22 May 2009

Grand Prix - Getting In

We've entered the Palais Heracles by handing our pass (see yesterday's post) to these friendly ladies.

Now we are up on the 11th floor and this is the view directly ahead showing the part of the track that goes around the swimming pool. A hazy day and very humid.

If we look to the left we see the hill going up to Casino Square and the track coming back thru the tunnel. To the right, the pit lane. (We'll see all this another day).

Nice-Matin reports there is a 50% drop in bookings for the Monaco Grand Prix this year. Many people who have an apartment overlooking the track rent out their balconies for a goodly sum. This year bookings are drastically reduced due, of course, to the world's recession. The same is true of tickets for the many stands around the track - I gather prices are being reduced to encourage more visitors.

Each year in Monaco, just before the four days of Grand Prix activities, the Principality holds a football match in aid of charity. One team is made up of a group of well-known personalities in the world of sport (Star Team) and one team consists of Formula One drivers. Prince Albert, who is a keen sportsman, captained the Star Team. The result: 5-2 to the Formula One drivers.

More tomorrow...


Anonymous said...

what an amazing view your friends have. it's my dream to go to that race.
..Some day!
manhattan beach, california

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised at the reduced number of visitors. On Tuesday I tried to book a flight for a friend to come down from London for the F1.

Heathrow to Nice on B.A for today [Fri] was completely full. They have 7 daily flights Heathrow - Nice so that's probably around 1200 passengers, then they also fly London City to Nice. Then you have Easyjet flying to Nice from 3 other London airports with multiple flights per day, Luton, Gatwick & Stansted all looking quite full for today as well.

Of course with Cannes going on right now some of the passengers could be film festival bound but it's starting to wind down now so you'd expect the traffic to be going back towards London. Monday & Tuesday there literally is no availability back to Heathrow on BA.

Jilly said...

Anonymous, pity I didn't know - I had two Easyjet tickets from London Luton to Nice for yesterday Thursday and couldn't sell them...

re numbers, I'm reporting on what Nice-Matin tell us. Less advance bookings for tickets although I expect the race day will be busy but the balconies are not being reserved by corporate visitors - at least not in the numbers that are usual. I have two tickets back to London Heathrow on the 29th May but that is probably too late for you.

Gerald (SK14) said...

You certainly do have a spectacular view. And I love the photo of the charming officials.

Thanks for the fascinating details about the football match and all.

Ed said...

So were they reporting that the drop in bookings is inre race tix, not hotels? Because I just checked some Nice hotels out of curiousity and the few that have rooms this weekend still have jacked-up rates. I have an obsession with the Monaco GP since the movie Grand Prix came out during my childhood, and have attended twice so far. In my opinion, those balconies usually have too high an angle to appreciate the race, and the yachts have too low an angle. I'm going back next year but I'm planning to try the Monaco GP Historique weekend instead of the F1 weekend... I'm hoping it'll offer the terrifically absurd atmosphere without the terribly absurd prices
-Ed in USA

Unknown said...

Like ed, I think the historic races are more exciting to watch. All those classic cars, driven by men, rather than by computers. Still I wouldn't say no to seeing the F1.

Jilly said...

Ed, the Nice hotels are probably showing high rates because of the Cannes Film Festival as well. For Monaco you could try Cap d'Ail, Beausoleil or along the coast in Menton, all nearer to Monaco than Nice. And right, the Historique is a fabulous event - more relaxing, beautiful cars.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Brilliant.. Well done to the Formula 1 drivers :-)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Sorry Just to add, the Ticket prices are so ridiculous, and unless you book a flight months and months in advance the price from London is unbeliveable..if I had known about your tickets I would of bought them off you :-)

The price of race tickets is high for a lot of races but of course Monaco is even higher!!

And then with the EURO ..being what it is, very very expensive!

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