We spent a few days in southern France and made a day trip to Monaco before we continued on a night train to Rome.
This article is no. 6 in a series of 10. The 25 days long journey was on an InterRail train ticket a long time ago, in August 1991, to Germany, France and Italy. What follows are transcripts from my travel diary at the time. I have changed or added very little.
Wednesday 14.8.1991, French Riviera and Monaco
We took a local train further east to Monaco for a day trip, or Monte Carlo. It was interesting to drive like this along all the small and big places along the Côte d’Azur. Many fancy places. In Monaco we walked up to the palace of the Royal family and had the opportunity to look inside. Nice.
Apart from this the Lilliputian state reminded me of Hong Kong. Very tightly built houses in a hillside and reclaimed harbour areas. But the skyscrapers were lacking and we did not notice any particular luxury. This was basically what this day trip to Monaco gave of impressions.
Getting ready for a night train
Before leaving France we had bought a copy of the weekly newspaper The European. It had an article about the night train from Nice to Rome, focusing on the high crime rate on that particular train. Apparently thieves entered the train on the Italian side in the middle of the night, and in the middle of the tunnels, entered the compartments and stole whatever they found. The advice was to lock oneself in, stay there and open the door for nobody, not even for the train’s staff.
That was the very train we were taking. We allied with the other travellers and locked the door as thoroughly we could. In the middle of the night someone tried to get in, we don’t know who. Unfortunately we had not been able to get a sleeping car to Rome. It was a squeezed, hot, uncomfortable and sleepless night on a train that stopped on every station. We arrived safely and untouched in Rome on the minute, to our surprise.
Money spent in France: Approximately 460 NOK per person per day, equalling 66 USD at the time. A quarter was spent on accommodation.
Our journey on a map
This is the map of our journey through parts of Europe, on this InterRail. It includes all published articles, both travelogues and the World heritage sites we visited. There are also markers indicating links to articles with pictures from a particular country (including pictures from other trips).
We travelled by train, however the lines on the map show what a road trip by car would have been. Unfortunately, it is not possible to draw train lines on Google Maps.
All chapters in this series from 1991:
(1) Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany: Here is my diary from an InterRail train journey through Sweden, Denmark and Germany, to France and Italy.
(2) Paris & Versailles: Sightseeing in Paris and a day at Versailles.
(3) Normandie and Bretagne: A famous tapestry and D-Day beaches in Normandy and a strange mountain in the sea in Brittany.
(4) The Loire Valley and its palaces: Grand palaces and parks in the Loire Valley.
(5) Provence and the Cote d’Azur: The papal city of Avignon with an unfinished bridge, picturesque villages in Provence and a first look at the French Riviera.
(6) Monaco: A short stop in Monaco before continuing to Rome. (THIS ARTICLE)
(7) Roma and the Vatican: In Italy we went to Roma (Rome), several cities in Tuscany and a final day in Venice, before returning to France. Here is first the account of the Eternal City of Rome and a visit to the Vatican.
(8) Toscana: A few hectic days in Tuscany, in the old cities of Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Arezzo and Siena.
(9) Venezia: Venice on a day trip, like many other visitors. But even a day made us realise the magic of this famed city.
(10) French Riviera: Lazy, lovely days on the Cote d’Azur… and the long way home.