31 July 2008

A Monte Carlo Summer - the Werewolf

You can't turn a corner in Monaco without seeing a sculpture. It's rich, rich, rich in beautiful art, often by famous sculptors. And not just outside. You'll find work inside hotels and shopping centres too. The Metropole Centre always has an exhibition throughout its various levels. This summer the featured artist is the ceramicist, Jacky Colville.

This piece is called Banc 'Loup Garou' - banc is French for bench. A Loup Garou is a werewolf.

At first, I cropped this photograph to eliminate the background but somehow it shows itself off better with a bit of space around it - and anyway, look at the beautiful marble floor.

30 July 2008

A Monte Carlo Summer - Morning Light

It's nine in the morning - you see Cap Martin, the hills of Menton. Italy is just beyond. We are in the main port of Monaco - Port Hercule. The sun is already quite hot.

On the larger yachts, crew members are busy cleaning. The fishermen have brought in their catch. Visitors are still sleeping or perhaps breakfasting on their terraces.

Monaco is waking up.

29 July 2008

A Monte Carlo Summer - the Baguette

They teach 'em to love baguettes young in France.

The mother of this little one runs one of the stalls at the Funfair on the port. Baby sat outside happily chewing on his bread.

28 July 2008

A Monte Carlo Summer - the Fishing Boat

With all the boats and super-yachts in Port Hercule in Monte Carlo, it's sometimes hard to remember there are fishing boats too. This was taken at 9 in the morning - the catch is in and now the fisherman (click to enlarge) is sorting his nets.

The Fish - by William Butler Yeats

Although you hide in the ebb and flow
Of the pale tide when the moon has set,
The people of coming days will know
About the casting out of my net,
And how you have leaped times out of mind
Over the little silver cords,
And think that you were hard and unkind,
And blame you with many bitter words.

27 July 2008

A Monte Carlo Summer - I Love Fashion TV

It's dusk, hence the poor light. Soon the yachts will be lit and Monte Carlo will resonate with the sounds of summer nightlife. Here you see the I Love Fashion TV boat.

26 July 2008

A Monte Carlo Summer - the Funfair - Bungee!

Each year you'll find the Bungee bouncers at the Funfair on the port of Monaco. This year tho, it's in a different place to last year so in these photographs you see le rocher (the Rock) in the background.

Last year, they bounced with a backdrop of the yachts in the harbour. Click on the link to see who was having fun then.

There's still time to enter the competition posted on Menton Daily Photo yesterday. No one, so far, has come up with the correct answer - so do have a go.

25 July 2008

A Monte Carlo Summer - the Funfair - Pride

Each summer, on the esplanade in front of Port Hercule, you'll find all the fun of the fair.

In the main photograph, the little boy has just finished swinging from one platform to another. He's so proud of himself. I watched him for a while whilst he was waiting his turn - very serious, watching those in front of him, obviously rather daunted. The small photo shows him before the adventure - just as he's about to move off the platform.

There's a competition today on Menton Daily Photo. Do take a look and see if you know the answer. A postcard of Menton will go to the winner.

24 July 2008

A Monte Carlo Summer - the Clean-up Man

Not the sharpest photograph in the world, but I wanted you to meet one of the men who clean up Larvotto Beach. It's just gone 8 in the morning and he whizzes along the jellyfish nets, checking for any damage. He also picks up any flotsam and jetsam in the sea.

Larvotto Beach has had its publicity problems lately. Analyses of the water have shown a toxic algae called 'Ostreopsis Ovata' which has been menacing Larvotto Beach in particular. In fact all the beaches in Monaco are now under high surveillance.

This algae, which has colonized parts the northern edge of the Mediterranean during the last few years, is a one-cell microscopic organism. Because it contains chlorophyll it's called an algae, but it's also a sort of plancton. Its natural habitat is on underwater rocks where it attaches itself to the rocks in the form of a brown mousse. The problem arises when this mousse detaches from the rocks and floats to the surface. In contact with the sun it gives off a toxic gas.

Two years ago, in Italy - at Genoa - 200 people were intoxicated and hospitalised with respiratory problems.

At the moment, the authorities say there is no danger in Monaco but the problem is being continually observed and tested by the zoological station in Villefranche, a laboratory at the University of Nice and the biology department attached to the Office of the Environment in Monaco.

They say, 'We are not in a situation of alert, but we are in a siuation of enforced vigilance.'

Meanwhile, as you see, people swim.

23 July 2008

A Monte Carlo Summer - the Jellyfish Net

Larvotto Beach is protected from jellyfish by this net - well two nets in fact, one either side of the central breakwater. In total there are 320 metres of protection.

