So we signed up for another tour today, fully expecting another Cattle Call and a bunch of us crowded into too small of area in any place we visited. Were we ever surprised. Six of us were herded into a spacious van and driven off to see the sights of Ville France sur Mer, Ese and finally Monaco.
This is the harbour at Ville France Sur Mer, or French Village by the Sea. It’s a pretty spot, and is populated by celebrities like the Rolling Stones and Tina Turner. Land out on the peninsula is the most expensive on earth according to our van driver, Guy. Recently a building site sold for 260,000 Euro. Oh, and that price is per square meter. Since my home is on 1600 square meters of land, I think property here is out of our price range.
Next stop was in Ese and my picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s an ancient castle city destroyed by a French king when this area was still an Italian regime. It was partially rebuilt and is now a high end hotel and shopping community. Rooms at one of the hotels range up to 1000 Euros a night, and cheeseburger was 35 Euros. Here’s a couple of pics of the room rates and menu. I hope you can read them.
Last stop was in Monaco, which just oozes money. The ruler built the first European casino in 1862 and eventually turned an impoverished country into one of the richest on earth. It seems that taking peoples money is good business.
I didn’t really enjoy Monaco, as it’s nothing we can relate to, but I would like to head there one day and see the Maritime Museum which had Jacques Cousteau as it’s curator for many years.
Croft was asking me about costs here. Keep in mind that each Euro is worth $1.50 Canadian. Not every place sells a burger for 35E, but I spent 21E for a Chicken Caesar salad today. Sylvia ordered a 20E Summer Vegetable salad that turned out to be a Tuna and Egg Sandwich drenched in mushed Summer Veggies. Translation issue I guess.
Most meals are more expensive than family restaurants at home, but the portions are very large. Last night we shared a Antipasti plate and a local pizza favourite for about 45E and were more than full.
Beer runs 8-10E per bottle, but they do have happy hour prices. Wine is 30E and up per bottle, but I don’t know what it costs at the market. Water is expensive. We’ve been charged 5.5E for water a couple of times, but had no charge other times. I saw a story on the news today that milk is cheaper than water here.
Several restaurants do have Price Fix meals where you get a 3 course meal for between 20 and 35E depending on the Establishment. Our dinner spot today was recommended by our Van driver, and for 23.5E we got some terrific appetizers, a great local beef stew and gnocchi dish we couldn’t finish, and a Pear tart about the size of a hockey puck that was wonderful. We figure you’ll pay more at home at a White Spot or similar US chain for less food, and far less quality.
So, it is possible to eat well for a reasonable price, but if you want something special, you’ll pay dearly for it.
Also, gas is expensive here. It’s about 1.30E per liter, so 60% or so more than in Canada right now, and double what it is in the USA.
Tomorrow we head to Avignon to board the ship for our cruise. Can’t wait.