31 August 2007

Les Pommes

This family sit on the edge of the grass in the Casino Gardens. I like the way they are so synchronised with the eating of their apples.

30 August 2007

May the police force be with you...

This policeman is directing traffic in front of the port where the Fun Fair is in full swing. With his light sabre, perhaps he's really Darth Vader? May the police force be with you...

29 August 2007


We're back at the Children's Fun Fair in the Port. I wonder how many of these kids will grow up to be mountain climbers? When they get to the top, by the way, they abseil down - see below.

28 August 2007


A pretty street leading off the big square in front of the Palace. Even the colours of the walkers' clothes seem to blend with the pastels of the buildings.

27 August 2007


The Metropole shopping center is currently displaying art work in painted aluminium by Stéphane Cipre. You will find another work by this artist at THIS LINK and THIS LINK.

26 August 2007

Summer nights in Monaco

Part of the main port at night. Formula One enthusiasts will recognise the swimming pool in the lower right of the photo - the cars, of course, whizz right around it. In the foreground is part of the summer fun fair for children - you saw some bouncing kids the other day.

25 August 2007

Sky Mirror

Sky Mirror, by the British (Mumbai-born) artist Anish Kapoor, consists of a concave mirror in polished stainless steel measuring 2.5 metres in diameter that 'makes the world turn upside down, giving the illusion of bringing the sky down to street level.' It stands in front of the Casino and has replaced Jean-Michel Folon's poetic Bird Fountain, which will displayed elsewhere in the Principality.

This sculpture was given to Monaco by Mrs. Lily Safra. The artist, a Turner prize-winner said, 'Lily saw Sky Mirror and decided to offer it as a gift to the Principality. Prince Albert was "brave" enough to exhibit it on the Place du Casino - such a symbolic setting of the Principality.'

Personally, I was bowled over by this sculpture. You'll see reflected in the mirror, the casino and terrace of the Café de Paris. The photo below shows the Casino in the background.

24 August 2007


Most of the area in front of the port has been transformed into a children's playground. In the photo below you can see the trampolines where three happy kids can bounce at the same time. Wish I were a kid.....do you?

23 August 2007

Concours International de Feux d'Artifice Pyromélodiques

Last night saw the final entry in this year's fireworks competition, a prestigious event in Monte Carlo. This year, the competitors were Germany, France, Russia and finishing, last night, with Hong Kong. France won the competition with 200 points, Hong Kong came second with 172, then Germany with 159 and finally Russia with 101 points. This photograph doesn't do justice to the evening. The fireworks, the colours, the music was just beautiful - almost like a ballet at times. I only realised this morning that I have a 'fireworks' setting on my camera but this photograph was about the sharpest photo I have, unfortunately not one with lots of colour. This was taken from the 11th floor of an apartment in front of the port, so I was lucky enough to have a great view. Great dinner on the terrace too! Everyone living around the port turns off their lights just before 10 p.m. and when the show is over (it last around half an hour) all the boats in the harbour sound their horns for at least five minutes, by way of thanks. It makes a sort of music. I found it very moving.

In the past, there have been a few dramas. One year most of the windows and glass doors blew out in some of the apartment buildings along the port! Another year a couple of apartments caught fire! I think though everything is now under control but never say never.

Driving home, I was stopped by the police - just a check on car documents - so there was much banter about which country was the best. The concierge in the apartment block I'd visited thought Hong Kong, the three young policeman said definitely France. And France it was.

22 August 2007

'Malizia' - François Grimaldi - 1297

In the 12th century, the Geneose were granted sovereignty over the port and the Rock of Monaco by the Emperor of Germany. In 1215, the fortress (now the Prince's Palace) was built.

These were years of struggle between the Guelfs (partisans of the Pope) and the Ghibellines (supporters of the Emperor). In 1295, with the coming into power of the Ghibellines, the important Genoese Grimaldi family, who had taken the part of the Guelphs, were forced into exile in Provence and in 1297, Francesco Grimaldi, known as 'Malizia' (malice), disguised himself as a monk to gain entrance to the fortress. His ruse worked, the gates opened to let him in, thus enabling his soldiers to take the garrison by storm.

The two monks featured on the coat of arms of the Grimaldi family commemorate this battle. This statue stands outside the Palais Princier on Le Rocher.

