My Virtual Vacation Day 15—Monaco

We had hoped in retirement to travel the world. So far we have done a pretty good job with trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and The Czech Republic. However the pandemic has stopped all of that for a while. So while waiting for Africa, Alaska and Scandinavia, our current travel is going to have to be virtual. Today’s stop is Monaco.

Monaco is one of the richest places on the planet. An estimated one-third of residents are millionaires, and the GDP per capita is $165,420 — the second-highest in the world. From the palaces to the casinos to the yachts, everywhere you look you see the wealth. Montecarlo is also home of the Grand Prix and everywhere you turn you see race cars. Hotels and private residences overlook the raceway and during the race people sit on their balconies overlooking the mayhem.

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Monaco Palace

Changing of The Guard

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Casino of Montecarlo

Casino of Monte-Carlo

Casino of Montecarlo

Casino of Monte-Carlo

Monte Carlo

Last year I wrote about the Casino of Monte Carlo and the Changing of The Guard at the Castle of Monaco. However as I review my pictures of last October’s trip, I realized I have shared little about Monte Carlo itself.

Monte Carlo is officially an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco. It is a beautiful natural harbor filled with exquisite yachts. The streets are the course for the world famous Grad Prix and one can only imagine the thrill of watching the race from a hotel or apartment balcony over the streets. Walking through the town takes you from one park to another with stops along the way to look at the race cars that people drive around town. You can smell the money. It has the highest per capita income by far of any place on earth.

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Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

Ooops!

We were visiting Selby Gardens in Sarasota Florida when we took a break to watch the sea birds. I saw this sail boat and was admiring it until I realize its keel must be stuck in the mud. We were wondering how it stood upright and then realized it must be really embedded in the mud to not have keeled over.

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Oops!

Oops!

Motif #1

This is the harbor at Rockport Massachusetts. I took this photo early in my career on a frigid November day while my family waited in a restaurant on the pier where later I had some fantastic clam chowder. Years later I discovered this scene is commonly called Motif #1 because it is one of the most photographed and painted scenes in the world. Art teachers assign this to teach students about painting light, color and vistas. Who knew?

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Motif #1

Motif #1

Dog Fight

Watching seals play and fight is just like watching a dog fight. It does smell quite different though. This was captured in Monterrey California at a public pier in the mid 90’s. The seals were all over the boats and pier and that day I was glad I was not a boat owner. There were hundreds of seals, thousands of barks and groans and oh that smell!

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Dog Fight!

Dog Fight!

Sturgeon Bay

I have lived most of my life in the Northeastern United States and yes Pittsburgh is part of the Northeast not the Midwest or Atlantic States. We did live in Texas for a while and I lived in Los Angeles for a year in 1967-1968 but other than that I am an eastern guy. If you live where we do and you want to escape to a rugged northern sea coast you go to Maine. But where do you go if you live in Chicago? There is no rugged seacoast right? Wrong, you go to Wisconsin.

Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin is in Door Couny two hours or so north of Milwaukee. If I dropped you there from a helicopter you would swear you were in Maine. There are some clues, there are not lobster signs everywhere and no smell of salt in the air but the people still talk funny and it is as rustic as you could want.

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Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Lahaina Ship Wreck

While having lunch in Lahaina we saw this shipwreck in the harbor. I couldn’t help but wonder how long it had been there, probably since the last major storm. However as I took this picture I couldn’t help but think back to Lahaina’s history when the old sea town was frequented by Whalers and Pirates instead of tourists. You can buy a print of this on my commercial gallery by clicking here.

Lahaina Ship Wreck

Lahaina Ship Wreck

Sunning on a Yacht

We were visiting Monterey California on our way to attend my cousin’s wedding in Los Angeles. We stopped in Monterrey to see the world famous aquarium and as we were walking towards the aquarium we passed the harbor and saw that the seals had taken over. Boat owners could not have possibly gotten to their boats on some of the yachts there were dozens of seals and boy do they smell like dead fish. They were all over the harbor, hundreds maybe thousands of Seals. They bark like dogs and fight and play like dogs but smell of the sea! I took this image while we watched them off the pier. You can purchase a print and see others by clicking here.

Pals Sunning Themselves

Pals Sunning Themselves

Sea Dogs

My wife and I visited San Francisco and Monterrey California for our twentieth anniversary. A few years later we took our daughter there for a visit on the way to Los Angeles. We had told our daughter about all the Seals we had seen in San Francisco but of course when we got there the seals were not where we had left them six years earlier. The park official in San Francisco told us they were gone from the area and migrating to the channel islands. We were disappointed. A few days later after getting to Monterrey we were walking towards the aquarium and we smelled them before we saw them. They were all over the harbor, hundreds maybe thousands of Seals. They bark like dogs and fight and play like dogs but smell of the sea! I took this image while we watched them off the pier. You can purchase a print and see others by clicking here.

Harbor Seals in Monterrey California

Harbor Seals in Monterrey California