13th April 2015 – Nice, France
The French riviera wasn’t enough. So I headed east, closer to Italy. There was so much money in the air, But nothing that I could feel. Only see.
I had to visit a new country today. And, so I did. Much to my chagrin.
From Toulon – where I was the previous day – I started in the morning towards Nice, on a TER train that went through the PACA (Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur) region. The train took me all the way to Nice.
I explored Nice for the next few hours till lunch. Frankly, I should have stayed in Nice longer. I had no idea what was to come next.
From Nice, I took bus number 100, from the port, that went to Monaco. This is definitely the cheapest way to get into one of the most richest countries in the world, as I paid only 1.50 EUR for the bus drive. On the Monaco side, there are only 6 stops and its best to get out somewhere in the middle so that you can explore around a little bit.
I got out near the Monaco port, and started walking around the area. Now, Monaco can put Singapore to shame. Considered the most densely populated country on earth, this place is filthy rich. Expensive cars plied on the roads, while massive yachts cradled in the sea. There is so much here to see. Some old churches, and some exquisite gardens. But Monaco soon made me feel out of place. This place has nothing backpackerish about it.
I grabbed some sandwiches from the casino supermarket, and settle down to eat it for lunch with a red bull. No sooner had I finished them, that 2 cops came by and asked me for identification. Understandable, since the Monaco grand prix was just a month later, and the security was heightened because of all the construction going on around the country. After inspecting my passport, they found it difficult to accept that I was just a traveller. I managed to somehow convince them, and moved on.
Barely 20 minutes passed before another set of cops picked me up. Same questions again, and a lot of walkie-talkie nonsense. They let me go through too.
I wasn’t enjoying the country at all, so decided to the take the train out of Monaco central station (Gare de Monaco – Monteville). I was just entering the train station, when 2 plainclothes cops stopped me again. I was not about to believe 2 people who just said they were cops, and hand over my passport. I demanded to see their badges. The badge looked tattered and broken, so I refused to believe them.
Then they showed me their guns.
I handed over the passport promptly. This time, their questioning lasted longer than the usual, since I had managed to successfully piss them off. I could not put my hands in the pockets, and could not sit down, or light up a cigarette. And they had to know everything about my trip. But obviously, they had nothing against me. So, after 30 minutes of futile attempts, they let me go.
I have never visited another country for which I have had so much contempt. Well, Monaco is definitely one of those. I was glad to take the next train I could, out of Monaco and to the security of Toulon.