Monday, June 21, 2010

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Our first stop of cruise #2 was in Monte Carlo, Monaco (I love this picture...I think it's pretty cool). 
Monaco is located on the French Riviera and the entire country is about half the size of NYC’s Central Park.
These were taken on the boat as we arrived at the port.
Before leaving on our trip I had found the official tourism website of Monaco.  They sent me a free package of information, complete with about half a dozen pocket size brochures/maps.  They unfolded to be full size maps, tourist information, travel details, bus schedules, etc.  Monaco even has its own app for the iPhone.  I thought that was pretty good!  I couldn't really use it since we kept our phones shut off, but in theory it was great.  It had all of the tourist, travel, and sightseeing information all in one cool little app.  Once we got off the boat, we climbed up a stairway along the water’s edge that led to the Oceanographic Museum.
The views on the way up were beautiful.
We weren't interested in going inside of the museum and just checked it out from the outside.  The building itself was really pretty.
There was a large statue of a man outside of the museum.  The statue was split to show his skeleton and organs.  There was a similar style statue of a pregnant lady down by the water.  As we were walking up, I kept looking and thinking there looks like there is a giant statue of a pregnant lady.  This seemed odd to me and then once we saw this we realized it was part of the museum.
We walked to a famous cathedral nearby.
Monaco Cathedral is where royal family members were married and several are buried.
Next to Monaco Cathedral is this neat building.  I'm not sure what it is, but I liked the big staircases on the front of the building.
Down the road is the Prince’s Palace which is protected by several guards outside of its doors.
Every day before noon there is a changing of the guards ceremony.
The architecture of the palace was really neat and it had a great lookout toward the port.
Here is a video of the surrounding area.
We walked through the shopping area for a few minutes and then found a local bus that would take us to the famous Monte Carlo Casino.

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