So Peeps, today our two intrepid superheroes take us to Monaco, we also learn that for some people no amount of money is enough and for others they wouldn’t know how much they had to make that decision. Oh, and we also learn that art and technology can combine into beautiful but very expensive objects of serious desire.
BatHarry and BatZak are incognito today. You’ll see that in the pictures. We’ve left their working clothes at home along with the ‘toy’ (you know the secret) plastic phone that is anything but a toy so they’re not contactable even for Trump.
We leave the villa and after about half an hour of driving through the most beautiful Provençal countryside we realise the movement detector has been left out of the pool and to leave it unsupervised without such a device would attract a fine. I must admit that I’m somewhat cavalier about it until Lewis has a look on the web to see what the damage would be if we’re busted. I’m in the middle of a sentence that offers to pay the fine should it be noticed when he informs us that the fine is €45,000 so a hand brake turn that would impress Gene Hunt in the Quatro and we’re on our way back. I’m regretting not having the Batgear with us as the superheroes could have been back in seconds but heyho.
/* Here’s a few facts and figures. Monaco has been around since about 600 BC which makes it about the same age as a Democratic Unionist’s Earth. Apparently, Hercules passed this way and turned away all previous gods as a result they built a temple, The Temple of Hercules Monoikos, hopefully you’re ahead of me with the final word. After a bit of ownership by The Holy Roman Empire, the Genoese, France, Italy, Sardinia and The Third Reich all of the time the Grimaldi family retained an interest. It’s now an independent country with zero income tax and low business tax and has a small but vibrant finance sector that’s expanding apace as Britain loses elements of the London institutions in response to Brexit. It has voting rights at the United Nations and is the most populous country in the word by surface area. Monaco is the second smallest country by area in the world. It is 2.02 square kilometres in surface area. The land border is only 3.4 miles and just over a mile at it’s widest. */End of facts and figures.
Our second attempt sees us in Monaco in an hour and a half and parked in a multi-storey car park that goes down. In fact, it goes very down. It goes down a story, then several more. During this time the directions as to where to go in a labyrinth of pillars and parking cells are somewhat limited and consist more of where we we’re not allowed rather than directions to where we are. After another several downs and a noticeable increase in temperature we arrive at the bottom. We couldn’t get any deeper if Lucifer himself were walking in front of us with a red flag but at least there is a space interestingly, considering we’re in Monaco, marked F1 – Even with this prompt I really don’t trust memory so I do as I normally do, I photograph it and register is on my map app. on the ‘phone.
If you’re a car lover then Monaco, especially Monte Carlo, is a dream come true and if you’re an art lover then some of the buildings are very special but the cars are also for you.
If you love cars AND art then I’m afraid you’ll need to wear a condom!
We walk the length of several jetties where men in suites and dark glasses are, not too discretely, watching us as we pass. There are interesting notices at the entry to some of the very posh gang planks, “No unauthorised weapons or explosives to be taken on board”. It makes me wonder just who approves the authorised ones and it all seemed a bit sinister to me.
Vicky looks up one of the boats that has a very pleasant looking Roller with its wheel hubs and RR motifs all aligned the right way up, I thought this had been done intentionally until Lewis tells me that the hubs remain like that even at speed! It’s standing adjacent to a gangplank and Google reports that the yacht is owned by the Balrclay brothers who are worth six billion pounds. Just to help you with this figure (£6,000,000,000). I’m using the American Short Billion which is internationally(ish) recognised, if we use the long billion that was in use until Harold Wilson redefined it for the UK then you can add another three zeros (£6,000,000,000,000). Either way, if you want a billion pound yacht, it’s still going to be out of all but a few (but increasing) number of people in the world’s reach. When you get to these telephone number figures it does beg the question, just how much money is enough?
The superheroes are impressed and try to decide which yacht they’d like when they grow up. BatZak likes a very sleek Black number that looks a little bit sinister but very impressive whilst BatHarry likes the one that we were admiring at £3.5M, modest but also very impressive at the same time.
Monte Carlo Casino
We decide on a trip up to Monte Carlo which is easily accessible via lifts and after Lewis asks a local in his best French where the casino and plaza are he gets a reply in almost undecipherable Scottish dialect that leads us directly to the square. Here, there are cafes selling ice cream for €14 to €32 a boat but we’re in Monte Carlo, you’re not paying for the ice-cream, it’s all to do with location.
Looking around the square there are exotic cars a plenty and also, rather amusingly, a Volvo V40 that’s causing some consternation with the security people. It’s not the fact that it’s been left in violation of parking regulations, it’s because it’s a V40 sandwiched between Ferraris, Rollers (all with RR motif vertical), Bentleys and a Zonda Pagani. We’re highly amused but they’re not and as the owner is located they’re asked to move it forthwith. It’s all happening here!
The superheroes decide on their form of future transport and before we leave the square they’ve changed their minds, not matter though, there’re sufficient exotic cars here to satisfy Jeremy Clarkson.
Back down in the marina area and we take a round trip across the harbour on the solar powered ferry. Apparently this boat was commissioned by Prince Rainier himself and moves 110,000 people a year, it’s definitely worth doing at €2 per round trip and you get a great view of the principality.
This is a great trip out and certainly lets you see how the other half live and the cars and yachts, well they’re astonishing!…G..x
Enjoy the snaps.