front of the small plane – turning to Mr Roams and asking repeatedly if it was “GINGER SPICE OH MY GOD” throughout was the highlight of the flight for him, I’m sure.
Spice Girl shenanigans aside, we got a shuttle bus from Nice airport to our hotel in Monaco, which was the Fairmont Monte Carlo, overlooking the hairpin bend section of the Monaco Grand Prix. A lovely hotel, if not *very* expensive (drinks were average €15 each, but did come with nuts!). Mr Roams and I had lots of fun pretending we could afford the various items in the hotel shops whilst we slowly sipped our €10 diet Cokes.
Weather was great, as you can see!
As it was predominantly a work trip, with lots of work-specific activities, I won’t talk too much about what we actually did during the trip, but I will talk a little about Monaco as a destination and things to do there. Strap in…
As you may or may not know, Monaco is a principality in the South of France – famous for being home to the aforementioned Monaco Grand Prix, Princess Grace, casinos, and millionaires trying to escape tax. As a result of this, the place is *very* expensive – beautiful, but super pricey. The main boulevard throughout Monaco was understandably full of designer shops, expensive car showrooms (think McLaren, Ferrari, Porsche, Lambos, etc etc), and also pretty parks which we enjoyed strolling through, checking out all of the 80 year old women with painted faces, perfectly coiffed hair and Juvederm up to the eyebrows.
Tip – the principality is actually insanely small – I think less than a square mile! – but it’s insanely hilly. Take comfortable shoes, don’t worry about wearing your Loubs out.
As part of the work activities, we had the good luck of being able to book a complimentary helicopter flight (seriously, WHAT IS MY LIFE) overlooking the entirety of Monaco and dipping into France and Italy too. It was my first time in a helicopter and I was initially slightly nervous until I sat next to the pilot who didn’t seem to be too bothered about anything, really. This nonchalant attitude gave me confidence – if he wasn’t worried, I shouldn’t be – but there were still a few dips where I nearly saw my €15 baguette lunch again. Anyway, the pictures!
We couldn’t come to Monaco without having a flutter in a casino, so after a posh gala dinner where I had to deploy about 4 layers of Spanx, we headed to the famous Monte Carlo casino! Minimal pictures because I wasn’t allowed to take pictures and had to style it out when I got caught by pretending I was texting instead.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that we didn’t win big – although apparently one of my colleagues won €200 or something! – but we DID win on a slotty after I pressed a load of random buttons and somehow came away with a whole €15 profit. I don’t understand gambling – I’m not one of life’s risktakers anyway – but I was pretty proud of my winnings. Until we lost it all on another slotty. You win some, you lose some.
All in all, we had a lovely time in Monaco. It’s a very small principality, and an expensive one at that, so unless you’re minted and fancy buying a Lambo, there’s not much to do for your average Joe aside from people watch and window shop… but in a way that’s all we really wanted to do anyway. It’s a great insight into how the Other Half live – who knows, if I keep playing the slotties I may get there someday, lolz – but for now it made me pretty happy with my little lot.
Next post coming soon – as well as a new series called Subway Special, where I’ll walk you through the world’s different subway systems, how to navigate them, and where to go for the highlights in each city. First up is stateside, which should give you a clue as to where my last destination was… 😉