31 July 2011

Carnival 'U Sciaratu' - Walking the Tightrope

There was an area at the side of the cathedral where children could get a taste of what it's like to be a circus performer - and what child doesn't want to do that?

30 July 2011

Carnival 'U Sciaratu' - Ciboulette and Oscar

This little car plus an entertaining ventriloquist and her dummy (Ciboulette and Oscar) chugged around the streets of le rocher entertaining the children - and a few adults too.

29 July 2011

Carnival 'U Sciaratu' - the Dragon and the Sentry

You don't really expect to see a dragon in front of the Palais Princier, do you? Glad to see the sentry is amused and hasn't hauled him off to the Princely dungeons...

And for the unbelievable...click on this link to read about and see photos of the woman who crashed her Bentley into a Ferrari, an Aston Martin, a Mercedes Benz and a Porsche causing $1.1 million damage. All this happened outside the casino yesterday.

28 July 2011

Carnival 'U Sciaratu' - the Flying Elephant

In the olden days, there used to be a festival in Monaco where the world turned upsidedown for a day. It was called 'U Sciaratu' (All Fools Day) where men dressed as women and vice versa, a pauper dressed as the King and the 'Lord of Misrule' presided over it all.

This festival hasn't been seen in Monaco for twenty years but last Saturday it came back to Monaco Ville (le rocher).

So, come with me and enjoy a modern day 'U Sciaratu' - we'll see parades, watch amazing creatures writhing in a bubble, be surprised by bushes that move. There are men - 9 feet tall - with elongated necks. The children can learn to walk on a tight-rope, spin a plate, balance on a ball. There is face-painting, balloon twisting and of course there are near naked women walking the streets. There's music and dancing and a lot more not mentioned - but everyone has the best fun. I loved every minute of it. A great day for kids and grown-up kids like me. And you...

To read about this festival dating back to olden times do click on THIS LINK.

More tomorrow...

27 July 2011


As you can see, you don't need a megayacht such as the one we saw yesterday to have fun on the water.

There are many more photos to show you of Cap Ferrat and along the coast but they will have to wait for another time.

Tomorrow we go back to Monaco as it's Carnival time on le rocher! - and it's the best fun.

26 July 2011

Paul Allen's Octopus

There were so many yachts on the water but none as big as Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's megayacht Octopus. In the top photo you see one of his helicopters taking off.

The 414ft Octopus, has eight levels, a crew of 60 including former U.S. Navy Seals, two helicopters, seven boats, a remote-controlled vehicle that crawls across the ocean floor, a swimming pool, a recording studio. a basketball court and two submarines.

According to the Daily Mail, the Octopus was the world's biggest when Paul Allen bought it in 2003, costs £12 million a year to keep up and £483,000 for a full tank of fuel.

25 July 2011

The Cap Ferrat Villas

One of the fun things to do out when you are lazing about on a boat is to look at the houses on Cap Ferrat.

24 July 2011

The Cap Ferrat Walk - Walk or Swim

As you see, you can either walk around Cap Ferrat or you can swim from the rocks.

23 July 2011

The Cap Ferrat Walk

You can walk from Beaulieu-sur-Mer all the way around the point of Cap Ferrat - isn't it lovely? Despite properties on Cap Ferrat being some of the most expensive on the Côte d'Azur, the pathway is always open to the public.

22 July 2011

Paloma Beach - the Beach Taxi

We're in the bay of Paloma Beach at Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. If you fancy lunch at the restaurant on the beach then this water taxi whizzes out to get you. Yacht owners, who need this service, call the phone number displayed on the wall of the restaurant in the smaller photo.

21 July 2011

The Oceanographic Museum and Barnabas

The Oceanographic Museum on le rocher is impressive from any angle but is seen at its most glorious from the sea.

In the last photo, you see the 33-metre schooner, the Barnabas, motoring past.

Yesterday, friends invited me for a day on the water at Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and these photos were taken en route from Menton. Note the slightly choppy sea, so the stabilizer in my camera did fairly well.

Come back tomorrow and over the next few days for more shots and even grander yachts...

20 July 2011

Makin' whoopee....

As you see Princess Charlene is not the only bride in Monaco. This wedding - a far more relaxed and casual affair - took place outside at the Mairie on le rocher just a few days before the the wedding of Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock.

Long life and happiness to the bride and groom.

'Another bride
Another groom
Another sunny
Another season,
Another reason
For makin' whoopee.'

19 July 2011

Roof Gardens in Fontvieille

No shortage of roof gardens in Monaco. Here are a few in Fontvieille, which is the area of Monaco built on land reclaimed from the sea.

18 July 2011

Chanel temptations

Do you suppose he's thinking about buying his wife something from the Chanel shop?

The man in the smaller photo isn't...

17 July 2011

Sainte Dévote's window

Sainte Devote is of course the patron saint of Monaco. The pretty little church, built in her honour, stands set back from one corner of the port and is where Princess Charlene recently laid her bouquet - a tradition with brides in the Princely family.

The original chapel dates back to before 1070, when it first appears in archived documents. It was restored and most probably enlarged in the 16th century. In 1870, the façade was rebuilt, then extended in 1891 in a composite '18th century Neo-Greek' style. The steeple, 15 metres high, dates from 1870.The work was carried out from 1885 to 1891. The chapel became the parish church in 1887.

The glazier, Nicolas Lorin from Chartres, was entrusted with the stained glass windows. Some were recuperated including those from the former Saint Charles School, established in the past on the Rocher by Monseigneur Theuret, the first Bishop of Monaco, and reassembled here. These windows, destroyed during the bombing of Monaco in August 1944, were restored or repaired, as for example this stained glass window of Saint Dévote made by Fassi Cadet of Nice in 1948. Click on the link to read the history of Saint Dévote herself and more information on the church.

16 July 2011

Emerging Continents by Blake

In 2007 I photographed - badly - Blake's Emerging Continents and it's time to show it to you again.

It stands just outside the Princess Grace Rose Garden in Fontvieille and almost opposite the entrance to the Columbus Hotel.

'Emerging Continents was created in 1990 and inspired by global events of 1989 in divided Germany; in barricaded Tiannamen Square, China; in Africa and Asia. These events fired Blake’s compassion into imagination and action, producing this representation of these emerging Continents. They are emerging from, or trapped by, the stone that represents their history and echoes their future. Their portraits depict repression and rebellion and the work plays on the distinction between treason and revolution.'

Artist Blake was born in Canada, studied figurative sculpture in Paris and in 1991 moved to Monaco where he opened his Monte-Carlo studio.

The smaller photos show the detail of each figure, the larger one shows the entire sculpture.

I love how the olive tree has grown since I first photographed this beautiful sculpture and now seems to shield or protect the figure as he emerges into life.

15 July 2011

Blonde Beauty

A beautiful blonde outside the Hôtel de Paris.

14 July 2011


A flag hangs from a window in honour of the recent Princely wedding - a floor cloth is drying alongside.

13 July 2011

Roof Cladding

This building doesn't just have a pool on top but a garden with mature trees. Imagine the weight on that roof...

This is in Fontvieille - the part of Monaco that was reclaimed from the sea.

12 July 2011

Hidden Streets...

One of the tiny back streets on le rocher - a street most of the tourists probably never find.

11 July 2011

Girl on a Motorcycle

This pretty girl is balancing her bike on one high heel as she waits to pull out near Casino Square.

Remember the 1968 film 'Girl on a Motorcycle' with Alain Delon and Marianne Faithful....? (click on the video below)

10 July 2011


The narrow pavement doesn't leave much room for this builder to work on le rocher. This street leads into the Place du Palais.
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