Europe’s Top Cities- #29

A strange principality and microstate nestled in the corner of France on the border of Italy, Monaco is commonly associated with glamour and casinos where the rich and famous walk between luxury hotels and perfect shorelines to their supercars filled with cash. They even have a king. I was excited to pull up to a life of luxury with high hopes of being invited onto a mega yacht by supermodels after doing a quick lap of the Formula 1 circuit. As you can tell by the low-down placement that was not what happened. Monaco is a shithole. I don’t even know if I am meant to call it Monaco or Monte Carlo, I don’t think anyone knows. I don’t care. The buildings were grimy eyesores and the harbour was dirty and devoid of any crown toting royals. My plans to cruise around the street race circuit was a nightmare. I couldn’t even find it and it was not as free flowing as I would’ve hoped. The expensive cars were in abundance and clogged up the famous roads and every nervy hill start was a horror show of sweat as Fanny rolled back towards the plush front end of a Rolls Royce before pulling herself up the slope moments before a costly collision. Every hill start was a nerve-wracking experience and we had no idea where we were meant to be going. Camping spots were hard to come by and one narrow road which offered hope came to a dead end where I had to do a million-point turn whilst being yelled at by an angry local. Heading down the hills was equally as terrifying, especially when the engine cut out and we thought we were heading to a cliff edge plummet that was cartoon worthy. The misery was compounded when somewhere along the way the exhaust end fell off the van. Sleeping on a hill was a sweaty nightmare and we did not find any supermodels. All in all, it was a very confusing and stressful experience. Definitely not a place to try and attempt vanlife. Will not return.

Naw look at 18yr old me back on the road trip. Sleeves rolled up, chest puffed out trying to look like I was enjoying Monaco. Bless Him.

6 thoughts

  1. Monaco is the city, Monte Carlo the principality. I would disagree with you in your assessment of the place, but it’s really not geared up for camping and in fact I seem to recall campervans are pretty much banned throughout the city itself (for obvious reasons, given how tight and twisty the streets are). Personally I’ve driven the race circuit more than once, but you do need to be familiar with both it and the rest of the street patterns to be able to find it. If you’re not, you’ve no chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a pretty unfair assessment, no doubt, but like you said it is not geared up for camping and going there was naive on my behalf but you live and you learn. Like the other cities at the lower end of my list, I’m sure in different circumstances I would’ve loved my time there. My f1 knowledge is probably as low as my route trip planning knowledge too hahaha. I hope you are well,
      Matt

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always liked the idea of visiting Nice and Monaco. I’ve heard lovely things about the former but mixed views on the latter. This post made me chuckle. I’ll no doubt end up visiting Monaco in the near future but I’ll ensure it’s not in a campervan haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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