Wind Spirit Day #3 - Monaco (Monte Carlo) 1/2 Day
Because of our long 8-hour tour yesterday, we decided to take it easy today and just stay on the ship. The ship didn't get into Monte Carlo until 2 p.m. anyway, so it was only the afternoon or evening available to go ashore. Although the Wind Spirit is a really small ship and can usually dock, this first day in Monte Carlo, we had to be tendered to shore in small boats. This also happened in Portofino - I didn't see any docks for cruise ships there, so probably everyone has to tender there.
Gary Eberle did a winetasting for the entire ship this morning - kind of a nice bonus for all of the passengers.
Since the ship spent the night in Monte Carlo instead of going to sea to get to the next port, we had the opportunity to go into Monte Carlo at night to see the casinos. Men have to wear a coat and tie there - Bill had brought a coat and tie with him, but we decided not to go - it was too big a hassle to get tendered to shore and then back again in dress-up clothes.
The funny thing is that the ship changed locations in Monte Carlo during the night, and by the time we woke up the next day, we were docked and didn't have to tender. I think the Wind Spirit had to wait for another ship to leave their docking slot before they could move into it. Kind of interesting, I thought.
Tuesday Night Dinner - BBQ out on Ship's Deck
All kinds of meat and fish and accompanying dishes, salads and desserts. I was especially interested in the lobster tail, and it was great. After dinner, the wait staff did a surprise singing and dancing show. So funny! The weather was great out on the deck that evening, so there was a lot of dancing until the wee hours! Bill went to bed, but I hung around awhile with the Eberle Winery people.
Wind Spirit Day #4 - Monaco (Monte Carlo) All Day
For a little bit of educational information from Windstar, “The principality of Monaco covers just 473 acres and would fit comfortably inside New York's Central Park or a family farm in Iowa. Its 5,000 citizens would fill only a small fraction of the seats in Yankee stadium. The country is so tiny that residents have to go to another country to play golf.”
“Monte Carlo, the modern gambling town with elegant shops, man-made beaches, high-rise hotels, and a few belle epoque hotels, is actually only one of four parts of Monaco. The second is the medieval town on the rock (old Monaco), 200 feet above the sea. It is here that Prince Ranier lives. The third area is La Condamine, the commercial harbor area with apartments and businesses. The fourth is Fontvielle, the industrial district situated on 20 acres of reclaimed land.”
We had decided to visit Monaco (Monte Carlo) on our own, so we set out after breakfast, walking from where the ship was docked into town. Hopped onto a bus to kind of get an idea of the lay of the land - the bus route ended high on a hill overlooking the port at Le Jardin Exotique de Monaco. Although this was not part of our original sightseeing plan, we were there, so we decided to visit. Le Jardin claims to be the "Largest Rock Garden with Succulent Plants in the World". Lots of really interesting plants, and the view of the port below was breathtaking.
We took the bus back down the hill to the end of the line (Blue line #2) in Monaco-Ville right by the Prince's Palace and the Cathedral. We did the complete tour of the Prince's Palace (kind of interesting to see how the Grimaldis have lived for generations), but I was more interested in the Cathedral, where Grace Kelly is buried. It was quite beautiful inside, a fitting resting place for a beautiful lady.
We were going to go into the nearby Oceanographic Museum, but Bill had seen it before and I wasn't that interested. There was a little open train across the street from the museum, so we hopped on that. We weren't really sure where it would take us but thought "what the heck". One of its stops was right by the Monte Carlo Casino, so we got off there.
We walked into the very posh Hotel de Paris and took a quick look, but we weren’t dressed nicely enough to eat there.
There was a nice large open air cafe (Cafe de Paris) across the street, so we had a lovely lunch there and people watched. Took a quick look inside the casino, but nothing much going on because it was the middle of the day. Just outside the casino, we came across this darling Smart car.
We ended up walking all the way back to the ship - it was further than we had anticipated, so we were really tired, hot and sweaty by the time we got back. Time for a little rest, though, before getting ready for dinner.
Wednesday Night Dinner Menu:
Appetizers: Crispy Salmon with Spicy Green Vegetables and Roasted Almonds, Carpaccio of Beef with a Mustard Essence, Shaved Parmesan, Pepper, Pesto & Olive Oil
Soups: Gratinated French Onion Soup, Traditional Chilled Vichyssoise Topped with Chives
Salads: Butter Lettuce with Herb Dijon and Sherry Vinaigrette, Wind Spirit House Salad with Herb Dressing
Entrees: Seared Scallops with Brandade Potatoes and Lobster Nage, Classic Surf & Turf with Red Wine & Bernaise Sauce, Braised Lamb Shank Served with Homemade Garlic
Gnocchi & Rustic Vegetables, Roasted Lemon Chicken with Thyme Potatoes and Baked Zucchini