MONACO – MONTE CARLO

Nov 11, 2013by tracey Comments

 

I wish I had a big story to go with this blog.

It’s very simple. Glenn had a business meeting in Monte Carlo. Neither one of us had ever been there. So on Friday morning we took the hour and forty-five minute flight from London to Nice and hour after that found ourselves in the lobby of The Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo:

It is perfect for a weekend, if you need to be there or find yourself close by.  I don’t know that I would go out of my way to see it, though I am thrilled I now have.  But,  I would go to North Korea if someone invited me.  I would actually love to see North Korea.

Not that there are two places on the planet less alike than North Korea and Monaco.

The sparse, spare, dark, cut off, totalitarian provision-less North Korea and over the top, blingy, glitzy, foreign money stash haven Monte Carlo should not even share the same sentence.

Everywhere you look in Monte Carlo you see giant yachts, Maseratis, Ferraris, Bentleys, jewelry stores and big, tall Russian girls, with pouty, silicone lips and towering sparkly shoes clutching brand new Hermes bags.

It looks like the pilot for a new Simon Cowell show called The World’s Got Money.  Which of course, most of it doesn’t, so there is an air of irony and fantasy that hangs over the place if you don’t take any of it too seriously.

While it is pretty, very pretty actually, there is not a hell of a lot to do. Thus we spent much of our forty-eight hours in the neighboring seaside towns of France.

Monaco being a tiny principality, that happens to be tucked into the South of France.  In fact it is so much a part of France, my friend Madelaine, (who you will hear about later in the week) showed me a part of town, where one side of the street is Monaco and the other is France. You can buy your milk in Monaco and cross the street and buy your bread in France.  There is a whole tax thing that goes on with that, but it’s too complicated to get into.

Gambling is a big deal there. We don’t gamble. But after dinner the first night we took an obligatory stroll through the casino and promptly left. While lots Russians were tossing Euros around like they had just minted them.

According to Glenn “It’s a place where people nest like ancient Dodo birds a top their money.

That being said, we had a great time.

 

It always starts with the room.
It always starts with the room.
Hotel des Paris.
Hotel de Paris.
The Lobby
The Lobby
The heart of the action centers around a square. The hotel on one side. The Casino, that would be this is next to it.
The heart of the action centers around a square. The hotel on one side. The Casino, that would be this is next to it.
To the right of the Casino depending on which way you are looking is the Cafe des Paris.
To the right of the Casino depending on which way you are looking is the Cafe de Paris.
View from our room.
View from our room.
We spent the afternoon walking around.
We spent the afternoon walking around.
The colors and the buildings are beautiful.
The colors and the buildings are beautiful.
Love this house. Look at the detail.
Love this house. Look at the detail.
This was one of the main streets.
This was one of the main streets.
The other big hotel The Hermitage.
The other big hotel The Hermitage.
Starting to string lights for the holidays.
Starting to string lights for the holidays.
In front of a church.
In front of a church.
A colorful place.
All very festive.
The marina, well, not sure you can call it a marina at sunset.
The marina, well, not sure you can call it a marina at sunset.
You see a lot of these.
You see a lot of these.
And a lot of these. Every other store window appears to be Real Estate offices.
And a lot of these. Every other store window appears to be Real Estate offices.
The Prince and Princess have their photos in many windows. But it sort of looks more like a prom photo.
The Prince and Princess have their photos in many windows. But it sort of looks more like a prom photo.
Speaking of Princesses. Here lies Grace Kelly.
Speaking of Princesses. Here lies Grace Kelly.
Church of Monaco where Grace Kelly is buried.
Church of Monaco where Grace Kelly is buried.
The Prince's Palace in the daytime. We could not go in as it closes from November until April.
The Prince’s Palace in the daytime. We could not go in as it closes from November until April.
The Palace at night from across the city.
The Palace at night from across the city.
One of the more famous sights there is the Oceanographic Museum. It was run for 31 years by Jacques Cousteau.
One of the more famous sights there is the Oceanographic Museum aka Le Musee Oceanographic de Monaco. It was run for 31 years by Jacques Cousteau.
This was his little ocean mobile. It has a proper name.
This was his little ocean mobile. It has a proper name.
Standing in old town you see how crowded the small city is.
Standing in old town you see how crowded the small city is.
Another view from the same spot.
Another view from the same spot.
In the old town.
In the old town.
The great houses tend to be in the old town.
The great houses tend to be in the old town.
I love this one. These are all near the Palace.
I love this one. These are all near the Palace.
The streets are so clean and beautiful.
The streets are so clean and beautiful.
This is the oldest church in Monaco.
This is the oldest church in Monaco.
The opera house is the other big building in town.
The opera house is the other big building in town.
The Hotel des Paris at night.
The Hotel des Paris at night.
The main square looking out from the casino.
The main square looking out from the casino.
Thinking - It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live here.
Thinking – It’s a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live here.