30 November 2008

Fête Nationale - the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides

Alongside yesterday's folk dancers, were a group of scouts and guides. I didn't see any of the dancers dance or these young people parade - they simply formed a circle in front of the spectators to honour the Prince and his family.

29 November 2008

Fête Nationale - the Folk Dancers

A group of young folk dancers being told where to stand by a policeman and the lady in the red jacket.

28 November 2008

Fête Nationale - the story of the Press Stand

A close up of invited dignitaries waiting outside the palace for Prince Albert II and his family to appear at the balcony.

I should tell you that I took these photographs from the Press Stand - and of course I have no Press Pass. When I walked over from the cathedral I saw the enormous press stand - two or three tiers tall. I stood in front of it, as did dozens of tourists. Soon afterwards and before the cameras and film crews arrived, an official cleared everyone away - but me. This because I was using a tripod and he must have assumed I was a press person! Well, a blog is a sort of journalism, isn't it?

Later, I gained in confidence and found myself standing alongside the 'big boys' on the top level - me taking photographs with my Panasonic Lumix - they with lenses as long as a football pitch (I exaggerate but only a little). The reason the press stand was so big and holding so many press and international television crews was because rumour had it that Prince Albert would take this occasion to announce his engagement to his South African girl-friend, the Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock. It didn't happen.

Eventually another official came and asked me for my Press pass. Luckily I was talking to two friends, both with official press passes and I said, 'I'm with them' and my friends very kindly pretended they hadn't heard me. I was treated with such politeness by all the officials, even with an apology for asking me. French is such a wonderfully polite language, isn't it? And in my defence, I didn't get in anyone's way.

Truth is, I'm surprised my camera could take this photograph. Even tho it's not completely sharp, it's not bad considering I was an AWFUL long way away.

27 November 2008

Fête Nationale - Guest Accommodation

After the ceremony in the cathedral, invited guests walk back to the palace, where they wait either side of the main entrance. Soon the Prince and his family will arrive - and then the displays will begin.

26 November 2008

Fête Nationale - the Flag Carrier

We've walked over from the cathedral and are now in the square. The palace is behind us. Everyone has been given flags and scarves in Monaco's colours.

This is Zarina, who lives in Monaco. Her two Golden Retrievers are called Aston and Bentley - someone in the family likes cars! You can see another photograph of these lovely dogs - wide awake - on Riviera Dogs today.

25 November 2008

Fête Nationale - the Judges

Waiting to enter the cathedral - are they judges? I've asked a couple of friends but so far no one knows. They didn't walk over with all the members of the legal profession - see photos a couple of days ago.

Note the small film crew on the left getting ready to interview a member of the clergy.

24 November 2008

Fête Nationale - the Clergy

The clergy enter the cathedral. Incense is creating the mist you see.

23 November 2008

Fête Nationale - the Law Courts

Yesterday, we saw members of the legal profession about to enter the cathedral. Dressed in red, they'd just walked down this beautiful staircase of the Palais de Justice, followed by those you see above - in black.

Red and black, robes flowing, moving fast, animated. It was theatrical. dramatic and so impressive.

22 November 2008

Fête Nationale - the Weight of the Law

Clad in their bright red robes, members of the legal profession are about to enter Monaco's beautiful cathedral.

Built in 1875 using stone from La Turbie, the present-day Cathedral stands on the site of a 13th century church dedicated to Saint Nicolas and houses the tombs of the former Princes of Monaco. It is also the final resting place of Monaco's much loved Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, the parents of H.S.H. Prince Albert II.

21 November 2008

Fête Nationale - the Call

Everyone needs a cell phone these days.

20 November 2008

Fête Nationale - the Guests

The mass in the cathedral is by invitation only. The building on the left is a corner of the Palais de Justice (law courts). The cathedral is to the right of the photograph.

Tomorrow - more guests.

19 November 2008

Fête Nationale - the Prince's Carabinieri

We've left Eze village for a while as we have interesting goings on in Monaco. Today is the Fête Nationale - a important day for Monégasques citizens when they get the opportunity to show their love and respect for their Prince - Albert II.

Monaco is a tiny principality of only 2 kilometres - the second smallest state in the world. It has just over 6000 citizens and 40,000 residents and a history that goes back over 700 years.

It's coming up to 10 a.m. and we are standing outside the cathedral on le rocher (the rock) waiting for the arrival of the royal family to celebrate mass. You see the Prince's Carabinieri in attendance.

Tomorrow, let's take a look at others who are waiting to enter the cathedral. And then later, we'll walk to the Palace and see the parades and glimpse the Prince, the Princesses and the rest of the royals as they enjoy music at the Palace balcony.

18 November 2008

Eze Village - Wall decor

A hole in the wall - so let's put a flower pot in it. I love that people decorate a street even if it's not part of their property - and presumably water the ivy from time to time.

17 November 2008

Eze Village - the Touch

What is he saying to her?

Note the glass cases fixed to the walls. Shop windows are tiny, or non-existent, so shopkeepers use these boxes to display their wares.

16 November 2008

Eze Village - Keep Out!

So many tourists visit Eze village - hardly suprising as it's so beautiful. This resident is giving due warning that the staircase is private and doesn't lead to a restaurant or a shop.

15 November 2008

Eze Village - Through the Archway...

Walk through the archway and you'll see the scene - The Back Street - that we saw two days ago. Eze village has many archways and short tunnels like this.

