31 August 2012

Port of Fontvieille

Fontvieille is the area of Monaco reclaimed from the sea - hence the relatively new buildings.  It's 08h.00 and the light is just right and with just enough movement in the water to make the reflections interesting. 

I love walking around this little port, so much more peaceful than the main harbour, Port Hercule.

30 August 2012

Oceanographic Museum

The Oceanographic Museum is a building I never tire of photographing.  So beautiful the way it rises out of the rocks.  There's some sort of work going on from the sea - a crane, perhaps a dredger?

And note the large seagull sitting on the small boat, doubtless waiting for a fish.

29 August 2012


 We've left Plage Mala and are making our way back to Menton. This guy was having the best fun on his jetski in the seas off Monaco.

28 August 2012

Plage Mala - Paddle Boarding

This looks such fun. I wonder how easy or difficult it is to balance.

The smaller photo shows a shot of Plage Mala in the background.

27 August 2012

Plage Mala - Splash!

Here's what happens when you jump off a paddle board for a swim.  It stays attached ...

See yesterday's PHOTO.

26 August 2012

Plage Mala - Walking on Water

The small beach at Plage Mala is surrounded by these beautiful rocks. Just the place to do some Stand Up Paddle Boarding which seems to be the rage at the moment.

We'll see how this works tomorrow ...

25 August 2012

Plage Mala - Rounding Cap Mala

Let's go to another beach for a change. Today, we are just along the coast at Cap d'Ail. In fact Cap d'Ail adjoins Monaco so really it's no distance. 

We're on a boat and we've rounded the headland, Cap Mala. This leads into the beautiful bay of Plage Mala.  Looking at this photo, Monaco is off to our left.

There's a beautiful coastal footpath and you can see people walking on it.  You can also see someone hanging from a tree! And note those big fat pillars at the point of the headland.  This is part of a famous villa 'Les Roches' which we'll see another day.

Hope you've got your swimming gear with you ...

24 August 2012

The Billionaire Club

The Billionaire Club is opposite the Grimaldi Forum, owned by former Formula One boss Flavio Briattore and run by Samy from Sass' Cafe.  The night before last, Madonna, who had just finished a sell-out concert in Nice, brought her entire company along - all 150 of them. 

23 August 2012

La Note Bleue - in context

This photo puts La Note Bleue (see yesterday) in context.  To the left of the canvas that protects the diners, is the lifeguards' lookout.  In the far distance, Port Hercule.  And if you wonder what that strange structure is in port - it looks rather like a criss-crossed upside down 'V' - it is a beautiful masted training ship from Columbia.

22 August 2012

La Note Bleue

Dining under canvas at La Note Bleue on Larvotto Beach.

21 August 2012

Flower Power

You never know what you'll bump into in Monaco. 

How about a couple of giant flower pots, lit up like candle holders?  These are outside La Rose des Vents restaurant on Larvotto.

20 August 2012

Larvotto's Levels

This is a small part of the promenade above Larvotto beach. Avenue Princesse Grace is above - that's where we were yesterday.  And if you walk to the lowest level, then you are on the beach with even more restaurants.

19 August 2012

Sass' Cafe

Sass' Cafe on Avenue Princess Grace. We saw it from the outside yesterday.  It's always packed and if you are walking along the street you have to pass through this narrow passage and hope you don't crash into a waiter.

The small photo shows one of the long tables before service.

18 August 2012

Red at Night

The Grimaldi Forum at night - and on the far side of Avenue Princesse Grace, you see Sass Cafe - a trendy restaurant, usually full of pretty girls from eastern Europe. I've never eaten here but hear the food and service is really good and certainly the place rocks as you walk past the tables at night. It's always packed.

17 August 2012

The Pink Rolls Royce

Only in Monte Carlo! ... a pink Rolls Royce for sale in a showroom on Avenue Princesse Grace. 

The photo was taken through dirty windows - handprints galore on the glass. Lust for a pink Rolls perhaps?

16 August 2012

Footballers' Feet

Here's the same promenade as yesterday but taken from the other direction. Today we are looking towards Italy - that's Cap Martin you see in the background. The large building is the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort.

