November 9, 1918
Up at 6.30 a.m. fresh as paint and after usual breakfast went to meet the car for 8 o’clock. It was late, however, and we arrived at Monte Carlo too late to see the Gaming Saloon. It was a glorious trip, the road being cut in the face of the cliff and winding in and out, in some cases passing through tunnels. Acacia, Moreton Bay Figs and other Australian trees were plentiful.
Arrived at Monte Carlo we visited the Theatre in the Casino, a very gorgeous place, seats about 600 with a private box for the Prince of Monaco. Then walked to Monaco and visited an Anthropological Museum with Roman antiquities, prehistoric relics, mostly from the principality, next the Cathedral rather fine, built in 1874 and then on to the Oceanographic Museum which the Prince built to house his wonderful collection of marine animals and apparatus for collecting same.
Underground are several aquariums with curious fish living under natural conditions, which can be seen easily, all very beautiful. Returned for lunch 6F. then returned and went over the Palace of the Prince, rather good but nothing special, after which we strolled round the place and returned by motor at 4 p.m. The day was warm and it was a splendid outing.
After dinner, collected a friend at the Queen’s Hotel and did the town. Soon we saw evidences of some jubilations. This time dinkum word had come through of the Kaiser’s abdication, and soldiers stationed in the place, mostly African Chasseurs, ran a torch light procession with several bugle bands. The people went silly, dancing and singing and soon we were right in it with a girl on each arm.
I hopped with the best of them, round and round the town until 10.30. We then went to the theatre and left for bed at midnight. I had arranged for an alarm clock, so at 4 a.m. I was up preparing for a long day. At 5 a.m. I met 4 friends and guide and we caught the 5.30 train for Grasses, fortunately I managed to get a cup of coffee and roll on the station. The trip was slow, about three hours, but very picturesque, being through the hills, with occasional views of snow-capped mountains.
The slopes were terraced to aid cultivation. At Grasse we had breakfast, then visited the Church which was interesting only. The town had the old narrow streets of about 6 ft. wide. We then went through the perfumery works and found it interesting, having the whole process explained, and later sampling the finished project. Did not buy any, the prices being excessive. Next caught a tram to Le Bar, walking into Gorge du Loup, a lovely spot with waterfall, etc. and fine restaurant. Here we had dinner, a splendid spread with local wines, which are renowned. We were seated on a balcony overlooking a stream and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
After I visited a shop to purchase some postcards and had a great yarn with the proprietor, a horticulturist, and collector of stamps, who became very friendly on my giving him some Australian stamps. He gave me some extra postcards, also a bulb of some famous lily which he had grown. Had tea here and caught the train back at 6 and reached Nice about 8.30 p.m. Did the town for a time and turned in at midnight.
NOTE: The next diary entry is November 11.