Saturday, 3 March 2012


                                                   A PANORAMIC VIEW OF MONACO
Monaco is a principality along the French Mediterranean coast. It always was a playground for the rich and famous. The Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco is legendary. Apparently, there is a graveyard just behind the casino for gamblers who lost all their money and possession and in the olden days they went out there to shoot themselves.
It is also famous for the Formula One Grand Prix which is held along the coast on the street of Monaco. The cars can reach a speed of 200km/h. The swimming pool on the waterfront of La Condamine is a great obstacle to master in the Grand Prix racing. It is one of the hardest racecourses because of these very sharp curves.


In front of Monaco is the beautiful and famous Cote d'Azur in the south of France and at the back are the Maritime Alps which give a background adding even more beauty to the panorama. On the water front is a small harbour where you can find the most magnificent, luxurious yachts and pleasure crafts.
                    THE PRINCE'S PALACE IN MONACO



Monaco has only 1.9 sq km or 1 sq mile of land. It has a population of 28,000. Although the country is small but it has, which is surprisingly, quite a number of factories. Their products range from chemicals to plastic, textiles and perfumes. Tourism provides so much revenue that the people of Monaco, called Monegasque, have not to pay any taxes. The government taxes heavily the profit from the famous gambling casino.
Originally it was some headland on which the town Monaco was built.  The whole country is only a strip of land along the Mediterranean's rocky shore.  Nowadays, it is almost completely built up.  Towns of old Monaco which includes the cathedral and the Prince's Palace joined up with La Condamine and Monte Carlo. 
Monaco is an independent country but under French protection since 1861. The ruling family are the Grimaldis. They have ruled there since the 15th century. Originally they came from Genoa which is 120km to the east in Italy. It really came to the attention of the world when Prince Rainier married the famous actress Grace Kelly. It was a fairy tale wedding. They had three children. Unfortunately, their marriage was not successful. Then Grace Kelly was killed in a car crash and her daughter Stephanie was very badly insured, the world lost a most beautiful lady. When Prince Rainier died the son Albert inherited the throne and became Prince Albert II.
Monaco has its own law courts, police and a small army. It is unique in not having customs duties and passport control. Amongst the population of 30,000 are only 3,000 native Monegasques

It is a beautiful country to visit for a day but not to stay because the hotel prices and food are high. The best advice is to book a hotel nearby and then either drives over or take the local transport. You will see wealth and I mean wealth you wouldn't see anywhere else, especially in one spot. The cars and luxurious yachts make your eyes pop. For friends of cacties there is a huge garden of magnificent cacti collection behind the Royal palace which is fascinating. You can visit the Monte Carlo Casino during the day and it is an experience.
Next to Monaco is Nice which is also worth a visit and a little further along the coast is Cannes. It is easy to reach by either the local transport or rented car. The Cote d'Azur is definitely worth a visit and you can see it all on a reasonable budget.
                                    FORMULA ONE 
                              GRAND PRIX IN MONACO

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