July 31, 2015

France Study Abroad Trip: Monaco (by night).

     My summer post series, Southern Belle in the 'Bunk, will be returning next Friday on the blog! There will be two more Fridays left in this series, and it will be concluding on Friday, August 14th. Before I jump into today's post, my question for all of you is: would you like the last two SBITB posts to be the same as the previous six posts (a fashion post set in a pretty location in my town), or would you instead like me to focus just on some of the touristy or geography aspects of the area that I'm from? I would be interested in doing that as well! Let me know in the comments. :-)


     Anyways, onto sharing the next recap from my study abroad trip to France! Last time I shared about a chateau that I got to visit in the Loire Valley. (I have also previously shared about my 4th of July in St. Tropez as well.) Today I'm sharing all about what was one of my favorite day trips that I went on during my month abroad. This trip was especially fun for me because I planned the whole thing out for myself and three friends from my language school! If you know me, you know that I'm a planner, and I adore organizing things for friends. I organized this trip during my last week in France, and it meant to me that I was finally feeling a little bit acclimated to Europe and traveling around.





     So first, a note about the title of this blog post: "Monaco (by night)." This title is actually a tribute to an inside joke between me and my classmates at school in Nice! There was a guy that worked for the school who organized excursions for students on the weekends and on certain nights. His trips to Monaco to tour the famous casino and some of the older areas of the country were called "MONACO: BY NIGHT," and he would always announce it in this super funny French/English accent! It was so great. His excursions were a bit pricey so I didn't end up going on any of them, and instead planned my own trip to Monaco for my friends and I, but they still teased me about it the whole time that were were there and said that we were on Annaliese's Monaco by Night! Ha.


     So Monaco, the second smallest country in the world, is just about a half an hour from Nice. It's right on the Mediterranean Sea, and beautiful mountains make-up the scenic backdrop of the country. You don't need a passport to enter Monaco if you have already been in France (which most people have been, as the nearest airport is in Nice!). Monaco does have its own train and bus station. After looking at both options, I decided that my little group would take the train to Monaco. We were able to fit in our whole visit to this country after school one afternoon!

View from the balcony level of the Monaco Aquarium


     While Monaco's most famous attraction is by far the casino, my little group decided to take in one of Monaco's less publicized attractions... the aquarium and museum of oceanography! I am a total nerd for any aquariums- I would much rather be at an aquarium than any other type of museum. Sea creatures just fascinate me! Monaco's aquarium was quite affordable to visit (they offered discounts with proof of international student ID), it was only about a fifteen minute walk from the train station, and what I didn't know until we got there is that the building had an balcony a few stories up with beautiful panoramic views of the whole country (see picture above!). 


     The Monaco aquarium proved to be the perfect after school activity. Since it was a school night, we didn't have as much time as I would have liked to explore the whole country or other neighborhoods in Monaco (or the casino), but the walk from the train station to the aquarium was still absolutely beautiful, and we stopped for many picture opportunities along the way! See more pictures from "Annaliese's Monaco by night" below:





Funny face pictures are a must no matter what country you're in.



Throw what you know wherever you go!



Cutest post office ever.


The Italian restaurant that we had dinner in. 





     Visiting Monaco truly was a dream come true for me, especially because since high school I have been not so secretly obsessed with the movie Monte Carlo (Selena Gomez + Leighton Meester + Katie Cassidy [aka Blair Waldorf and crazy Juliet Sharpe from season 4 of Gossip Girl] all in one movie? YES). I still feel like I have much more than just the aquarium to discover from this amazing little country though, so my first trip was definitely not my last!


     I would definitely recommend a visit to the Monaco Aquarium and Oceanography Museum as it's the perfect day-trip from Nice- but if you do visit Monaco, try and see more of the country than I got to!

   
     xoxo Miss ALK

5 comments:

  1. I can't wait to visit Monaco, it looks awesome! I like your SBITB posts with the outfits myself!
    Love,

    Ane | Basque Prep

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your pictures were gorgeous, & I'm with you-I'd much rather see an aquarium than a casino any day ;)

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

    ReplyDelete
  3. Monaco looks gorgeous! Also Louis (Blair's ex-husband in Gossip Girl) is the prince of Monaco... only bad thing about the country (okay Katie get over how insane he is, it's a TV show) but Monte Carlo is such a good movie!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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