Friday, 20 August 2010

Walking the Hallowed Tunnel

We moored off Villefranche......a little French coastal town.......all I knew about it was that Keith Richards lived there while in tax exile.......and 'Exile on Mainstreet' was written in his basement!!!
But actually our destination was Monaco.......a square mile of excess.
We began in the small old town sector......the one part of Monaco no building is allowed [everywhere else they are building up and up, and even reclaiming land from the sea to build on......thus no beach]......home to the palace, the cathedral, the aquarium and gardens.  
The cathedral looks almost new....but is hundreds of years old.......made of a special Italian stone that never discolours!
Monaco is full of police and CCTV prides itself on being crime free to attract the rich and famous.........the prison has just 3 inmates.....all with a sea view!!!
OH is not a great sports fan......his viewing consists of watching England lose football matches,occasionally win rugby matches and Grand Prix races.......and only the Grand Prix is sacrosanct......totally essential viewing......followed by hours of to walk the hallowed tunnel and part of the track of the iconic Monaco Grand Prix was possibly the highlight of his trip!!!!!
G and I didn't bother.......we found the wonderful Japanese Gardens to spend a restful couple of hours in.....possibly the only peaceful place in Monaco.

and I probably have enough photos of this beautiful place to make a mini album.
Personally I prefered the pretty French coastal towns sandwiched between mountains and the the high rise density of Monaco.
But......finally.......I just had to take a photo of this statue in the palace square......after I heard a child shout "Look, dad, it's Darth Vader"!!!!!!!


Amy said...

It looks hot Jacky! No wonder the gardens were a respite for you.
At least your OH can enjoy when you guys beat us in the Ashes - seems crazy, you guys win over there and we win here, oh well.

Cheri said...

Beautiful photos Jacky! That cathedral looks gorgeous. And who would have thought that Monaco would sport a statue of "Darth Vader"?! Too funny.

Sian said...

I completely agree with you about Monaco - I had been really looking forward to it because I love the Grand Prix, but I didn't like it at all. "Square mile of excess" is a wonderful description.

Kathyk said...

It looks so lovely - perhaps a bit too lovely, did you feel like it was "look but don't touch"? I can see where the littley was coming from when shouting "Ooh look its Darth Vader!" too


Tracy said...

Wow that first view is incredible, wonderful photos again Jacky, your getting to be quite a pro at it.
Happy crafting
Tracy x

debs14 said...

I always feel a special affinity with Monaco - my mum told me how when she was taken back into the maternity ward after she had just given birth to me, the radio was turned on and they were announcing that Princess Grace of Monaco had just given birth to a son. I kind of feel I ought to go there sometime and stay at the palace, just to introduce myself. We have so much in common! Except I don't have a statue of Darth Vader in my front garden ;-)

Elizabeth said...

Monaco looks much too crowded for me, but the Japanese garden is just lovely. I understand about the Grand Prix, my husband is a big Nascar fan and we've toured many a race track.

pinky said...

I feel like I have been on holidays with you Jacky, these pic are wonderful and so is your description! Wish my house was built out of that stone lol.

Scrappi Sandi said...

That Japanese garden looks bautiful...LOL at the Darth Vader comment! Kids eh!!! Lovely photo's of the historical landmarks, but I'm with you on the modern, high rise excess of Monaco in general! Did you get to go into the Casino? that is what you call excess!!! I wonder if those three inmates could afford such scenic accomodation if they weren't there as guests of the Principality?!!

Sarpreet said...

wow! beautiful sites

humel said...

lol at Darth! We didn't go to Monaco, we stayed at Villefranche - great opportunity for the kids to spend some time in the sea! xx

Chris said...

I'm really enjoying see all your photo's Jacky, what an amazing trip you've had! The Japanese garden looks so tranquil and I look forward to the mini book :D, Chris x

Maria Ontiveros said...

Such fun vacation memories - love the darth vader, Asian Garden and formula racing references. Those are the things I'm sure you'll remember forever..