Monaco was on my bucket list for a long time, but I have to admit that I had never dared to even dream of visiting it.
I knew about this place since I was quite young, and that was mainly related to the American actress Grace Kelly. The princess’s tragic accident shocked the world. However, this independent principality of South-Western Europe was very well known even before. Its glory came with the famous luxurious Monte Carlo Casino and of course with the Grand Prix Formula One car race.
** In the first days of June they were just preparing the race track, starting right in front of the Monte Carlo harbor. I hope you can see it.
Monaco is a place of many legends and Hollywood movies, and it is also an expensive dream travel destination. However, many things are feasible if you have a creative mind like my husband does 🙂
In 2009 when we visited the French Riviera, this place was actually our main target for my birthday 🙂 My husband found an affordable B&B hotel in Eze – one of the closest French villages, shown in my previous article. From there, the next day we drove along the coast and spent many hours in this fantastic place.
Needless to say that we were both in a Wow! :)… It was almost like a fiction… While driving trough the narrow busy streets of Monte Carlo we tried to see as much as possible. There were so many luxurious buildings left and right, including hotels, restaurants and businesses… We would have walked more, but there was no place to park. We eventually found a spot for a few minutes, and I was able to take some quick snapshots.
I made this one as a digital painting:
The whole principality is surrounded by the Mediterranean Alps and several bridges are facilitating the crossing from one side to another.
Fortunately parking was possible up the hill, on the so called Le Rocher. There is where the royal palace also is, which is what I wanted to see 🙂
The Prince’s Palace is the current residence of prince Albert II, son of Prince Rainier III and Grace, Princess of Monaco (Grace Kelly). * He’s a the brother of Caroline, Princess of Hanover, and Princess Stéphanie. In July 2011, Prince Albert married Charlene Wittstock.
The statue below was made in the memory of Prince Rainier III. I just loved the seagull on top of it at that moment 🙂
Both he and his father updated and modernized the building, which initially was a fortress. The changing guard however is still there.
Part of the palace is open to the public in the summer season. However you have to leave the cameras at the entrance 🙁 We did with big regret, because what we’ve seen inside was absolutely marvelous. Besides valuable pieces of art, we could also admire a life size standing portrait of Princess Grace.
But Le Rocher is also the place of the historic city of Monaco. We wandered through the old narrow streets full of restaurants and small shops.
This is one of the many restaurants with tables outside on the pedestrians streets downtown:
And here are two digital paintings of the residential area and marinas. I uploaded them to my Fine Art America Monaco gallery. They are available as art prints for wall and home decor:
I hope you enjoyed the Monaco one day visit viewed through my camera. Click on the photos to see them in the original gallery along with many others that I couldn’t post on this one page article.