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Stop #06: Monte Carlo, Monaco

By David Morris

The Midevil Village of Eze

Well, our first stop on our 12-day Mediterranian cruise was Monte Carlo, Monaco.  The tour we decided to take from this port is to the midevil village of Eze.

First, some interesting points to mention about Monte Carlo and Monaco in general.  Apparently, this is the second smallest sovereignty in the world, the first being Vatican City.  It is an EXTREMELY wealthy country that has high-dollar requirements to even live here, upwards to the multi-millions of dollars.  It is also very secure with one policeman for every 40 citizens.  Most of the workers in Monte Carlo actually live in Italy and commute in.  They do not have to pay taxes on their earnings but because of political reasons, persons that commute in from France, do.

Monte Carlo is home to a very popular Indy-style race tract that weaves through the center of town, notably through a tunnel (actually more like an under-building section of road as opposed to a true tunnel that is bore out of a mountain).  Monte Carlo is also the starting point for the renowned Tour de France bicycle race so there are several memorials to bicyclists within the city.

My facts here become a little shakey but… there are three roads that traverse the side of the mountains that Monte carlo are built on and the highest one was actually constructed during the Roman Empire.  Way up above Monte Carlo and into France, along that third road (the roads have a specific class name and each one has a unique name but I do not know what they are) is an old city named Eze that was built in the middle ages.

The city only has access by foot - no cars, scooters, even bicycles have access to the city - so all the shops and restaurants have to have their supplies hand delivered.  This is also why noone ever moves out of the city that currently lives there or noone else moves in.  The streets are extremely narrow and are made of a wonderful cobblestone.  I mean, stone, not like brick that we find in the older cities in the United States, but actual rounded stones, that you can trip on if not careful.

Also, all throughout the city are overhangs where people can stand.  And nooks and cranies where people can hide.  These were for protection for when the city was being raised.  When the marauders would start entering the city, people above them would throw rocks or hot oil onto the intruders.  They would also hide in the corners and attack when the intruders approached.  Also, the streets meander around and around without any sense of order.  This was also a protection so that some of the intruders might actually just guide themselves right back outside the city without making it to the town center or the castle in the middle.

At the top of this particular city is a wonderful cactus garden and I have taken several pictures from there.  Please enjoy these pictures from the bus ride into Eze, the traveling around Eze, and the bus trip back down to the ship.

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