And what do you do if you are stung by jellyfish? I remember when I lived in Cairns in Queensland, Australia, there were always bottles of vinegar available on the beach.

Nice-Matin, the other day, tells us that if you can't find immediate help from the Lifeguards (and you will in Monaco) - this is what you must do:

1. Don't move the affected limb or limbs and whatever you do don't rub the skin. It will make it worse.

2. Remove the tentacles with tweezers or with gloved hands (in fact two sets of gloves, it says).

3. Then cover with dry sand or flour or talcum powder or even shaving mousse - which will trap the remaining cells that cause the rash.

4. Then you can then gently rub the affected area with a rigid piece of cardboard or a plastic credit card to remove these remaining cells - unusual use of a credit card!

5. Next you must wash the affected area with hot water (the heat apparently destroys the jellyfish poison).

6. Then you put salt on for 30 minutes.

7. Finally, you must take an aspirin.

22 July 2008

A Monte Carlo Summer - Jellyfish!

Jellyfish! Lots of jellyfish! This sign is to be seen on Larvotto Beach. Tomorrow, we'll find out what they do about them.

21 July 2008

Prince Rainier III

This sculpture stands outside the chapiteau (the circus tent) in Fontvieille. It was sculpted by Marcus Marin in 2006 and needs to be seen from a distance to properly see the face of the late Prince Rainier of Monaco.

20 July 2008


Shiny, immaculate yacht. Smart fenders. This boat is moored in the port of Fontvieille.

19 July 2008

Parc Sacha Guitry - 2

Parc Sacha Guitry is a beautiful and peaceful park in Cap d'Ail - the town bordering Monaco - with its many stunning Belle Epoque buildings and wondrous views. It's a place too with a real village/community feel to it.

18 July 2008


Rampoldi's is a trendy restaurant just around the corner from the Café de Paris in the Place de Casino. This is what a recent Frommer's review had to say about it:

"More than any other restaurant in Monte Carlo, Rampoldi is linked to the charming but somewhat dated interpretation of La Dolce Vita. Opened in the 1950s at the edge of the Casino Gardens and staffed with a mix of old and new, it's more Italian than French in spirit. It also serves some of the best cuisine in Monte Carlo. Menu items include an array pastas, such as tortelloni with cream and white truffle sauce; sea bass roasted in a salt crust; ravioli stuffed with crayfish; and veal kidneys in Madeira sauce. Crêpes suzette makes a spectacular finish."

I'd go along with that. I've been lucky enough to eat here a few times in the past, but happily when someone else was paying. It's not cheap but it's very good. Great place to watch the 'beautiful people' if you can tear your eyes away from the food, that is.

17 July 2008

Water falling

I don't know the name of this sculpture/fountain - Falling Water would seem to be a good name but then Fallingwater is the name of the famous house in Pennsylvania, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, so I've called this post Water Falling.

It stands in front of an apartment block in the smaller port in Monaco - in Fontvieille. Perhaps I simply missed the name plate and someone seeing this will tell us. There's something very peaceful about watching the water fall, fall, fall.

16 July 2008

Adam and Eve

Meet Adam and Eve - one of my favourites of the many sculptures in Monaco. By Fernando Botero and sculpted in 1981. It's a sculpture that people love being photographed with - the lady usually clutching a certain part of Adam's anatomy and giggling. Adam and Eve stand in the gardens below the Casino.

15 July 2008

Porshe on Fire! - Guest photographer

One of the nice things about having a blog like this is that friends phone when something is happening. 'Oh you must photograph this or that,' they say. For instance, my friend from Gorbio village called to say, 'There's a wedding in the village. Come on up.' But for her, we'd not have had the Village Wedding series.

My friend Gill, who lives in Monaco, went one better. She actually took the photographs. Gill lives on Avenue Princesse Grace overlooking Larvotto Beach and yesterday, there was much excitement when a lovingly restored tan coloured antique Porsche caught fire. She told me there was a loud bang and a puff of smoke. The couple in the car got out very quickly and then wham, the car was engulfed in flames and the windscreen blew out. The force was so strong the car actually mounted the pavement. Waiters from the new Avenue 31 restaurant rushed out with a fire extinguisher but it was not enough. The pompiers were needed. Gill said they arrived looking magnificent. I tell you - all policemen, firemen, gardeners, etc in Monaco - they are all gorgeous.

The car was a classic car - an antique Porsche that had competed in a rally in Scotland the week before. Apparently all this was caused by an electrical fault and was reported today in Nice-Matin - a full page in the Monaco section.

Gill took this photograph, from her balcony on her cell phone. Nice-Matin only showed the burned out car. Wotta friend! Thankyou, Gill.

