----- Nice, France & The Principality of Monaco ---------------
The South of France is probably the most beautiful place I have ever visited in the world, rivaling Capri and the Italian Amalfi Coast. The Mediterranean Coast of France is composed of dramatic cliffs accentuated by trees, plants and shrubs offsetting the very lightly colored rock formations. Although planet Earth has a variety of landscapes from lush tropical beaches to majestic alpine forests, the quiet, temperate, dramatic landscapes of Southern France are in their own right just as breathtaking as any other exotic worldly location. I remember while taking a bus with the guys from Nice to Monaco and coming around this bend in the road and how instantly our mouths dropped as how intense the natural beauty was intertwined with the beautiful French architecture perched along the cliffs rising from the sea.
As this was our first day and our only full day in France as we were just passing through to get to Italy, I was greatly disheartened. I really desired to spend more time here, so we made the most of what time that we had. We spent most of the day in Monaco, with just the morning in Nice walking its streets visiting its local markets and taking in the experience. The Principality of Monaco (the second smallest country in the world next to the Vatican) is the closest this world can get to paradise. Monaco is called a Principality, as there is no king. The prince is its ruler and therefore referred to as a principality. Monaco has essentially a 0% crime rate as there are 1 police officer for every 3 people if i remember correctly and video cameras everywhere deterring crime and ensuring safety for all. The citizens of Monaco pay NO taxes and have 100% covered health care. In fact add to this that Monaco has the highest per capita income in the world it is free of poverty. Then add to that the natural beauty, charming elegance and immaculate cleanliness and you have the closest thing to paradise in this world.
Although visiting Monaco usually requires a lot of money, we spent hardly anything, as we were content walking the streets, seeing the sights and hanging out at the castle. It was the perfect day in Monaco as the sun was bright, the temperature in the mid 70's and it was not bombarded by tourists. I definitely want to return to Monaco and the South of France as I would definitely like to visit Eze a medieval cliff town between Nice and Monaco, Cannes, and St Tropez.