Archive for June, 2012

Holiday 2012: Day 15 – Monaco, Monte Carlo

June 15th, 2012

Welcome to Monaco, Monte Carlo

What a beautiful.. no, stunning, actually no, magnificent.. Oh you know what I mean! This morning we woke up in the beautiful principality of Monaco! Now one of the ports of call I was most excited for on this holiday was Monaco. In our cruise in 2008 on the Carnival Freedom, our stop in Monaco was cancelled due to bad weather, and after Tuesday night on the Carnival Breeze, I was fast beginning to think it was going to be cancelled again, thankfully it was not!

Monaco is absolutely amazingly beautiful, and if you want to feel very poor, one just needs to spend a couple of minutes in Monaco. The luxury boats / yachts in the port of Monaco are mind blowing, and they are magnificent!  The way the rich lives! The price of property in Monaco is insane, with a 35sqr/m studio costing 1.7 million Euros. Property is so hard to come by here, that most people just buy these tiny studios to get there “residence” status (after 6 months) and then live in Hotels / Luxury yachts, as the studios are too small. Monaco is a tax free city for residence, so the rich and famous can live tax free!

Monaco – The City View

Monaco itself is spotlessly clean, and they are still dismantling the racetrack from the Formula 1 race in May of this year. The amount of work that goes into assembling and dismantling the race track each year is amazing, and one would think it would be easier to leave it setup, but I guess it would detract from the look of this beautiful city

The first thing we did this morning was walk around the race track. When watching the race on TV, the track itself looks incredibly flat. This however is very misleading, as when you try walk around the track it is incredibly hilly. I never pictured the famous hairpin bend before the famous tunnel as a very steep downhill corner.

Monaco – Start / Finish / Main Straight

Monaco – The Famous Hairpin

Monaco – The Tunnel

Unfortunately the casino does not open until 2pm, so the beautiful women getting out of Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s where not around this morning when we walked past the casino, and this also meant we could not go inside and visit. Due to the mess up in Livorno, we sailed from Monaco at 2:30pm, instead of our original 6pm had we visited yesterday, so there was no chance to go back to the casino and see it once it opened.

Monaco – Casino

Monaco – Casino Fountain Close Up

We made our way up the palace, of course, since the Princess of Monaco is South African after all, and waited for the changing of the guards which happens daily at 12pm. The crowds seemed to have had the same idea, and getting a good view was pretty difficult, but it was still impressive to watch

Monaco – View from the Palace / The Carnival Breeze

Monaco – How the Rich and the Famous live

 We have just set sail and are on route to Barcelona, which is our final port of call, aka the place they kick us off and get a new bunch of guests for 12 days. The Carnival Breeze is a beautiful and amazing ship, and the next set of 4000 guests are going to enjoy their 12 day cruise just as much as we have enjoyed ours! Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end eventually, but before coming home, we still have 2 days in Barcelona! Chat tomorrow from Las Rambla’s in Barcelona, And for the last time from the Beautiful Carnival Breeze, Ciao!

Oh and just to prove I was actually in Monte Carlo, here is a me with the beautiful city in the background.. 🙂

Monaco – Francis with Monaco in the background!