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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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May 17, 2012

Wednesday - not the best day ever, but...

It's Thursday morning and I'm now on the train heading to Paris.  Got myself up, dressed, final packing and out of the building in record time.  Had no trouble with getting to the train and on the train so life is good.  Although I did just hear from Heather that her cell phone is about to go dead and she has no way to charge it so am not real sure about how we'll meet up.  But that doesn't happen for about 5-1/2 hours and we're now traveling along the seacoast and it's a beautiful morning so for now I shall bask in le joie de vrie!

Yesterday not so much joie de vrie.  I had decided I would go to Monaco and I did and the less said about that, probably the better.  It was a long, full bus ride to get there and Chantal had told me that when you get there, you can take an elevator up to the top of the hill and that's where the Grimaldi Palace is along with views, etc.  So, I asked a policeman (after all my called-for correct intros) about the elevator.  He professed to speak no English (and this in a very, very international city!) ad just pointed to the walkway going up.  Nice.  So I went into one cafe and asked the man there, who also, of course professed to speak no English, and he said no elevator and pointed to the stairs.  However, somewhere there is an elevator because other peope were looking for it also.  I also asked for the tourist information office and both men pointed up.  So, up yet another climb I went.  Got up there, saw another policeman, went and asked for the tourist information office and he pointed down.  So I gave up at that point, wandered aimlessly around for a bit, did take some pictures but the place was crammed with people.  It's actually a tiny village up there with very narrow streets which I didn't explore because, truly, they were packed wall to wall with people.  (Gosh, it's beautiful outside my train window!)

Waiting for my bus to Monaco and just loving this spunky little lady.  I had to kind of sneak a picture and wish I could have got one that showed her face a little more.

Okay, now I'm up the hill in Monaco and the sculpture referred to in this sign will show up down the page.  The next bunch of pictures will be views - the weather was still fine but we had a lot of cloud action going on which was kind of a nice change.

This was probably my favorite spot up here.  Not so many people for one thing and the view was wonderful.

This and the photo above are all one huge marina.
Really liked all these different colored buildings...
Pink one was the prettiest - it had a lacy aspect that doesn't show well in the photo.
See what I mean about crammed with people?!

The Grimaldi Palace - most of it or maybe it's just one section of this very large building.  I couldn't tell for sure from the signage.  And I was too mad to pay the money to go inside. :)
I loved this.  It's at the plateau after you've reached the top - I guess your heart is supposed to hold out all the way up and then stop when you finally reach level ground!
Now, this is a mighty fine bird, don't you think?  I'm as pleased with this picture as I was with my pretty rose.
And this is the original Grimaldi referred to in the sign up at the top of this page.  As you can see from the next picture, he certainly lived to a ripe old age!

And after many attempts to get a picture of this bird on his perch, this is the best I could come up with.  And that finishes Monaco.

The next three are my wanderings once again through Old Nice.  
Took this one because these are real pediments on this building...

Hadn't come across this door on any of my other trips through this area and it is a stunner.
And I guess I took this one because I thought the tower was pretty. :)

Went back to  my room feeling pretty glumpy and decided I needed to get some lunch.  I was hungry when I was still in Monaco but eating there would have been very expensive even at the "cheap" places and I just didn't want to stay there.  My search for food wasn't too successful either - several places that I had in mind where I could treat myself a little had already finished for the lunch meal and just had sandwiches.  I wanted food.  Finally stopped at a place and ordered pasta Bolognese which was all right, but mostly pasta with here and there small bits of meat.  Meandered back to my room feeling fairy pitiful by now and decided I woud pack, look at e-mails, and such.  So that's what I did and finally around 8:00 decided I would go out again, this time in search of a pot of hot tea and a dessert and also decided I would go look at the sea one more time cause I never had looked at it in the evening.  And that was the right thing to do because I stopped at a delightful little place (one of the ones that was closed when I walked by in the afternoon), where a very pleasant lady who didn't mind at all trying to communicate with me as I tried to communicate with her, explained the two desserts to me.  I chose the tarte which had bits of apple, pear, and peach on a melt-in-your mouth base of pastry and was covered in paper thin slices of almonds.  Was served with a heavy sprinling of powdered sugar and a little cup of creme fraiche which was one of the things I wanted to try while in France.  Went down to the sea and only had my cell phone with me for pictures.  The pictures didn't turn out well enough to post but I also couldn't resist trying to get videos of the waves so here is the link to the one I finally chose. 

Felt very much better after that, got back to my room, dragged myself up the three flights of stairs one more time and spent the rest of the evening answering some e-mails and editing my pictures - only 24!! - it pays to be mad at the place you're visiting.  :)

And that's about it for Wednesday.  I think my biggest problem, really, was that I was just ready to move on to the next part of my trip and didn't want to have to sightsee, get myself to and from places, figure out where to eat, etc.  So, not the best day in the world, but a very nice evening and as I told Chris, all's well that ends well.

Au revoir!


Christopher said...

Packed with people or no, mad at the "no English" folks or not, the pictures you took are might nice... Love that one with the white stone clock tower, and the big church with the broad steps... gorgeous! And very pretty weather it seems; I hope you've soaked up the sun in case of rain in Paris! The bird shot is terrific... was he slow-moving? (That always helps!) As is that iron door... wish I had a wrought iron door!
Glad you arrive in Paris, met Heather, and have been off to a good start so far... Enjoy and be safe!

Elga said...

That happens to me as well on the last day of a vacation, I often just want to go home now.

Do you know that Monaco now has a South African for a princess, hope she is happy there, she married Prince Albert last year.

Have fun in Paris with your daughter!

January said...

I'm glad you survived Monaco - it doesn't sound too pleasant. You would think that a place with an economy based almost entirely on tourism would make a little more of an effort, but oh well! The picture of the dapper bird is great - I love his little "leg up" pose. Hooray for the beautiful sea and pleasant people who sell you delicious dessert!

Janet said...

It might not have been your favorite day but the pictures are incredible! Interesting to me that you should have found so much resistance to English in this very cosmopolitan city.
Enjoy the remainder of the trip!

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