21 August 2007

Monte Carlo Ladies - 5

She sits on the terrace of the Café de Paris. She's beautiful. She may not be a Monte Carlo lady, of course - perhaps she's a visitor. She looks sad but she may not be - after all, it's not easy sitting alone at a table, unable to be animated, as she probably would with a companion. Is she waiting for someone?

20 August 2007

Through the trees

One of the famous sights of Monte Carlo is the Casino. I've photographed this building several times in the past, but I liked this shot taken through trees. Do you?

19 August 2007


Monaco has many beautiful gardens, havens of peace amidst the chaos of a busy Principality. Here is a lush corner of the Casino Gardens. Just beyond the greenery is the Metropole Hotel and Shopping Centre, including FNAC. To the right is the Casino. Both literally within a few metres of where we stand.

18 August 2007


This sculpture is by the Belgian artist, Stefaan Depuydt and stands near to Larvotto Beach, not far from a statue he created of Princess Grace which you can SEE HERE.

17 August 2007

'Pretty You'

These five pink motorbikes stopped me in my tracks. Then I noticed the name on the bikes was the same as the shop, but the shop is an upmarket dress boutique. So what do they do with the bikes? You buy a dress and get a bike thrown in free?

I entered the shop and asked the question. The answer: 'So people come in and ask that question and then look at our clothes!' Pushed further, the guy told me that the area outside his shop is a bike park area and they didn't want any old bikes there, so they bought these 5 bikes, had them painted pink and there they are. Is this good publicity or an absurd way to spend money? What do you think?

This shop is just along from Flashman's Pub and across the road from the Casino Gardens.

16 August 2007

Life's a beach

Larvotto beach. This follows on from yesterday's photograph of a gentleman eating breakfast - he was eating further up the beach with the green umbrellas. The two enormous cruise ships are at the entrance to the main port of Monaco - tied up at the new digue (floating dock). You can read more about the digue HERE.

15 August 2007

Breakfast on the beach

Breakfast on Larvotto Beach.

14 August 2007

Les Années Grace Kelly, Princesse de Monaco - 2

You see these beautiful posters everywhere in the Principality - advertising 'The Grace Kelly Years,' an exhibition at the Grimaldi Forum. I've not visited yet and will do so in September when it will be less crowded, but have heard it's just beautiful and of course very moving. This poster is opposite the casino - you can just see a corner of the Café de Paris on the right of the photo.

13 August 2007

Ice-cream anyone?

A corner of the beautiful Casino gardens. Here you see the Häagen-Dazs ice-cream parlour. Behind are the spires of the Casino building itself. Lovely setting for a rocky road or a cinnamon dulce de leche, don't you think?

12 August 2007

Ecole Bleue

Larvotto Beach. 10 in the morning. Already it's a hot day and will get hotter. The diveboat is just about to take off. Maybe, like me, when you think of a location for great diving, you think of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia but I'm reliably informed that diving on the Côte d'Azur is fabulous and divers have the opportunity to see several species that can only be seen in this area. The school, Ecole Bleue, is based on Larvotto Beach.

You'll note the net which is installed against the dreaded méduse (jellyfish). See www.medusa-protect.com for more information about the company who installed it.

(Merci, merci to kind friends who made their beautiful terrace available so I could take these and other photographs - and plied me with very good coffee too!)

11 August 2007

The man who has everything?

Is this the guy with everything? I reckon so - young, good-looking, a gorgeous girlfriend and a custom-made Ferrari, which he told me is based on the 330. He explained there are two different types in this style of Ferrari and rattled off some numbers but I was lost at this point. He may have said there are only two Ferraris like this one - just not sure. Earlier, when the car was empty and parked on Casino Square outside the Hôtel de Paris, it was surrounded by tourists photographing it. Then this couple suddenly appeared and jumped in. This was the point at which I asked them what make of car it was and they allowed me to take their photograph. Really cool couple. I'm sure one of you car buffs can tell me more.

10 August 2007

The Cathedral

Work started on the Neo-Romanesque Cathedral in 1875 and it was inaugurated in 1884. The Diocese of Monaco was constituted in 1887. The Cathedral was built over the former Church of Saint Nicholas of stone from La Turbie and Brescia. Prince Rainer and the beautiful American actress, Grace Kelly were married here and now lie together in the crypt. As you can see many tourists come to visit the cathedral and to pay their respects.

09 August 2007

Yellow submarine

This submarine stands outside the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. It was constructed in 1966 and could dive to a depth of 100 metres. The famous Commander Jacques Cousteau was director of the Museum for 31 years and I believe this was a submarine he used in his explorations.

