To the south is the port of Nice, with a small fishing fleet, ferries to Corsica, and the occasional cruise boat. To the north is the Promenade des Anglais, the famous walkway along the beach with grand hotels facing the Mediterranean, separate lanes for walking, skating, and biking and, of course, the beach.
Views of Nice from Castle Hill
I head out of the train station and down to the harbor, but find my way blocked and diverted by the temporary fences, reviewing stand construction and other setup activities for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix which has been held every May since 1929 (except during the Second World War) and, together with the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, forms the Triple Crown of Motorsport. The race runs over a narrow course up and down the streets and hills of Monaco, with tight corners and the occasional tunnel. Apparently, it takes several weeks to set up and tear down for the event, which is about 6 weeks away.
Setting up for the Grand Prix
View of the port from Monaco City
I purchase a baguette sandwich from a shop in the narrow streets and sit in a park to enjoy my lunch. However, I have company that wants me to share and I oblige, making a new friend in the process.
Please, sir, may I have some?
The stroll through Monaco City and lunch only take an hour or so and the crowds are large, so I head back down from the Old Town, cross the harbor, and walk up the hill on the other side to the Monte Carlo Casino, which is a large complex with a casino, the Opéra de Monte Carlo and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. Parked outside the main entrance to the Casino are race cars for the upcoming Grand Prix.
On display outside the Casino
Everyone is peering in the cars and taking pictures (as do I). Then, I decide to get some elevation and walk from the Casino up the hilly, narrow streets for a trek around the modern city.
Modern Monaco on the hill, Monaco City across the harbor
There are stairs everywhere that provide steep short cuts between the streets for those of us on foot. But, it gets later and I'm now close to the Gare de Monaco-Monte Carlo and head over that way to catch the next train back to Nice.