Outside my window it’s overcast, cold, and drizzly. On my TV, it’s sunny, warm, and full of celebrities. The Monaco Formula1  the cat has decided to sit on my lap and cover up the keyboard and my hands. maybe if I keep typing he will get up… nope.  I will wait.) race runs today.  As the cars zip around the tight corners of the road course, I keep seeing places I remember. So I thought I would post a short account of my trip to Monaco in 2008.  I don’t remember everything and won’t even bother trying to put things in the right order.  I have come to the realization that I am a bad photographer   I don’t know what I should take a picture of and when I do they are usually bad.

For general info about Monaco see its wikipedia page.

How could I afford eight days in one of the most expensive spots in the world?  I couldn’t really.  I didn’t pay for the trip.  Airfare, the hotel, tours, and even most of the meals were paid for.  My friend got the trip for winning an award at work and had a plus one.  So I went with her.

Cloudy day on the Cote d’Azur
The riviera greeted us overcast and a bit dreary.  The water looked a murky gray to match the clouds above.  Where was the beautiful blue green we had been promised? Clouds and sometimes rain dominated the weather for half the days we were there.  It didn’t really bother me I kind of liked the change. Finally when the sun did break through I understood what everybody talked about.  The waters of the Mediterranean became a multitudes of deep blue and green colors and the hills above the city shown in the light.  I understood why so many people paint this area. The light seems filled with magic.

Proof you are in Monaco

One day in which we are mostly free, we wandered around Monaco.  We walked the race course.  Not all of it, and not always in order, and sometimes backward, but I got some pictures of the various places I have been seeing on my tv for years of watching the Monaco Grand Prix.

The tunnel under the Fairmont Hotel

There are a couple statues celebrating the principalities history in racing.

We stayed at he Fairmont Hotel, home of the famous hotel corner.

Another time we wandered up an ancient wide stone stairway to the Rock.  The original and oldest part of Monaco. It’s home to the Palace, and a bunch of old beautiful buildings. Up here we found and spent a good amount of time in the famous Monaco oceanographic museum.  The small  country is well known for it’s concern for the environmental health of the worlds oceans. From up here we also got good view of Monte Carlo. Personally, I find the clash of all the apartment towers rather unattractive.

Monte Carlo proper

The day that stands out most in my mind is the tour of nice. We got to see the market and wander through the narrow streets of the old town. The colors are what impressed me the most.

Another tour took us to the small ancient mountain town of Eze.

Ez in the Fog

There are many other wonderful snippets of memory.  Catching a gap in the scenery while on the tour bus were if you looked one way you saw deep into the med and if you looked the other way you could see all the way to snow covered alps.  Wandering through a market in Sanremo listening to the crash of many different voices and languages.

We ended the trip by grabbing an overnight train and heading to Rome for two days.