30 November 2007


A pot of spikey cactus at the entrance to a beautiful house adjacent to Casino Square.

29 November 2007

A boozy night?

Not a usual sight in the Principality of Monaco. The streets are normally pristine. Obviously the local residents had a 'very big party' or the company who empties these containers, didn't. This was taken in a small street just off the main port. And is that a small umbrella amongst the discarded bottles?

28 November 2007

Monte Carlo Ladies - 7

This Monte Carlo lady is walking towards the gardens that are just below the Casino.

27 November 2007


Part of the façade of a building - perhaps in need of a clean-up - just around the corner from the market.

26 November 2007

Market - Flowers

The market is in the Places des Armes. You can see a photograph of this beautiful square by clicking on the link. It's situated below Le Rocher (where you'll find the palace) - you can just glimpse Le Rocher behind the flower stall.

25 November 2007

Market - Fish

Monte Carlo market. I stopped to buy a fish for dinner and asked the fishmonger the name of the eel-like creature with the decorative skin - and if I could take a photo. A few minutes later, he was arranging his best fish on this white board for me to photograph. He explained that his brother is the fisherman and he sells the fish and a few minutes later, I found myself with an invitation to go out on the boat one day to take photographs!

I just love people who take such obvious pride in what their sell or what they do. You can see the care he is taking to artistically arrange the fish for me to photograph. What a guy!

The eel-like fish is called murene (moray eel) which he explained is a carnivorous fish - a type of conger eel - but one with really vicious teeth. The ancient Romans bred this fish and used to satisfy its voracious appetite by feeding it a wicked slave or two. The big red fish is called chapon - another name for rascasse, which is the scorpion fish or hog-fish, much prized in the making of Bouillabaise, as is the eel. The smaller red fish is a rouget (red mullet) .

24 November 2007

A smile for you

I snapped this man up a ladder outside the Metropole Centre (see below) and thought he'd not noticed me, but when I walked past him later, he called out - 'Hey, take a photo of me smiling then!' - so I did. Has this sort of thing ever happened to you?

23 November 2007

The Church of St. Charles

When Prince Charles III decided to create Monte-Carlo in 1866, this area of the Principality was nothing but a huge plateau sloping gently towards the sea from the top of Monte Agel. At that time a sparse population lived in the few villas and houses scattered over the olive groves and scrubland. The only chapel that existed on the plateau of Monte-Carlo was Saint Laurent's chapel which was an ordinary private oratory, so any religious services had to take place in Saint Nicolas' on Le Rocher - Monaco's only parish church.

Prince Charles III had already anticipated the rapid growth of Monte Carlo due to the Casino and the rapid rise in the population and between 1879 and 1883 he built this church, replacing Saint Laurent's chapel, and naming it after Saint Charles Borromeo, his patron saint.

In shadow and half way up the steps is a modern sculpture of Cardinal Seduto, which I'll show you another time.

This photograph was taken from the Boulevard de Moulins, from which you can gain access to the church.

22 November 2007

A night out in Monte Carlo - 7

We've dined, we cross the square and walk past the brightly lit Casino on our way to the carpark. The red and white flags, by the way, are to celebrate Monaco's National Day.

Another 'Night out in Monte Carlo' might include a visit to the Casino, perhaps we'd go to Jimmy'z, the famous nightclub - or to The Living Room, a piano bar where we can dance. Monte Carlo isn't short on nightlife.

When you visit the Casino you have to show your passport - which will then be photocopied - and you have to hand in your camera before entering this magnificent Belle Epoque building, designed by Charles Garnier, who designed the Paris Opera House. (Do click on the link) There is a charge for entering but it's well worth it to see the splendours within. Monaco citizens, called Monegasques - are not permitted to enter the casino. Monaco residents (there is a difference) are.

This is the last day of our Night out in Monte Carlo, but I know it won't be the last time we visit this part of Monte Carlo. Thanks so much for sharing the evening. I enjoyed your company.

And happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating today.

