Friday, October 14, 2016

Monaco - Hobnobbing With The Rich And Famous or Trial By Parking Lot

The Principality of Monaco; it brings up the image of the rich and the famous, and the oh so elite. Why wouldn't we want to go to this capital of the
--> trés chic, we who epitomize all that is Eldership chic?

Of course driving to Monaco means taking our huge ass, upgraded rental vehicle through a bizillion spaghetti turn roads winding through the mountainous, city density coast. And THAT was the easy part. Because then we had to park...going down this tiny spiral roadway to the bottom floor of the garage to find a place...only to find that every single place is this garage consisted of two spaces in between large concrete posts that impeded on the parking spaces...two narrow spaces. AND the roadway of the garage itself is very narrow. It took both Wife and 2.1 acting as guides outside the vehicle and 10 minutes to get me in the space. At that we took up more that the allotted space, so we thought, "well only a very small vehicle could park next to us." 

But 'mais non mes vieux' (But no my old comrades), instead some jerk wad parked an even bigger van type of vehicle next to us, backing in so his driver side opened into the road way while his passenger side only left about 6 inches on my driver side. I had to climb in via my passenger side. Again Wife and 2.1 had to guide me out. I was so tempted to let the air out of his tires in revenge but decided it would be bad karma.

Anyway on to more pleasant thoughts and the pictures of the day.

 You know one of the things that really annoy me every time I go into Monaco harbor is how hard it is for my yacht to stand out.
I mean really why spend so many millions to get a killer yacht if it looks like you are in the airport parking lot?
There is lots of very nice, expensive looking Belle Époque (19th century) architecture with all kinds of architectural features.

Being built into the hills, there are lots of views of the city and harbor

And of photographers taking pictures of the harbor

Then it is up to the Castle Hill to the Palace where I went to pay call on my dear polo buddy Prince Albert.
Okay I went up to the hill so I could hang out with my favorite 10 thousand cruise ship tourists.
First stop is the Palace
A big thing at the Palace is the changing of the guard right?

But not now, because the de-I/Wife construction curse is in place
See the Cathedral?
So we wandered around the older precincts and the main square

Our Culinary Treat of the Day
Right smack dab in the middle of tourist central, the last thing I expect is a decent meal at a decent price. But as is so often the case, just by luck, we scored.
See this happy face?
That is the face of a person who loves fresh fish and is about to get a whole sea bass complete with it being deboned for her. She didn't think much of the accompaniments but the fish and sauce were very good.
On my part I ordered Moules Frites, a classic, classic bistro dish of mussels steamed in wine and herbs with side of fries.
The mussels were damn good...not just good...damn good.
They were small, very sweet, and not a hint of grit. The pot didn't look that big but it turned out that there a ton of the little guys in there.

And we end with The World of Signs
Families with legs of different sizes this way
Here you are allowed to walk with a reasonable posture and pace
(this was by where the main tourist area is)
But HERE, we expect you to put your chest out and stride purposely
(this was by where all the yachts were parked)

Á Bientôt!

(See you soon!)

Belle Époque


alexis said...

well despite the traffic I am interested to see Monaco! The architecture looks beautiful. But given your tip, I'll leave the yacht at home. It'd be lost on those people.

de-I said...

Might be better to go by train from Menton. The train station in Monaco is right where we parked in the port area. Need to think about hill climbing with the kiddos.