People often say they like to blend in with the locals when they travel. Well, some of the people in this photo are "locals" in Monaco . Can you guess which?
There, wasn't that difficult, was it?
Every day wear requires dressing up. What's the point of having the good life, the finest things, designer everything, and keeping them all in a cupboard. Monegasques dress well and stylishly, which means preppy for men, and casual-classic for her And (mostly) they take pride in looking in good shape. Not many shops stock over-size XXXXL designer wear.
Monegasques are very tolerant of the hordes of visitors that flow into the Principality every day. (More so than I would be if fifty coaches pulled up outside my house each morning) And to their credit, they just get on with living the good life, non-plussed.
But as a result of the worldwide recession and credit crunch, Monagasques could be an "endangered species". Their wealth threatened on all sides by falling interest rates and the international clamp down on tax evasion, some observers claim Monegasques numbers are dwindling. Restaurants half empty, financial advisers waiting for the phone to ring. Were it not for the influx of Russians in their Lamborghinis and luxury yachts, the economy would now be on the skids, tumbleweed blowing through the Casino.
The important thing about Monaco is that for now there are still "locals". Enjoy them while you can - they may not last for ever. However you can do your bit to help Monaco beat the Recession. Bring lots of money and spend it. Hope and change - loose change - every bit helps
The Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince are the royal guard of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco. The Palace is guarded by two officers and eight carabiniers around the clock. The guard is changed every day at 12 o'clock, announced by the company's section of eight trumpeters.
If you want to see the changing of the guard; line up early aboyut 11am to get a good viewing spot. I was fortunate that Liz had been here before and knew just where we should be at what time. By 12pm, there is a huge crowd waiting to see the changing of the guard and it is a sight to see.
A big thing in Monaco seems to be very sauve Italian and French guys with Flashy, expensive cars trying to get you to pay them to take a picture of you with their car. They seem to all gather right by the Casino which makes sense since it's brimming with tourists. We experienced many of these guys trying to talk Liz into a picture with their car. Fortunately she was able to tell them no thankyou in both languages.....
The Monaco people truly loves its Royal Family (the Grimaldis), so you shouldn't make fun of it. It is true that the Monaco citizen (around 7000 people) are very privilegiate and don't pay any taxes !
Prince Rainier III (that recently died) has been a brillant business man that made the success of the Principality. He made Monaco the world capital of glamour in the 60's by marrying Hollywood star Grace Kelly. They had 3 children : Albert II (the new Prince), Caroline and Stephanie. But don't forget that you should always call them "SAS" which means "Son Altesse Serenissime" (His/Her Serene Highness ).
You can't miss the presence of the Grimaldi Family in Monaco, because so many monuments and streets hold their name. Also all the shops have a picture of the Prince.
The attachement to the Royalty is celebrated every year during the National Feast on 19th November.
A big sign standing in the way of entering the casino was actually the sign for people who wish to enter and should know what are the house rules.
Obviously t-shirt or bikinis entering casino will not be allowed but at least dress smart and formal if you want to play. Unless if you manage to drive a ferrari outside the casino entrance will be another story.
Honor, Loyalty and Devotion to Duty is the motto on the flag of the Palace Guards, a group created in 1817 to provide 24-hour security for the Palace, royal residences, the Sovereign Prince and his family.
The Guard is composed of 3 Officers, 15 Sergeant-majors and 80 Privates, all highly trained French military men. It has been reorganized several times since its inception and in January 1904 Prince Albert I renamed them "COMPAGNIE DES CARABINIERS DU PRINCE".
These are the Guards one sees each day promptly at 11:55 AM in front of the royal entrance on the Palace Square performing the ceremony of the Changing of the Guards. This tradition is performed in full dress uniform, black in the winter and white in the summer, and has not changed for more than 100 years. But this ceremony is only one of the many duties of the Palace Guards. They escort religious and civil and ceremonial processions; and ensure security for sports and other public events in the Principality.
Monaco has accepted the euro as only currency a few years ago and thus the own coins and paper money have stopped excisting. Only for collectors they hold certain value. This also is with the old Monagaskan stamps. You can use the French, that are available in the postoffices and shops.
This hidden playground has some fearsome artillery protecting it. Either your children will be very safe, or severly punished for inappropriate swinging!