After a rather lengthy train ride (I left Barcelona at 4 PM), I rolled into Nice, France and the beautiful Cote d'Azur of the French Riviera around 9 AM the next morning. After checking in to my hostel and cleaning up (a very necessary step after 15 hrs on a train) I strolled about Nice in search of some food. After that I was in bad need of a nap due to my overnight train showing up 100 minutes behind schedule (How is a train over an hour and a half late?). Normally this is just annoying, but this time it meant that instead of going to sleep a little after midnight, I got to sit in the 40 degree weather until after 2 am.
So I went back to my hostel, recharged the batteries, and decided today would be the perfect time to hit the Principality of Monaco 25 minutes away and its world famous municipality, Monte Carlo. Monaco is the 2nd smallest country in the world and and also the most densely populated one as well. Obviously known for it's casinos, beaches, tax shelters, and of course Princess Grace Kelly, this is a beautiful yet expensive part of the world
They're military guards, old time cannons and cannon balls, and a whole lot of other stuff that would indicate a militaristic characteristic to the country. Funny thing is, their military protection is provided by France. Hmm. .
As it turns out, there is another difference between casinos over here compared to back home. Apparently there is a cover charge before they allow you the privilege of giving them the rest of your cash. 10 euro just to walk through the door! I decided this wasn't worth the time so I turned around and found a dinky (i.e. free) slot machine room in the building and promptly lost what would have been my entry fee. This actually might have been the break of the evening for me because if I would have made it into the real part of the casino, I would have been down much more than a 10 spot.
I quickly learned that "carpaccio" must be Italian for "right before we started to cook your meal, the oven exploded". I don't mind my beef red; I'm definitely a medium kind of guy, but this was a bit much. To my credit I got 2/3's of it down and only almost threw up once. Jonas "If it ain't mooing, we ain't eating" Fontenot will be so proud.