Tim, Viki, Roof of Monaco Aquarium

Tim, Viki, Roof of Monaco Aquarium

Get to Monte Carlo Day Trip

From Monterosso in Cinque Terre it took 3 trains to get to our Monte Carlo Day Trip.  The last train, with open seating, took us to our personal travel disaster Monte Carlo day trip.  Our train trip through Europe had been well planned except for this day.  The Monaco Grand Prix time-trials were taking place.  Monte Carlo was full of Grand Prix spectators and media.

Monaco Grand Prix Time Trials, Monte Carlo Day Trip

Monaco Grand Prix Time Trials

Monte Carlo Day Trip – Exit the Train

At the Monte Carlo train station it was almost impossible to exit the train.  The platform was completely full of people waiting to board the train.  They rushed 5 deep from across the entire platform.  As I tried to step out onto the platform, the flood of people blasted me backward.  Those behind me shouted and pushed me out the train door through the massive surge.  When we tried to exit the station, the exit was blocked with chain link fence.  An attendant explained in French that the main station was closed to those entering Monte Carlo.  We would need to go to the end of the platform, turn left, take a tunnel that led to a side street and then climb the hill above the harbor to see the sights.

Statue of Grimaldi, Monte Carlo Day Trip

Statue of Grimaldi

Monte Carlo Day Trip – See the Sights

I wanted to see the Monaco aquarium at the Oceanographic Museum (Musee Oceanagraphique), which Jacques Cousteau had directed at one time.  The Monaco Grand Prix had taken over the city, so we couldn’t find a cab or bus to take us up the hill to the aquarium.  My travel companions will never forgive me, because we also had to bring our roller bag luggage with us.  We had to ask directions several times along the way.  Then we carted our luggage up the numerous steps to the hill top.  Along the way I got pics of the race trials, the Prince’s Palace, the Statue of Grimaldi and the Cathedral of Monaco.  If we had arrived on any other day, we could have taken the Le Petit Tourist Train to easily see all the sites in a very short period of time.

Monaco Oceanographic Museum, Monte Carlo Day Trip

Monaco Oceanographic Museum

Monte Carlo Day Trip – Oceanographic Museum

The Monaco Oceanographic Museum aquarium was disappointing, but that’s because it is truly a museum.  Other aquariums, like the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta or the Maui Ocean Center on Maui are in a completely different league.  The Monaco Oceanographic Museum Aquarium is a very small aquarium that takes up the lower two floors of its building.  On the third floor was a strange museum with old diving gear relics, bones of whales, fossils, wooden boat models and various sea creatures preserved in formaldehyde.  The top floor had views of the city and the ocean, which was probably the best part of a visit to the Monaco Oceanographic Museum on a Monte Carlo Day Trip.

Unhappy Travelers, Monte Carlo Day Trip

Unhappy Travelers, Monte Carlo Day Trip

After visiting the aquarium, we did come across a free bus down the hill.  Then we walked through the crowds in town and out on to the closed freeway.  The Monaco Grand Prix time trials were over by then.  So we rolled our luggage down the middle of the Grand Prix circuit to the main train station.  The train was easy to board and we headed off to Nice.  Our Monte Carlo Day Trip wasn’t a great experience, but sometimes days like this make the best stories.

Monte Carlo Slide Show

Visit Monte Carlo – Plan Your Trip