A Voyage to Monaco

Sometimes the best trips are the ones that come together at the last minute! Georgia Tech-Lorraine students are masters of flexibility and taking advantage of the opportunities before them, and Karsten is no different. Check out his latest blog post about their trip to Nice and Monaco!

Sunday, September 29, 2019 | Written by Karsten

I must be honest. We were not planning on coming to Monaco this weekend. I knew I wanted to go to Monaco, but wasn’t sure when I’d be able to make it. Originally, we had planned on going to Monaco last weekend and then London this weekend, but since tickets had sold out, we made the last minute decision to go to Copenhagen. On the way back from Copenhagen, while stopped in the Paris Gare de l’Est, we looked at train tickets to London. Surprise, surprise, they were sold out. Once we got back to Metz from Copenhagen, we decided to look at Monaco again and there were still tickets available, so we tried to book them. It would’ve been more than $1000 to stay in Monaco for both Friday and Saturday night, so we chose to stay in Nice on Friday. Three days later, we all had our tickets to Nice and Monaco, and then back to Metz.

 The night before we left, we had the great idea of playing cards until 1:30am, knowing that we were going to need to be awake at 4:30am. In addition to that, I hadn’t packed yet. After we won, I packed my bag, got my two hours of sleep, and we went on our way to the train station. During the eight hours of trains to Nice, I only made up an hour of sleep. Thankfully, I had some coffee, or the rest of the day would’ve been rough. Once in Nice, we dropped our bags at the Airbnb and went to the beach. Though I had been to a Mediterranean coast before, I had never stepped foot in the water, so I did that. After watching the sunset, we had dinner, gelato, played more cards, and then went to sleep.

On Saturday morning, we took one of the early trains to Monaco. Once we got off, we realized a potential tragedy—none of us had any signal or available data. Luckily, it turned out to be just where we were. From the train station we went to the Prince of Monaco’s car museum, Top Car Monaco. Seeing some of the cars that were there was absolutely crazy. He had everything, from late 1800s wagons to modern Formula One cars. From the museum, we went to the Jardin Exotique. It was a hike there. I think we climbed 30 flights of stairs. They had tons of cacti and many varieties of other plants, and it also had a very cool outlook over the city. It was 75 degrees Fahrenheit and partly cloudy, which was actually the hottest day we’ve had in a couple weeks. Walking around with our bags proved to be a bit much, as we were all wishing it was cooler.

After the garden, we dropped our bags off and then went back down by the water. From there, we did what I was most excited for—walking the Formula One circuit. I have watched this race for as long as I can remember and know it by heart, though it looks much different from the street and without the guardrails. We passed by the Casino Monte Carlo, took some pictures of the cars parked out front, and made it most of the way around the track. Unfortunately, however, we were unable to complete the track because the Monaco Yacht Show was happening at the same time, and they had some parts by the water closed off. Still, seeing so much of such a famous track was a very cool experience. We had a very chill rest of the day and just walked around, went down to the beach again, and played even more cards.

Monaco is known for its glitz and glamour, and it definitely did not disappoint. Every fifth car it seemed was a Bentley or a Rolls-Royce. I was so excited to be there, by the water, the Formula One track, and the ridiculous amount of money on display in the forms of boats and cars. Unsurprisingly to me, this tops Copenhagen as my favorite spontaneous trip yet.