21 November 2007

A night out in Monte Carlo - 6

We've had our champers and nibbly-bits in the American Bar, the ladies visited the loo, now we go to Le Grill for dinner. We cross that beautiful lobby and take a lift that goes only to the restaurant on the 8th floor. I couldn't take photographs in the restaurant but I can tell you it's decorated in dark blue - tables are wide apart - and it was full of The Beautiful People. There is a central roof that opens to the sky - in fact, the roof was opened whilst we were dining, but the edges of the Mistral were hitting Monaco, and the wind whipped the tablecloths, so it was quickly closed again. The views from Le Grill over Casino Square are wonderful but all the doors to the terraces were closed and whilst I did take one photograph through the windows, it's not good enough as the flash caught the glass.

Le Grill has one Michelin star. The waiter almost apologised that they didn't have more. The Louis XV downstairs has three. I've only ever eaten in two Michelin one-star restaurants in my life and this is the second, so I wasn't complaining and I'm glad my menu didn't show the prices. My companion told me I could have anything except the caviare from Iran. We had poached eggs with white truffles to begin - the freshest eggs imaginable and perfectly cooked (I think they must keep chickens in the basement along with all that amazing brandy) - then I had a grilled sole with steamed vegetables and my companion had Lobster Thermidor. We drank a bottle of Le Bellet, which is a really good Côte de Provence from the Nice region. It's the oldest wine of the area and has a faintly floral fragrance much sought-after by connoisseurs (I copied this from the Internet!) - it was good tho and very different to the usual Provence wines that I often drink.

And look how good I was! I hid one of the chocolates, that came with coffee, in my bag so I could photograph it for you on my terrace table.

Tomorrow will be the last day of our Night out in Monte Carlo, when we leave the Hôtel de Paris and take a look at the Casino by night.

20 November 2007

A night out in Monte Carlo - 5

So after champagne in the American Bar of the Hôtel de Paris, we ladies need to go to the loo. Don't worry I'm not going to show you an actual lavatory but here's a corner of the Ladies' Room which I think is quite smart. Actually the most beautiful Ladies Room in Monaco is in the Hôtel Hermitage where they have antique painted porcelain toilet bowls and washbasins. I did hear recently that these had been replaced. I hope not.

You see the sort of things we discuss in Monaco!

19 November 2007

A night out in Monte Carlo - 4

We're in the American bar. How I wished I could have taken several photographs here. It's a beautiful room, dimly lit as you see. There's a wonderful long bar, a piano player in the far corner, elegant waiters - but mostly it's the clientele I'd wanted to photograph: a striking lady - of un certain age - elegant grey hair, a great slash of the reddest lipstick, a blond mink draped over her chair. Older men with gorgeous girls - wasn't it ever thus? A group of five young men with a dog jumping up for treats. . Now really I should have asked them if I could photograph the dog for Riviera Dogs but I was enjoying my champagne too much. The place was packed, the buzz palpable. A great place to sit and people-watch - but discreetly, doncha know? And really you can't take photographs...

We are drinking pink champagne. All the goodies on the table come with the drinks. In the foreground, to the right, you see a local speciality, particularly in Nice and Menton, called Barbajuan. Literally, Uncle John in Niçois, these are a sort of fried ravioli, usually stuffed with Swiss chard (a sort of spinach) and ricotta cheese. They are served warm and you dip them in the spicy orange sauce you see to the left. There are olives with garlic. The little green things look like peas and are crunchy. And the sticks in the background are light as air.

And yes, my companion smokes. Not sure what he'll do on the first of January when smoking is banned in restaurants and bars in France and I believe in Monaco too. He lives in Monaco where I'm told it is even to be banned in the streets as well, but honestly I find that hard to believe - how would they police it?

18 November 2007

A night out in Monte Carlo - 3

Another view of the magnificent lobby of the Hôtel de Paris. Note the enormous floral display in the centre. The hotel was built in 1864 and offered the very best in comfort and sophisticated décor. It was here, in the Hôtel de Paris, that the most eminent guests came to stay and where the most prestigious society events took place. Its rare woods and rich fabrics, its golden and pastel décors, all conspire to recall the hotel's fabulous past. The hotel has 196 rooms and suits.

I took the photograph as I walked back from the famous Empire Room which was unfortunately closed and curtained - so no photograph for you.

I'm not sure if this photograph isn't slightly out of focus - one isn't supposed to photograph inside the Hôtel de Paris - and this one I snapped quickly. My companion had asked permission for me to take yesterday's bronze horse, and seeing the lobby relatively empty at that moment, the door man agreed 'mais un seul' he said. I was lucky.

This one was taken as we returned to the lobby from the Empire Room, en route to the American Bar - where tomorrow we'll have pink champagne.

