When your neighbor offers for you to stay in her condo in Monte Carlo while you're studying abroad... the answer is never "no". I had the opportunity to travel to Monte Carlo, Monaco over my fall break, and boy is that a trip I will noever forget. The glitz, and the glam, and the chic-chic lifestyle makes it seem like you not only stepped into another country, but another world entirely.
While Monaco is known as one of the most à la mode cities material objects wise, the buildings could be original. I felt thrown back to the sixties where bright opposing colors were the height of design fashion.
Luckily, Monaco is not a huge country, so my friends and I took a little hike (aka an hour long walk) from one end of Monaco to the other to visit the Royal Palace. From there, we had amazing views of the bay and the city.
We went inside the Casino! Don't worry mom and dad, we didn't try our hand at gambling. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the Casino, only of the outside and the foyer. Personally, I found the outside almost as beautiful as the inside!
I think that the Exotic Gardens may have been our favorite spot. We spent approximately 3 hours walking around and exploring. It offered absolutely astounding views of Monaco and the ocean. The cacti were pretty awesome too, not gonna lie.
Another reason why we loved the Exotic Garden, is that we stumbled upon a cave! We arrived at the enterance only 10 minutes before the next tour started, it was free, so of course we said heck yes. Our guide told us that it take approximately one hundred years for a stalagmite to grow one centimeter. That just goes to show how old this cave in the mountain was, look at the size of some of these!
So we thought that the Palace was pretty close, just a straight shoot down the mountain. Not necessarily. We didn't think about the fact that there wouldn't be a set of stairs that went straight down to the Palace. So we got pretty creative in how we found our way down without getting lost because there wasn't, in fact, a stairway all the way down.
There aren't sunsets like the ones we saw in Monaco. The sky and ocean were cotton candy colors. The sky was bright pink and purple, the ocean bright blue. The night was warm enough, and there was no one on the beach, so we decided to dip our feet into the water! The Monégasques thought that we were crazy Americans because the water was freezing, but we thought it was amazing.
Only in Monaco...
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<p style="margin-bottom:12.0pt">I'm a second year student at Loyola University Chicago studying French and Pre-Medicine. I love to read, travel, and draw in my free time.</p>