08 August 2007

The bird must sing to earn the Crumb

In the Jardin Saint-Martin on Le Rocher. Does this little boy know what is behind him - waiting patiently?

07 August 2007

Find the number!

Find the number! Here are groups of waiting tourists on Le Rocher - outside the Oceanographic Museum.

I've only ever been part of a group when I took a 4-wheel-drive trek in the rainforest of northern Queensland. Normally, I prefer to explore alone - just a guidebook for company. That way, I can stop for a coffee when I want or take a wrong turn and discover a treasure.

My gut feeling says I'd hate to be part of a group such as these you see here, yet it's obviously a great way to be sure you get to see everything and don't miss any information. Do you like to be part of a city tour?

06 August 2007

The way in

The entrance to the small harbour of Fontvieille. You can see another photograph of this harbour, posted a couple of days ago - HERE. The rocks on the left are part of Le Rocher, the oldest part of Monaco where you'll find the Palace, the Cathedral, the Oceanographic Museum and beautiful old streets.

05 August 2007

The Prince's Carabiniers

The Carabiniers on Le Rocher. In the 18th century, this building was a lodging for officers of the French garrison under the reign of Charles III. A guard of honour was created in 1870 and since 1904, the building has been the barracks of the carabiniers of the Prince. You can see a bigger photo of the building HERE - last building on the left. If you want to know the requirements to become a carabinier to Prince Albert, click HERE.

04 August 2007

Musée Oceanographique - 2

On Le Rocher. On the right is part of the Musée Oceanographique. You can see another view of this beautiful building HERE.

03 August 2007

A Prince's Dream

Yesterday, we strolled along the battlements and today here is what we see as we look over the wall. This is Fontvieille, which is the area of Monaco reclaimed from the sea. This reclaimed area contains beautiful apartments, the famous circus tent, a football stadium, the Princess Grace Rose Garden and the heliport. Beyond the tall buildings is Cap d'Ail.

The charming harbour is far smaller than the large main port, which is the other side of Le Rocher. Below us, at the foot of The Rock, there remains a cove as a reminder of the port which in former times provided shelter for the fishermen's pointus.

It took dozens of years for the large-scale work to be completed and owes its creation to the visionary spirit of the late Prince Rainier, known as the 'Builder Prince.' You can see other views of Fontvieille HERE. Also, HERE - at this second link - you can see Le Rocher on the left, which is where we are standing today.

02 August 2007

A treasure in the corner

We're back on Le Rocher today. Here's a corner of the battlements in front of the Palais Princier. Peer over the wall on the right and you look down on the harbour of Fontvieille. Do come back tomorrow and we'll look over the wall together.

01 August 2007

Daily Photo Theme Day: A Typical Breakfast

A typical Monte Carlo breakast, at least in this café, Le Royalty, is a cup of coffee and a cigarette. Croissants are available but no one has ordered one. Le Royalty is in rue Princesse Caroline (the pedestrian street of Monte Carlo) opposite the Port.

Today is Daily Photo Theme Day. 99 Daily Photo bloggers from cities all around the world will be presenting their Typical Breakfasts today. Do click on their blogs and enjoy their offerings:

Saint Paul (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - New York City (NY), USA - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hyde, UK - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Stockholm, Sweden - Paderborn, Germany - Singapore, Singapore - Haninge, Sweden - Nottingham, UK - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Manila, Philippines - Boston (MA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Singapore, Singapore - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Paris, France - Sequim (WA), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Boston (MA), USA - Chennai, India - Madison (WI), USA - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Toulouse, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - La Antigua, Guatemala - Selma (AL), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Sheki, Azerbaijan - Sydney, Australia - Mumbai, India - Seoul, South Korea - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - New Orleans (LA), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Villigen, Switzerland - Montréal (QC), Canada - Stayton (OR), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Moscow, Russia - Springfield (MO), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Arlington (VA), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Manila, Philippines - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Stavanger, Norway - Bastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Wailea (HI), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Sydney, Australia - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Kansas City (MO), USA - Grenoble, France - Paris, France - Evry, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Prague, Czech Republic - Cape Town, South Africa - Brookville (OH), USA - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Wellington, New Zealand - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Shanghai, China - Zurich, Switzerland - North Bay (ON), Canada - Lyon, France - Naples (FL), USA

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