Friday, July 18th
The Star Clipper pulled into Port Hercule, performed a few maneuvers and backed into position at the dock. Once moored, we set off.
At the end of the pier, we climbed the Rock, a rocky promontory on top of which sits Monaco, the old town and the current capital of the principality. We walked up to Fort Antoine, which once guarded the entrance to the harbor, and then through St. Martins Gardens, which is filled with lush tropical vegetation and shady walkways. In the center of the old town stands the neo-Romanesque cathedral, built in the late 19th century, which contains the tomb of Princess Grace and other members of the Grimaldi dynasty. As we entered, someone was creating an awful racket on the organ. I suppose it was being tested or repaired. It continued for about fifteen minutes and sounded terrible.
Further on we came to the Prince's Palace, but it was open only for guided tours. As usual in the early afternoon, most shops
were closed. So, after a stroll through the old narrow streets, we left the Rock and walked down to the La Condamine, the commercial
district separating the Rock from Monte-Carlo. Naturally, all the stores and shops were closed. We passed a number of large yachts
but discovered that, after two weeks of yacht-watching, those which might have impressed us ten days ago now received but a passing
glance. We become so easily jaded!
Returning to the Rock through La Condamine, we discovered a small amusement park for kids. It was fun to watch the little ones bungee jumping, riding the merry-go-round, or racing their little cars around a track. Back in the old town, we had a very bland pizza at L'Estragon, and returned to the ship.