With just enough time to unpack from Rome and then repack for the weekend trip, 6:00 AM Saturday morning rolled around and I was off to France again. This trip was the second of two school trips sponsored by Lorenzo de' Medici and included in tuition. Thanks again Mom and Dad!
Our first stop was the Principality of Monaco, the second smallest sovereign nation behind Vatican City. It's pretty cool that I can now say I've been to the two smallest countries in the world. In addition to being so small, Monaco is actually the most densely populated nation, being home to approximately 35,000 people. In Monaco, we visited the administrative division of Monaco-Ville. Here we visited Saint Nicholas Cathedral, burial site of Grace Kelly and her husband Prince Rainier III.
From Monaco we went to Nice, a popular vacation spot in Europe, where we would be staying the night in a hotel. We had an option of going on a walking tour of Nice or staying at the hotel and taking a nap, and after 2 straight weeks of traveling, a nap was too tempting to pass up. That night we were brought to a local restaurant for a three course dinner and then hit up the slot machines at Casino Ruhl Barriere. Turns out beginner's luck doesn't apply to France...
Sunday morning we were up early for breakfast at the hotel. After two months in Europe, I finally found real bacon. From Nice we left for the small medieval village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Saint-Paul is characterized by its rocky, narrow streets, small villas, and large amount of artwork displaced through out the city. The beauty of the village has inspired numerous famous artists, painters, and writers over the years. We walked around the city and found some incredible views of the towns below.
After Saint-Paul, we got back on the bus and drove to Cannes, home of the Cannes International Film Festival, and is considered to be one of the most elitist and expensive areas in Europe. We found a restaurant to have lunch in, and luckily for me, they had the World Golf Classic HSBC Champions tournament on three televisions for me to watch. After lunch, my friend Amanda and I went back to a casino to try to win my ten euro back from the night before with no such luck. Learning my lesson, we got back on the bus and stopped at Eze for a tour of a perfume factory and then were back on our way to Florence. It was nice to see how the other half lived for the weekend, but my bed in Florence was calling my name.