16 Nov Monaco….The worlds most perfect city?
That’s a pretty hefty title for a country that is just under three miles in length. Located on the Mediterranean between the French and Italian Rivieras sits a tiny independent principality affectionally called Monaco.
This rocky swatch of land is home to the Grand Prix and more millionaires and billionaires than any other location in the world – and trust me – it shows. Everything is so clean and perfect (read: expensive) that it feels more like a Disney attraction rather than a city where real people live.
I arrived on Saturday morning in Nice, France, less than a day after the attacks in Paris (Monaco is accessible by helicopter or bus). The mood leaving Frankfurt up to arrival in Monaco was somber. Most people were quiet and it just seemed to be in a sort of daze.
Saturday night in Monaco was quiet, I opted to stay in and order dinner instead of trying to find activity among deft sadness. My heart too hurt, it really hurt. The flags of Monaco were all either lowered or tied with black ribbon my entire stay in solidarity with France.
So why did I come to the second smallest nation in the world?
I truly wanted to relax and rest before kicking off a full tilt of travels through Turkey and Namibia.
This serene yachting town has views to Italy and France and lucky for me, I got my first upgrade ever and I had two balconies with breath taking views! I had a hard time leaving my room because the views were simply gorgeous. I would wake up and look out the window and just lay there watching the sailboats pass by. Sorry, there’s no sailboat in the photo below…but you can imagine.
In addition to lazily watching sailboats pass by my window, I took an evening yoga course at Monte Carlo’s Sunshine Yoga. Owner Annette was so warm and welcoming, I couldn’t wait to get there.
Located in the magnificent Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, just arriving I felt important. Floor to ceiling windows, elevators with plush seats, a full indoor swimming pool….I wish I could have afforded to stay there!
I arrived for the evening relaxing yoga course taught by Melissa Holloway, native New Zealander living in Monaco. We were excited to meet each other and we talked about our mixed passion for travel.
She dimmed the lights and we started our practice. I hadn’t done yoga in several weeks and I felt as tight as a rubber band from the countless miles I’ve walked since I started my trip. Melissa helped me align myself in several poses which allowed me to get an even deeper stretch. Her attention to my personal practice was welcomed and I felt like she cared about my experience.
At the end of the 75 minute course she turned the lights off, covered everyone with a soft blanket, and covered our eyes with lavender eye sachets. Pure relaxation.
I left feeling so relaxed I caved and took a taxi back to my hotel where I went straight to sleep.
Wow Whitney it sounds like you had the best relaxing trip to Monaco! I should mention though, that despite my very calming three days in the principality, google walking maps readily directed me to walk through the longest tunnel in Monaco. I felt a little strange walking in but considering it was going through a massive rock I thought it was the only way through….about five minutes into my walk I though ‘hmmm this is definitely not for pedestrians’. I decided to put some ‘pep in my step’ and get out of there. Luckily for me it was around 9pm so only a few cars went through the tunnel and saw me being a complete idiot. xoxo Google.