France and Monaco: A World Away

In mid-April I had the opportunity to travel to Cannes, France with my company to attend MIPTV, a major industry conference. Though we had to travel for 24 hours each way for a week-long trip, it was a success, with many new people interested in our product. While the two other people on the trip left for New Zealand immediately after the conference ended, I stayed an extra day in Nice with a side trip to Monaco.

The trip to France was long: we left at midnight from Auckland for a 12-hour flight to Shanghai, then (after navigating Shanghai’s confusing airport) boarded another 12-hour flight to Zurich. This flight was delayed by about half an hour, so when we arrived in Zurich we had to hustle to make our last flight to Nice. However, our bags did not move as quickly and so we spend the first night in Cannes without our bags (and most distressingly, without a toothbrush!) We looked a little rough on the first morning of the conference, but luckily the bags arrived at midday so we could happily change (and brush our teeth).

The rest of the conference went by extremely quickly and I hardly got any pictures away from our booth (and apparently none of Cannes):

I hitched a ride back to the Nice Airport with my colleagues, then continued on into the city. My day of sightseeing was a sunny spring day, perfect for walking around the beautiful city. The buildings were colorful and architecturally interesting, especially in the Old Town and near the port, where I caught the #100 bus to Monaco (only €1.50 each way!)

(Note: click on any picture to start a slideshow.)

The bus took us along the Mediterranean, between the sea and the steep wooded cliffs above the small towns. The transition from France to Monaco was not distinct, but the city felt more fancy, yet more cramped, than Nice. I walked up to the Palais, around the port past the Musee Oceanographique and up to the Monte Carlo Casino.

Before long, it was time to head back to Nice. After the bus ride, I found a restaurant in the Old Town and had a pot of mussels in white wine (a specialty of Nice) and some chips.

I took one last walk along the waterfront, hustling back to the hotel to pick up my bag and catch another bus to the airport.

From Nice, I flew to Frankfurt, then a 12-hour flight from Frankfurt to Hong Kong. On my way to France we had passed through Shanghai, but the fog/smog was so thick I couldn’t see anything on my first landing in Asia. In Hong Kong, however, the airport was outside of the city and I got views of some distant mountains while waiting for my last flight to Auckland.

Grey but not too foggy!

I landed back in Auckland on Sunday morning, giving me less than a day to recover before going back to work. It was totally worth it, though, to spend an extra day sightseeing in a new part of the world.


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