James Bond Moments (and McDonalds) in Monaco
Oh Monaco, you tiny little glamorous country. I really do wish I was wealthy and pretentious enough to fall in love with you, but you might need to give me a few more years to get sucked into your allure of fast cars and sexy women. (Well, at least the fast cars, it might take a bit more than time for me to be seduced by women).
Even though I didn’t appreciate your extravagant charm as much as my companions, I would still agree that for the second-smallest counry in the world, you have a lot going for you.
But I must confess, I am probably one of your few visitors that hasn’t seen any James Bond films. Not one. Not even the one where he drives on icebergs (and I love icebergs!). But if there is anyone out there who has ever dreamed of living out your own James Bond fantasies, you should probably get your suited up self to Casino de Monte Carlo (french for the casino that featured in your favourite blockbuster).
The Casino is monumental and richly-decorated. The European Rooms have poker and slot machines, French roulette and trent et quarantine, while the Private Rooms (that I can’t admit to have seen) offer baccarat, blackjack, craps and American roulette. Even if you are living out of a backpack, having a poke around the casino is great, but prepare to be kicked out onto the well-paved street after eight if you forgot your suit and tie.
We only spent half a day in Monaco. We walked around the glamorous street, we spend ten euros on Lipton tea in a fancy restaurant, we admired cars and we ended up in McDonalds. But we weren’t being cheap, a large fries in McDonalds in Monaco is about the same price as a pizza (with wine) in Italy. For what we paid, I hope they were individually salted…
Even though Monaco feels like a personal assault for your average backpacker, for all you fast-car fanatics and James-Bondaphiles out there, get yourself to Monaco. You will appreciate it much more than I did. You might not even give the waitress outraged looks when she brings the bill for your hot water and generic teabag…
the most expensive bite-sized country in the world Monaco:
Bus 100 (€1, every 15 minutes from 6am to 9pm) goes to Nice (45 minutes) and Menton (40 minutes) along the Corniche Inférieure. Bus 110 (€18, hourly) goes to Nice-Côte d’Azur airport (40 minutes). Both services stop at place d’Armes and the stop on bd des Moulins. There are also four night services (10pm to 3.45am) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Only Monaco and Alpes-Maritimes (06) registered cars can access Monaco Ville. If you decide to drive, park in one of the numerous underground car parks.
Services run about every 20 minutes east to Menton (€2, 15 minutes) and west to Nice (€3.60, 25 minutes). Access to the station is through pedestrian tunnels and escalators from 6 av Prince Pierre de Monaco, pont Ste-Dévote, place Ste-Dévote and bd de la Belgique. The last trains leave around 11pm.