Sunday, July 31, 2016

Trip to Monaco (June 2016)

While we were in Nice, we took an excursion to Monaco, a sovereignty ruled by a prince.

Monaco is an independent microstate located at the French Riviera. Its population is a little over 35,000, but it attracts a lot of visitors for various reasons year round.

Monaco has a perpetual treaty with France in which France provides defense protection against any external threats in exchange for part of Monaco's land surrendered to France. Two countries continue to sign additional treaties to solidify and clarify various issues as they arise. Monaco has a small police force only.

Monaco is most famous for the Gran Prix that takes place on the streets of the city. This motor race has gained fame and the term Gran Prix is now being used for all other motor races done on formula around the world. Monaco's Gran Prix was the genesis and is now called Gran Prix of Monaco. I found a statue of a motor racer on a street.

Monaco drew the attention of the world when Grace Kelly, an American actress, married then Prince Ranier III and became the Princess of Monaco in 1956. We visited the cathedral where their wedding took place. Unfortunately, Grace died in a car accident due to a stroke that seized her while she was driving in 1982. She was buried also at the cathedral. To this day, she is loved by the citizens of Monaco and many movie fans of the world.

Monaco has several quarters one of which is Monte Carlo. It is a prestige area for super high class and wealthy people gathering primarily for the exotic casino, notably Monte Carlo Casino. At this casino, the valet parking attendants place the most exotic cars in front of the casino. Usually, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Ferrari and the like take the center of the parking row. People indulge themselves with photo shots standing before the cars for free. Vanity? Whatever...

The marine harbor is lined up with jazzy yachts and boats.

We also walked around and saw the Palace of Prince and a few statues established around the palace. One black color statue was of Francesco Grimaldi who disguised himself as a Franciscan monk and was well received. As soon as he entered the fortress, he and his followers captured the fortress. He is considered a hero in Monaco.

There are Marine Museum and a park that provides a wonderful trails to walk around.

On the way to Monaco, the bus was running on the roads on top of the cliffs, but the scenery was marvelous. Both were taking our breath away.

Before we reached Monaco, we stopped by Franogard, a famous French perfume company.

In Monaco, particularly Monte Carlo quarter, many people chose to eat at a pizza place due mainly to expensive prices at most of the places. We were no different. Ha! - Jeffrey

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