You can just about see plaques set into the pavement - below the lights,  These are footprints of famous footballers cast in bronze. Click on the link to see what I mean. Each year one international footballer is chosen in the Golden Foot Competition for this honour. 

15 August 2012

Lighting Up Time

This is the promenade that runs along the back of the Grimaldi Forum - from Larvotto Beach, past the Japanese Gardens to Portier.

It's almost dark - kids rollerblade or skateboard - dressed up people stroll, ready for a night out in Monaco.

14 August 2012

Concert at the Palace - Homeward Bound

The concert is over.  The audience is leaving the palace - to go home or perhaps to find a late supper at a restaurant on le rocher. We went to Le Pinocchio.

13 August 2012

Concert at the Palace - Click

As you can see I wasn't the only one taking photographs.

12 August 2012

Concert at the Palace - Butterfly

Did the butterfly enjoy the concert too?

11 August 2012

Concert at the Palace - Ute Lemper

German chanteuse, Ute Lemper, sang beautifully - and dramatically - the songs of Berlin - of Paris.  She sang Kurt Weill, Jacques Brel, Milord, L'Accordeoniste, the Saga of Jenny.  My favourite was when she sang Lili Marlene a cappella.  Superb! And she finished with Cabaret and All that Jazz.  You can read about Ute Lemper's illustrious career by clicking on the link - and hear her singing too.

The conductor was Lawrence Foster with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra.

10 August 2012

Concert at the Palace - the Gallery of Hercules

Whilst we wait for the concert to begin, we can enjoy a detail from the magnificent Gallery of Hercules.

It dates back to the reign of Stephen the Governor who wanted to give the Grimaldi residence the majestic, harmonious look of Genoese palaces. It is by the Milanese architect Domenico Gallo. The gallery vaults are frescoed with patterns reminiscent of Italian Renaissance leitmotifs while  in the fourteen lunettes, episodes narrate the childhood, toils and death of Hercules.

The Gallery of Hercules is particularly dear to the Monagesques. It is here that the Prince appears during important events while onlookers gather in the Courtyard of Honour (which is where we are sitting). You may recall the recent wedding of HSH Prince Albert and Miss Charlene Wittstock.

I wonder if I'm sitting in the same chair as did one of the crowned heads of Europe on that day ...

09 August 2012

Concert at the Palace - the Cour d'Honneur

The audience is slowly taking their seats.  We've entered the massive gates of the Palace and are in the Cour d'Honneur (The Courtyard of Honour) - note the stunning Gallery of Hercules.  We'll learn about the history as this little series continues.

Meanwhile, dusk is falling, we are getting settled and soon the musicians of the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra will take their places.

08 August 2012

Concert at the Palace - Lady in Red

It's dusk as the audience waits to get into the Palace and some people take advantage of the view of Fontvieille harbour below - captured forever in a photographed or enjoyed through a pair of binoculars.

07 August 2012

Concert at the Palace

Get your glad rags on - we're going to a concert in the Cour d'Honneur an the Palace.  Here some members of the audience make their way towards the enormous entrance, which dates back to the 17th century. 

On the programme - Ute Lemper and the Philharmoic Orchestra of Monte Carlo.  The doorway on the left of the palace (with the curved canopy) is the musicians' entrance.

06 August 2012

Dusk in the Port of Fontvieille

It's dusk and the street lights have just come on.  This is in at the harbour of Fontvieille, taken from way above at the Place du Palais on le Rocher last night.

05 August 2012

Blue Skies

 Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see 

  Irving Berlin

04 August 2012


It looks like marble, doesn't it? Or perhaps coloured glass?  But as you see, it's simply a reflection, in the sea, of  Le Formentor, an apartment building on Avenue Princesse Grace.

03 August 2012

Marc Quinn's Burning Desire

We've already seen quite a number of Marc Quinn's sculptures currently on exhibition at the Oceanographic Museum.  Here's another massive sculpture in the Casino Gardens.  It's made of painted bronze and is called Burning Desire.

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