The joy of being lucky enough to go to the Grand Prix, apart from the obvious, is that you get to have mini breaks in some of the most spectacular places, when they’re on show to the world and thus looking their best.

Monaco would probably not need the GP to look amazing. But the casino and harbour areas are just alive.

There’s a live band who’ve been playing in town every day, and they’re just awesome. A covers band playing all sorts from Elbow to U2, the Killers to the Stones, Pink Floyd to Blur. And they’re sharp, with tidy stops & starts (dad!) and have the surrounding streets bouncing.

After qually, I decide to venture up the hill towards the palace and see what was occurin. It’s a steep climb, but worth the views.

This part of town is far less affected by the glitz of the GP, instead retaining a quiet sophistication of quaint streets and little coffee shops.

I wander round the Oceanic museum too – now this is strange. In the basement is an aquarium. Whilst the fish on show are beautiful, it feels like they’re all stuck in tanks to be on show. It feels very captive. I don’t like it.

On the next floor are some very peculiar artefacts, like skeletons fornicating with fire around them? Weird. I don’t really get it, sorry Monsieur l’Artiste. But the building which houses all of this is stunning. So I just sit and stare around it for ages (probably not what the entry fee is meant to cover, but hey!)

The monarchy

Beside the museum, there’s a beautiful botanical garden and, like most gardens in town, it has a sign depicting a significant moment in the royals’ family – Princess Grace, on this occasion. This, along with the photos of Prince Albert in almost every shop window, illustrates the sense of pride and respect the locals seem to have for their monarchy. Where I’m sitting, about half way up the hill behind Rascasse, we frequently hear whistles as the police ride past on their motorbikes, escorting people up and down to the palace. They seem visible and part of their city. It’s nice.

Right, formation lap… #letsgoracing

ttfn /R xx





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