"The clock shows our actual..." Monaco Favorite Tip by pjallittle

Monaco General: 125 reviews and 124 photos


Favorite thing: <p>
<font color='brown'>The clock shows our actual arrival time at the train station in Monaco. We had disembarked from the QE2 earlier in the day, at a small town called Villefranche. Before leaving for this trip, had a devil of a time finding this small coastal town in a world atlas but as the pictures will show, it does exist and is apparently frequently used as a port of call for cruise ships who list either Nice or Monaco as part of their itineraries.
I'd actually posted the clock picture and a few of the other double/triple pictures up for the benefit of someone who is looking forward to making the same trip, that is, she'll be landing at Villefranche and wondered out loud, in the Discussion Forums, what the possibilities were. Although I made it very clear that the page was under construction, a couple of people came along and rated the page anyway. So now I am pretty much forced to complete Monaco.
Not that we did it full justice, but we took the train from Villefranche all the way to Cannes, had we stayed on the train, it was headed for Marseilles. The idea was to poke around Cannes, then go back down to Nice, get off, look around and then down to Monaco.

<center><img src='http://hotel.coteazur.org/images/ecusson2.gif'></center>
Those of you who may have see our Casablanca page may recall our table partners , Catherine and Ralph, also big on cruises. Catherine has had more than her fair share of bone and joint difficulties which slows her down but she tries as much as the body is willing. Of course, that pretty much means that one has to be very careful to plan ahead as there is no way of rushing to the station. When all was said and done, it was a fun trip.
We were on a ship, a large one, More than half of the passengers were from the UK, on holidays. They have a special program in the UK. We had to buy the entire 28 days, From Southampton, UK passengers use the QE2 like a bus service, they can purchase any portion of the 15 days of a voyage that has a lot of cities beginning with Lisboa, Portugal. From any one of those ports, the UK client is on their own once off the ship. Many of them took advantage of this which thinned out the crowd somewhat. By the time we got back to Southampton we had lost nearly a third of the folks.
But here is a strange twist. Out of maybe 1500 people on this ship, the four of us were the only party who took the N. bound train, not one other couple was willing to take a chance and went to Monaco instead. None of them had the coins required for the ticket machine. So they all shagged up the hill to the town to hail a taxi.
The majority of the folks bought into the tour which the cruise ship provided instead of going off on their own, something I'll comment upon further in the Tourist Trap section,
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Fondest memory: <p>
<font color='brown'>Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself but I've got to say that all of us will always best remember our terrible criminally inclined behaviour. It is the kind of story that you never forget and I do hope that you will find it amusing.
Ann and I are fairly good planners, we like to be ready for all contingencies. If we are going to be in Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Portugal, et al., we get our local bank to assemble several envelopes with about $100.00CDN of the currencies for the countries we will be visiting. This way, we maximize our time on the ground, we don't use traveler's checks, just USD. Fact is, I have never operated an ATM machine, true!
That explained, it seems that very few travelers on these cruise ships will do this, so there is a mad scramble to get in line at the purser's office on the ship so that people can obtain ready cash. So us smug folks get off the ship thinking we have the situation well in hand. WRONG. We walked into the little station seen in the picture fully expecting to purchase a RT ticket to CAnnes, following the idea of backtracking to Monaco. NO one in the office, it is empty.
Aha, a ticket machine, that takes care of that. WRONG AGAIN. The machine only accepts coins and holy Joe, here comes the train and it is slowing down. Okay, no biggie, we'll buy the tickets from the conductor on the train, OH NO, WRONG ONCE MORE, there's no conductor, and I felt like Jesse James, holding up this train. What to do? Maybe when we get to Nice? Should we get off? Naaah. Catherine is all settled in, she can't be rushing about. We'll just go on up to Cannes and get our tickets squared away up there, we are not trying to cheat anyone. Hmmmmm. Pretty tempting. Just in case, I found someone who spoke passable English, asked him what I should do. He told me not to worry, if anyone showed up looking for tickets, he'd explain. I had more than enough cash to cover this modestly priced ticket.
<marquee><img src='http://ukhrail.uel.ac.uk/hrlms.gif'></marquee>
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On we go, all the way to Cannes. Do what people do, look here and look there, back to the train. The Ticket Window is closed, and there's the train, now or NEVER. Off again at Nice, spent a nice leisurely walkaround, Ann bought a long wraparound skirt which has had good use since, especially at Muslim Mosques, or Buddhist Temples. I got my usual Coca Cola can in French. That's what I do, I have Coca Cola or Pepsi cans or bottles from every country we've been to, just a silly souvenir.

<center><img src=http://www.pl8s.com/bottlepix/0007-full.jpg></center>
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Ann's brother owns and operates Vista Transmission in Vista, California. He has samples of dirt from nearly every country in the world, either collected by himself, his relatives, friend and customers.
Ticket window closed again, not the right number of coins for the machine, now we are getting to be real desperadoes. All the way from Cannes to Nice to Monaco, courtesy of the French Railway system. By now, I had scavenged some used tickets, which we all prominently displayed in one fashion or another.
Ultimately, we made the complete round trip for the price of a one way ticket, Monaco to Villefranche. We had ample time to see what we wanted to see in Monaco, Ralph got his casino chip, he collects them like I do coca cola cans.
<center><img src='http://www.eurocoin.co.uk/media/chip.gif'></center>
Believe it or not, there are coca cola bottle worth hundreds of dollars. </font><p>

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  • Written Aug 24, 2002
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