Monday, July 9, 2012

Grasse, Route Napoleon and Sisteron - Day 11

The next morning we left Cannes and went on the Route Napoleon to Lyons. Our first stop was at Grasse, the perfume capital of France. We dropped into one of the many perfume factories, Fragonard. There were old chemistry instrument on display and we toured the modern laboratory.

Checking your fragrant bar of soap and the nicely packaged perfume for your wife or girl friend at the shop. Or both!

We were on the Route Napoleon. This was the route that Napoleon took on his escape from the island of Elba back to Paris. It was a scenic hilly drive into the Alps. The first rest stop was at Castellane. Long queue at the public WC with the chapel atop a cliff keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings.the Gorges du Verdon as backdrop.

Castellane is the starting point for those visiting the Gorges du Verdon. The town has a certain charm.

We continued on the Route Napoleon where Simeon gave us a history lesson on Napoleon. Nice scenery along the route, it makes one wonder how this feat of building the road through the mountains was done.

The lunch break was at Sisteron, a town famous for its sheep. So guess what we had for lunch? Lamb, of course. It was tender, tasty and cheap as the set meal of the day.

The town church and its interior.

Colourful stained glass.

The town square.

Other shots of the pleasant town.

Our next rest stop was at a meadow where we had our group photo taken.

Our careful driver and our clowning tour manager for rememberance.

We reached Lyon in the evening and had our dinner at the hotel. It was out of town and there were no outing tonight after a long bus ride.

Ronald Kwok

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Monte Carlo & Monaco

We passed numerous villas on the way and there were pretty views of the harbour from the mountain road.

Once we landed in Monaco, we had a walk around. The first major sight is the majestic Oceanography Museum.

Down the road is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace are buried.

We then pass the old town,

and arrived at Palace Square.

Here you can get a good view of the surrounding area and the harbour so this a favourite spot for photos.

The Palace complete with the obligatory guards.

We then made our way back to the old part of the town for our dinner.

From here, we drove down to the town of Monte Carlo, passing through part of the route of the famous Formula 1.

And finally, we arrived at the Casino at Monte Carlo

You can get into the lobby for free but the guard may stop you if you look suspicious so just act natural as if you own the place. There is a popular cafe next to it and a grand hotel by the side.

For those with less euros to lose, there is another casino adjoining the cafe; less grand of course.

After watching all the luxurious cars and luxurious people around the casino, we went back to our hotel.

Ronald Kwok