Three hotels, $700 and 2 hours of hiking with luggage later, we made it.
The day started out so innocently on the beaches of Nice. Sallie and I had a nice afternoon sur le plage, made it to our train on time and had a smooth 15 minute ride to Monaco. But that’s where it ended.
On a map, our Airbnb was four streets over from the train station. The host said there was a bus that would drop us off right in front of the building, but it wasn’t coming for 45 minutes so we decided to walk.
That was our first mistake. Our “quick walk” quickly turned into a 40 minute hike straight up one of the tallest hills in Monaco/Beausoleil. And it wrecked us. Each carrying over 65 pounds of luggage we were sweating and straining in ways we didn’t even know possible. But at last, we made it.
To not just one apartment but an entire apartment building. Our host said that his friend would be there waiting for us, so we sat our front for 30 minutes trying to call, but couldn’t get the number to work for the life of us.
So we gave up and walked downhill. Losing our deposit was the least of our worries. We just needed to sit in air conditioning and find a cheap hotel as close as possible.
Luckily at the bottom of the hill there was a great hotel called Hotel Novotel. However with rooms running over $300 a night, we decided to just steal their wifi and book somewhere else instead.
So we did! A nice looking little apartment-style hotel room nearby. Once more, we packed up all our stuff and headed down the road.
But where the map said the hotel would be was nothing but a shopping center. I posted up on a wall with our stuff and Sallie walked the whole block for 20 more minutes trying to figure out how to get in, but nothing. So we went back to Novotel, threw all the money we had at them and collapsed onto their beautiful beds.
While not a great start to Monaco, that wasn’t even the end of our turbulent night. It was 8:30 at this point, and we hadn’t eaten in 8 hours. Knowing we needed food and wine ASAP, we headed out to see what we could find.
And you know what we found? Nothing. Absolutley nothing was open besides the casino and a few restaurants, let alone selling food or wine. And again, after 45 minutes of walking all over both Monaco and France, we gave up and went home.
A quick shower, sauna and $90 of room service later, we finally felt okay again. We watched some tv and crashed in that beautiful bed and woke up the next morning feeling like new.
The next day we explored a little more and I won $10 on the slot machines, but by after an hour we were done with the city again. While it’s fun to see everyone dressed to the nines tossing money left and right, it was very clearly not where we belonged.
Honestly, the helicopter ride out of there was the best part.
Tl;dr: Monaco may be fun when you’re rich and famous, but at 23 not for me.