Today we left Florence, and went down to Pisa where we saw the leaning tower, which is actually the bell tower of the cathedral next to it. If you pay 15 Euro ($25) you can climb the stairs to the top, as the increasing lean has been arrested, and it has been re-opened to the public. But I was feeling a little off-colour today; I think I've caught Paul's bug that he's had for the last 2 weeks. Plus I think it's a bit overpriced. But very interesting seeing it close-up.
Then a very picturesque drive along the Italian Riviera, with mountains on one side and the Mediterranean on the other, past marble quarries that this area is so famous for, through 169 tunnels (we had a competition to count them), and bridges over dizzying ravines. We passed over the French border, and soon were able to see the principality of Monaco, nestled in the bay at the bottom of the cliffs. We drove down to it, and went for a walk around this little state that pays no taxes because of the millions of people who come to lose at the Casino. Fancy cars littered the streets around the Casino; they clearly weren't worried about parking fines. Aston Martins, Maseratis, and Lamborghinis were commonplace, and cheaper cars such as Mercedes and BMWs almost looked out of place. We had a look in the Casino; one of our members won more than 100 Euro, but I don't think that covered the losses made by the other members.
Driving out of Monaco, we were treated to another eye-feast along the French Riviera. We called in at a perfume factory, before reaching Nice and our home for the next 2 nights.
That evening, as our hotel was in the centre of the city, we went for a walk for 30 mins right up the main street, to a restaurant on the beachfront of the Mediterranean. After tea we walked along the beachfront, and back to the motel via some side-streets. In Europe, people eat late, and after 9pm the streets are filled with people walkind, or sitting in sidewalk cafes, or eating in restaurants. The beaches are pebbly and topless. Some areas are roped off and a charge is made for seating and an umbrella. At least you don't get sand in your crevices.