Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Côte d'Azur and all things expensive.

Back on the road again, this time a trip east, to the boot, Italy, that is. We opted for the coastal drive, winding through the seaside resorts. The settings are beautiful and it's no wonder that people toiled so hard to put these roads and towns in with hills on either side. The drive is constantly descending into one village then back up the hill to round another hill/mountain and descend into another.

There's typically not many viewpoints to stop and take a picture but we finally came upon one. This shot could have been taken about eight different times for different towns. They are all beautiful, Spanish-influenced cities shoe-horned into tight valleys.

We did opt for a drive through the crowded streets of Monaco to see if we could say "Hi!" to Albert, but alas he must have been holed up at the palace. Our route took us past the famous casino, but we weren't up to channeling our inner Bond, so settled for the drive by.

We stopped en route for the night in Imperia, Italy, assuming Monte Carlo wasn't going to be producing the expedia deals we could afford. This town had recently constructed an expansion to their existing wharves, allowing them to berth more boats ships mega yachts.

'How big?' You ask? As we strolled the docks before dinner that evening, we came across this very slick speed boat:

Which was the dingy for this boat:

No joke. The large vessel is called Space and the smaller one, Tender to Space, is the zip-around boat they use when they're docked for a while. The one percent were obviously at sea-level, the rest of us ninety-nine were in the family run hotels with balconies overlooking the water.

But if you do get down to that part of town, stay at the Hotel Ariston. It was a sweet, family run hotel with beautiful large rooms (yes, in Europe!) and a lovely breakfast buffet with seating out on the terrace. Homemade baking and jams - wonderful - made even more so by the Italian-laced English explanations of the staff.

Ahhh - questa è la vita


  1. The spectacular scenery would have made my head explode from the sheer beauty of the places. I just can't believe you didn't go into the Casino! That is so unlike you and Brad. What is Europe doing to you?

    1. In Europe car+parking=headache. So sometimes you have to enjoy from afar. And Monte Carlo was nuts whether you were walking, scooting or driving. We actually only ended up in front because traffic caused us to go that way.