It’s not every day one awakes, draws the curtain, and takes in the view of being surrounded by luxury yachts in Monte Carlo Harbour,: but that’s how it was this morning.
What’s more it was another gorgeous day which confirmed to us that our plan to visit Nice was firmly on. We breakfasted as usual on the Aquavit Terrace before heading ashore.
I should at this point state that there were complimentary walking tours of Monaco and a complimentary coach laid on for Nice – a kind of ‘Nice on your own’ service. We decided to give that a miss for two reasons. Firstly it only gave a limited number of hours in Nice and secondly, I wanted to check out the local bus service between the two places for future reference on my cruise blog and the various cruise forums I frequent.
Once ashore we took a leisurely walk circumnavigating the North end of the harbour along Quai Albert 1er as far as Rue Grimaldi where the Nice bus stop is situated. Buses run roughly every 15 minutes and we were soon on our way along the beautiful Côte d’Azur in the direction of Nice. The fare was a most reasonable €1.50 per person and the best tip I can offer is to get a seat on the left side of the bus in order to make the most of the coastal views.
The journey takes 45 minutes and we were dropped off at Nice’s Old Port area. It’s a short walk to the mole that extends from the entrance of the port and from the mole some excellent views are available of Nice’s beach and of the ‘Colline d’Chateau – Castle Hill, which stands high above the town, again affording excellent views.
Castle Hill is now very much a tourist area with a park and garden, again offering magnificent views of both the Old Port and Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais. (see the photographs)
Other places visited in Nice included the Old Town – a vibrant maze of narrow streets with an unmistakeable Mediterranean vibe where the visitor can easily momentarily become lost in a different world.
The area is full of colourful restaurants and bars and it was here we opted to have lunch, yards from the Place Rosetti and the beautiful baroque Cathédrale Sainte Réparate.
We had a full day in Nice and by the time we returned to Monaco it was dark. Once again the image of Viking Star in amongst the lights of Monte Carlo was a great sight.
This evening we had pre dinner drinks in the Explorers Lounge, a two level glass fronted ultra comfortable area where one can relax and unwind in a homely ambience with glorious views over the ship’s bow.
Having heard so much about the Seafood buffet dinner available at the World cafe we opted for this dining venue this evening. We were not disappointed, particularly as we found our favourite Aquavit terrace table vacant.
We feasted on king prawns, sushi, mussels and snow crab claws as the waiter kept our glasses well topped with a crisp white ‘Kampus Peloponnese Cavino.
The Pool deck was the venue for this evenings production show and it was entitled ‘The Long and Winding Road’. No prizes for guessing a ‘Beatles’ connection then.
This was a really excellent show and it was good to see all the entertainers and other staff involved and making the evening the success it was, particularly the continuation music for a session of ‘dancing under the stars’.
Next up tomorrow is Ajaccio, a port that we have already visited a number of times. We are booked on one of the optional excursions and looking forward to a little retail therapy in Ajaccio on our return.