Coming of shadows…

View north above Monaco

View north above Monaco

View north-east over Monaco

View north-east over Monaco

View east over Monaco.

View east over Monaco.

Standing on the Quai Antoine 1er just in front of Stars’N’Bars in Monaco, the sun was starting it descent casting the last of it brightness on the face of mountains surrounding the principality. I’ve always enjoyed the views of dusk year round from here; the feeling if being held in the bosom of the Alpes as they gaze out to sea.

The road from Gorbio

Last Wednesday I had a field support call in Monaco after which I went up to Gorbio once more to visit “Auntie” Jilly and drop off some cables for her new iMac. The day was again overcast and with the occasional drizzle. I was in a good and relaxed mood as a result. I’m kind of warped that way, finding pleasure in the turbulent weather that others find depressing.

D50 looking east
towards Gorbio.

D50 looking towards
Menton and Italy.

I really enjoy the drive along the D50, which runs along the hills from Gorbio to the Grand Corniche just above Roquebrune village. It is woody, a little remote, peaceful, and offers wonderful views. The route is about 8 kilometres long and is very popular for walkers, runners, and cyclists. At this time of year, it’s about the only place I get a true sense of autumn, as the south of France tends to be constantly green due to the warmer climate of the region.

D50 looking south
over Cap Martin.

Grande Corniche looking
west towards Monaco.

Rain in Monaco Sunday?

I’m not an F1 fan, but because I do spend a lot of time in Monaco, I do take some interest in just this one race.

The Monaco Grand Prix is special more for the venue than the actual race itself. I’ve watch the GP several times on TV in the past years and qualifying is far more important, because who ever gets pole position will most likely be the race winner barring any mishaps. This is because the cars are too broad for the narrower track, which makes passing very difficult. However, it is not impossible, as I remember a very clever and imaginative pass a couple of years ago by David Coulthard, where he made an inside pass on the hair pins just before the tunnel.

Still passing is very rare and so any drama typically comes from unfortunate mishaps rather than skill. Every GP I’ve seen has been dry and sunny. However, the weather forecast for this weekend is calling for rain on Sunday, which many of the drivers have comment on, saying that Monaco would become 10x more dangerous. I’ve never seen a wet race in Monaco, but given how boring a dry race is, if it rains on Sunday, then the drama through misfortune will be high, unless all the drivers decide to play safe.

Now I don’t wish anyone harm or misfortune, but personally I think a wet race in Monaco would be a more interesting test of man and machine. And for the fans that brave the weather, should prove very memorable. One way or other, I have a sense that this coming Sunday is going to be dramatic.

Hot Wheels, Majorette, Corgi …

This is the week of the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, another one of the Riviera’s prestigious events, which always overlaps with the Cannes Film Festival. Monaco is about 45 minutes drive east from Cannes and about 20 minutes drive west from the Italian border by the A8 autoroute. It is very popular tourist destination and common stop for cruise ships.

I mentioned before how Cannes triples in population during the Film Festival, well Monaco is probably no exception and possibly worse as it is only about 5 square kilometres in size. So with both the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix, you can imagine how trying to do any normal day-to-day business in these two places in the days leading up to and during these events can be a nightmare.
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