17 November 2007

A night out in Monte Carlo - 2

We've walked up the steps of the Hôtel de Paris, passed through the revolving doors, been greeted by one of the Lagerfeld-dressed doormen, of course. Just inside the lobby of this magnificent Belle Epoque building is a statue of Louis XIV on horseback. You can see the patina on the horse's knee, where it's been rubbed - for luck - by countless gamblers over the years. The casino is just a few steps away across Casino square.

Alain Ducasse's famous Michelin three-starred Le Louis XV restaurant is off to the right. You can just see the entrance in this photograph. It has a wine cellar with reputedly millions of dollars worth of century-old Napoleon brandy and Chateau Margaux 1920. No, I'm sorry, we are not eating there but do click on the link - you can do a virtual tour of the restaurant - and as you'll see it's absolutely stunning. You do need to mortgage your house to eat there tho.

To the left, out of shot, is the American Bar - that is where we'll be going for a drink before eating in Le Grill upstairs.

16 November 2007

A night out in Monte Carlo - 1

Let's have a glamorous night out in Monte Carlo. Come with me to the Hôtel de Paris. First, we'll take a look around the glorious foyer. Then we'll go into the American Bar - pink champagne? We can listen to the jazz being played on the piano and watch the Beautiful People. Later, we'll eat - perhaps in Le Grill on the 8th floor?

So, let's begin. We'll walk up the steps and through the revolving door. Come back tomorrow and I'll show you the bronze horse, so beloved of gamblers - and which stands on a plinth just inside the entrance.

15 November 2007

Leading Hotels of the World

This is how Monaco displays some of the events that are held in the Principality. These banners are throughout Monaco at the moment. In the background: the Salle Garnier (Opera house) which is of the ornate Casino building.

14 November 2007

The Silk Floss Tree

Monte Carlo has many wonderful trees and this is one of the most beautiful - the Silk Floss tree - correctly the Chorisia Speciosa. I've seen it flowering in several locations in Monaco, here it is in the gardens just below the casino. You can see the cruise liner, MSC Sinfonia through the branches.

13 November 2007


It's usually very difficult to get a shot of the Casino entrance without dozens of visitors to the Principality getting in the way. As I crossed Casino Square this morning - for one brief second only - the steps were empty. Not that the Square was empty - au contraire - opposite this entrance were dozens of people taking photographs of this doorman. I was just lucky to get the entrance from this angle.

As you go up and down the many different levels of Monaco, there are often escalators to help you on your way. I had my camera dangling from wrist this morning - got on an escalator, which suddenly - in the middle of going up - abruptly stopped! My camera swung and bashed into the side with one helluva bang. I wasn't a happy camper. Touch wood, it seems to be working okay. Long live Canon!

12 November 2007

SS Delphine

This is the yacht you saw yesterday - in fact if you look at the photo below you can see a long-shot of the guy working on her. She is the SS Delphine, a steam yacht, built for the American automobile mogul, Horace Dodge, in 1921. During the war she was used by the U.S. Navy, and toward the end of the war, she became a venue for historical strategy sessions run by world leaders such as U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Years later she sat abandoned in Marseilles harbour until she was bought in 1997 by a Belgian family who restored her. You can read far more about her - and see some beautiful old photographs from her launch in Michegan, onwards - at this link: SS Delphine

Another link with even more information is HERE. Her home is in the harbour of Monaco. The yacht you see behind her is Atlantis II owned by the Niarchos family of Greece.

11 November 2007


This guy has his safety harness in place. Come back tomorrow and I'll show you the yacht he's working on - it's big one.

10 November 2007

Winner of 1st Monaco Grand Prix

This sculpture is of William Grover, known as Williams (1903 - 1945) who was the winner of the 1st Grand Prix of Monaco in 1929, driving a Bugatti 35 B. The sculpture was created by François Chevallier and inaugurated by Prince Rainier in 1991. It stands in the centre of the roundabout at Place St. Dévote.

09 November 2007


The palace on le Rocher, photographed from below - in Port Hercule. I've posted photos of the palace before but always taken on the Rock itself - for instance, HERE you can see the Palace at night. The flag is flying so presumably H.S.H. Prince Albert is in residence.