14 November 2008

Eze Village - The Waiter

As you walk the streets of Eze village, you'll sometimes bump into staff who work in one of the two hotels. This waiter would have just served a guest whose room is perhaps across the street or down an alleyway. As the hotels expanded in this tiny medieval hill village, they couldn't build upwards or even outwards, they had to expand by buying up other properties in the village and using them for extra accommodation.

13 November 2008

Eze Village - the Back Street

Turn a corner, go through an archway, explore...there are wonders everywhere in Eze Village. This little area has no shops so quieter for the residents.

12 November 2008

Eze Village - a narrow street

We didn't finish our tour of Eze, so today we are back, walking a narrow street on our way to the Jardin d'Exotique at the top of the village. Note the tree that seems to grow from nothing.

11 November 2008

The Sailing Lesson

This was taken at the beginning of October - the tiny boats with striped sails are taking part in a sailing lesson. The instructor is in the small red boat.

By the way, the red and white boat with the canopy - you see its wake as it moves over the water - is the ferry that crosses the harbour every half an hour. It costs one euro and for anyone who doesn't happen to own a yacht, it's a fun way to pretend! Not bad for one euro.

10 November 2008

Monte Carlo Ladies - 23

Multi-tasking - telephone on one ear, music in the other (alright perhaps the music is turned off).

Note the bench set in its own little area - rather as if it has its own tiled rug.

09 November 2008

The Walking Street - the Man who Walks

This carving is by Louis Dollé, a sculptor who lives in Nice. I couldn't get far enough away to photograph it properly - so you get the foot apart from the man. Don't you love the detail?

Do click on the link as you'll see a better photograph of this sculpture and many more of this talented artist's work.

08 November 2008

The Walking Street - Spider Man

You never know who you'll meet at the Artists in Movement exhibition in the pedestrian street. Here's what I take to be Spider Man.

I don't know the artist - a friend walked the street this morning, trying to find names but as we've had so much rain, she told me the little stickers with the artists' names have been washed away.

One or two words remain - for instance, talking about the whole exhibition:

'You are in a gallery open to the sky. ' and 'Open your eyes, look up and enjoy.'

07 November 2008

The Walking Street - Frédéric Falsetti

Another sculpture displayed at the 'Artists in Movement' exhibition in the pedestrian street.

06 November 2008

The Walking Street - Helena Krajewicz

No, it's not clothing hung out to dry but part of an exhibition taking place in the pedestrian street of Monaco - rue Princesse Caroline. In the smaller photograph you can see part of the street with the main port ahead of us.

It's called 'Artists in Movement' - and this work is by Helena Krajewicz (click to view more).

05 November 2008

Obama - the Eagle has Landed!

A stone eagle in the grounds of the Chèvre d'Or in Eze. Today it represents the proud American eagle.

Thankyou America, thankyou!

04 November 2008

The Stars 'n' Bars Candy Vote!


It's not only in America that you can vote for Obama or McCain. At Stars 'n' Bars, the American sports bar on the port of Monaco, you can buy a sweet (candy) for one euro. You then select either the Obama jar or the McCain bar to place your sweet, and - voila! - you have voted. All proceeds go to charity. Obama has the most sweets!

As you can see in the poster below, Stars 'n' Bars offer an 'I WANT A RECOUNT' breakfast at 6 a.m. tomorrow. I sure hope not!

To see how my dog Beau will vote, please look at Menton Daily Photo.

03 November 2008

The Best Dressed Caterer in Monaco

This is for anyone who thinks it's always sunny on the French Riviera.

This photograph show Mister Brian, the well-known caterer in Monaco - and his girlfriend, Esther. They'd visited me in Gorbio for lunch yesterday. Inviting Brian to lunch is always a great idea - goodies comes too - yesterday, the best cheesecake I've ever tasted and a bottle of pink champers. Later, after we'd watched the Brazilian Grand Prix, and as they were about to leave - wham, bam, thankyou Mam, the heaven's opened. A deluge. And when it rains here, boy, can it rain...

Plastic bags were the answer to get Brian and Esther from my terrace, where this was taken, to the top of the track. (the pink and black top on Esther's shoulder was her original attempt to keep dry (!) The yellow bag is a Mister Brian bag. Click on the link to see his establishment in Monaco (the smaller pic)

Today, we've had no electricity until just now - 18.00h. The whole of the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var and further west, has been without electricity - Marseilles to Menton.

02 November 2008

The Walking Street - The Book Lady

More books today - or rather no more books...

Scruples, the English bookshop in Monaco, is no more. As you can see in the smaller photograph, it closed on the 10th October. ( click to enlarge)

Jane France, the lady in the main photograph, is a Monaco institution. She opened Scruples over twenty-five years ago. Prior to that she drove around the ports in the south of France and Monaco selling English books to the 'yachties' from her van - she was known as 'the Book Lady.' Now she has sold up. A small English bookshop can't compete with Amazon. That's how it is these days. Also Jane is ready for a much-deserved retirement. Happy retirement, Jane! - you will be greatly missed by the English book-buying community in Monaco and France. Word has it that Scruples will become an ice-cream parlour.

The pedestrian street is Rue Princesse Caroline, which runs from Port Hercule to Rue Grimaldi.

01 November 2008

Theme Day - Books

A puppet for sale in Eze village - around his neck, a tray of books.

'Lord! when you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.' ~ Christopher Morley

It's the first of the month and so it's Theme Day for City Daily Photo bloggers with 178 blogs participating in the 'Books' theme. Do spend some time enjoying the many interpretations I know you'll find. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants
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