14 July 2008

Fort Antoine

Fort Antoine is an early XVIIIth century fortress, built on the north-eastern tip of le rocher . It's now used as an open air theatre seating 350 spectators in a semi-circle. Click on the link to see the theatre from above. It's a magical setting for summer performances.

Below Fort Antoine is the prestigious Monaco Yacht Club.

13 July 2008

Monte Carlo Gentlemen - 7

This was taken in Casino Square. The traffic was snarled up and this man was chatting to the doorman of the Casino - they obviously knew each other. This Monte Carlo Gentleman is a gardener - as per the sign on his small truck.

Even the gardeners in Monaco are good looking. Sigh...

12 July 2008

The town in the church

The interior of the beautiful Eglise Saint Nicolas in Fontvielle. I'm not always a fan of new churches but like this one, love the interior with the mural representing the buildings you see in Fontvieille - the area of Monaco reclaimed from the sea. You can read the history of this church and see the the exterior by clicking on the link.

The old olive oil mill we've been looking at during the last few days is located on the opposite side of the place to this church. The smaller photo will give more detail of the mural - please click to enlarge.

11 July 2008

Torso Desperacion

This sculpture sits in one of the gardens of Fontvieille. It was sculpted by Victor Ochoa between 1981 - 1992. You can see more of this artist's powerful work by clicking on the link.

10 July 2008

Le Vieux Moulin de Monte Carlo - 3

Here you see the double olive press, which produced the première pression of olive oil. This relic from Roman times is now displayed in Fontvieille. See the last two postings for more on the olive oil mill of Monte Carlo.

Recommended reading: The Olive Route by Carol Drinkwater.

Actress Carol Drinkwater is probably best known for her role as Helen Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small. Also an accomplished novelist she has achieved best-selling status with her trilogy of life on her olive farm in Provence. The Olive Route is her fourth book. Click on the link to read more.

09 July 2008

Le Vieux Moulin de Monte Carlo - 2

Here you see the double millstone. See yesterday's post for more on this relic from Roman times - the olive oil mill of Monte Carlo.

The smaller photograph shows the millstone from a different angle, looking down on the square. On the far side is the church and on the left - the police station. You can just see the fountain in the centre. A better view of the fountain is seen by clicking on the link.

08 July 2008

Le Vieux Moulin de Monte Carlo - 1

Fragments of an olive oil mill from Roman times are displayed here in Fontvieille - the part of Monaco reclaimed from the sea. The original mill was in the area of Monaco known, unsurprisingly, as Moulins.

What you see here are the remains of vats and millstones.

More tomorrow.

07 July 2008

La Grande Laveuse doing her washing

You've seen this sculpture of a Washerwoman before - please click on the link. I couldn't resist photographing her again tho when I saw her amidst soapsuds or something worse. Today she really does look as if she's doing the washing. She sits in a small lake in the gardens of Fontvieille. Normally the water is cleaner than this - albeit rather green - not so on this day. And not good for the ducks - one would think...

This bronze sculpture was made jointly by Pierre Auguste Renoir and Richard Guino - both Impressionist artists.

06 July 2008

Boys' toys

How many toys does one guy need? The yacht, two different styles of car, as you see. I don't see a helicopter on this yacht. Don't have a go at me for the excess - I'm just the photographer.

05 July 2008

Tucked away

Another interesting facade in Monte Carlo - just up from the port. Yes, Monaco has some ugly apartment buildings, but amongst them you'll find gems.

04 July 2008

Monte Carlo Ladies - 17

Of course, how do I know if my Monte Carlo ladies are from Monte Carlo. These two are surely visitors. Snapped just down from the casino, they are looking across the harbour to le Rocher and the Prince's Palace.

03 July 2008

Monte Carlo Gentlemen - 6

A policeman outside the Hôtel de Paris. Not sure what that squint is about.

02 July 2008

Squares, squares

Tiles on the outside wall of a restaurant at the end of Larvotto Beach.

01 July 2008

Theme Day: a 'NO' sign

Today's Theme Day is a sign saying NO. This sign fairly well typifies what you'll find if you walk alongside the super yachts in the harbour in Monte Carlo.

And as I'm currently in America, I've added the smaller photograph. Taken outside Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, it shocked me. Just that such a sign is even necessary horrifies. Ohio recently passed a Concealed Carry Law, and seemingly if you have a CCL permit, you can carry a gun - concealed on your person - but not where you see this sign.

There are 171 cities throughout the world taking part in today's Theme. Do click here to view thumbnails and see how others have interpreted the theme.

I'm flying from Columbus, Ohio to St. George, Utah (three flights) today so am really sorry but commenting will not be possible. I'll catch up over the next day or so and meanwhile thank everyone who has left a comment.
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