08 November 2007


Congratulations! Well, yes...I was saving this photograph for the day that England won the Rugby World Cup! Sadly, they didn't and of course neither did France so I couldn't use it to congratulate either country. So here it is. I can't find any information about the artist. Engraved into the plinth are the words Vax Cartie - and I don't know what that means? Does anyone know? There are several statues, made of rocks and barbed wire - around. For instance, there is one as you drive into Terminal One at Nice airport. This one is located at the far end of Port Hercule pretty much opposite the Monaco Yacht Club.

07 November 2007


In contrast to yesterday's Bateau Bus, here's something just a little bigger. This is the cruise liner that was in port yesterday - MSC Sinfonia. She's an Italian cruise ship (so the food should be good!) with 777 cabins, accommodating 2087 guests. She's on a seven-day cruise between Italy, Tunisia, Malta, Spain and Monte Carlo.

06 November 2007


The Bateau-Bus was introduced into Monte Carlo this year - it crosses the harbour regularly throughout the day. One end of the croisiere is near to where the big cruise ships come in and the other end isn't far from the casino. It costs 1 euro each way. I didn't have time today but next time I'm in Monaco will take this form of transport to cross the port and back again. Have a feeling I might get some good photos from the Bateau-Bus itself and it looks like fun!

05 November 2007

Atlantis II

The big yacht you see tied up to the digue is Atlantis II, owned by the Niarchos family of Greece. I'm told it's rarely used since the patriarch of the family, Stavros, died a few years ago. Atlantis II is a sister ship to the older Issham Al Baher, originally Atlantis, which Stavros Niarchos gave to King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. You can see another photograph of this yacht at THIS LINK.

04 November 2007

A bumper crop

Bumper cars waiting. Quiet before the Fun Fair opens and the crowds appear. And when they do, wham, crash, bang - with perhaps a glance at the yachts alongside.

03 November 2007


All the fun of the fair, a return to childhood: toffee apples, beignets, lollypops. The smell of deep-frying. Is it tacky or is it fun? Somehow one thinks of Monaco as always offering the best of everything - perhaps a fair like this doesn't live up to that reputation but it draws children and fun-loving adults from all over. The Fair will run in the main port - le port Hercule - until the 19th November.

02 November 2007

All the fun of the fair!

All the fun of the fair is on in Monte Carlo at the moment. The collage above represents just one of the entertainments on offer. Below you see the top of this ride showing you where it's situated in front of the port. I'll show you more tomorrow so do please come back.

01 November 2007

Daily Photo Theme Day: Blue

The dancer stands on a blue globe of the world, with the Principality shown in gold - of course! Actually it's not a globe of the world but simply depicts the Mediterranean coastline of France and Italy , with Monte Carlo clearly marked - more detail in the photo below. It stands in the centre of Avenue Princesse Grace near to the Grimaldi Forum.

And if you'd like to stay in today's blue mood, please check out all the other Daily Photo bloggers around the world for their take on today's Theme:

Boston (MA), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Arlington (VA), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Portland (OR), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Arradon, France - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Stockholm, Sweden - Singapore, Singapore - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Toulouse, France - The Hague, Netherlands - Moscow, Russia - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Stayton (OR), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Detroit (MI), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Greenville (SC), USA - Hyde, UK - Radonvilliers, France - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Nashville (TN), USA - Manila, Philippines - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Saarbrücken, Germany - New Orleans (LA), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Forks (WA), USA - Wichita (Ks), USA - Barton (VT), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Quincy (MA), USA - Setúbal, Portugal - Inverness (IL), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand - Toruń, Poland - North Bay (ON), Canada - Le Guilvinec, France - Chateaubriant, France - London, England - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Sydney, Australia - Austin (TX), USA - Mumbai, India - Boston (MA), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Paderborn, Germany - Montréal (QC), Canada - Jackson (MS), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Orlando (FL), USA - Grenoble, France - Cheltenham, UK - Forks (WA), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Weston (FL), USA - London, UK - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Belgrade, Serbia - Paris, France - Shanghai, China - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Montpellier, France - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Auckland, New Zealand - Evry, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Oslo, Norway - Minneapolis (MN), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Trujillo, Peru - Trujillo, Peru - Melbourne (VIC), Australia - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Durban, South Africa - Brussels, Belgium - Anderson (SC), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Wellington, New Zealand - Prague, Czech Republic - Saigon,
Related Posts with Thumbnails