Passageway, Cap d’Ail (Pic de Jour)

Cap D’Ail, France, 30-Sep-2012

I’m busy in Monaco for a few days, but did manage a quick stroll early yesterday evening along the coastal footpath in nearby Cap d’Ail. The pathway begins just a half kilometre west of Fontvieille in Monaco at Plage Marquet. Great views, fresh air, relaxing stroll. I really like this passageway.

A little bit more via the Ville de Cap d’ail website is here.

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Monaco notebook.

I’ve visited Monaco in every season, and have to report that winters, even mild ones, are a fairly shitty time to visit. Especially when it’s raining.

Unless you’re insanely wealthy or overwhelmed by the desire to throw money away, there’s surprisingly little of interest to do in Monte Carlo. But if you happen to pop into the principality over the next few weeks, here are a few options I noted:

From the 17th to the 24th of the month, the circus is in town, formally known as the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo. Everyone loves the circus, no?

Fernando Botero: Recent works, at the Marlborough Gallery. I was turned on to this famed Colombian artist last year, and was mildly upset that I missed this the other day. A few years ago Botero made waves with his graphic take on US-led torture at Iraq’s Abu Graib prison. Through 25-Jan.

I’ve been to the Musée Océanographique de Monaco a handful of times, and it’s always worth a visit. Located on “the rock” just a short stroll from the Palace grounds, it’s a stunning building, rising 279 feet above the sea. Prince Albert 1, the current Prince’s grandfather, was quite the navigator and explorer in his day, and much of what is in the museum was collected by him. The basement aquarium is home to 4000 species of fish. Admission 12.50 EUR.

And if you do well at the casinos, consider a helicopter tour of the Cote d’Azur: 60 EUR/10 minutes, 115 EUR/20 min, 150 EUR/30 min, per person (airport taxes not included).

Note about getting to and from: There is hourly bus service via Menton, France, with a handful of stops in Monaco to Nice Airport. (Mine yeterday was delayed due to landslides caused by the rain!), roughly 15 EUR one way. Note that a cab ride will cost between 80 and 100 EUR.

A few dozen pics are here.

monaco_rain, originally uploaded by pirano.

Looking for an affordable apartment in Europe? Don’t read this.

buildmore.jpgMonaco and London top the list as Europe’s most expensive cities for those in the market for residential property, according to a survey conducted by The Global Property Guide, a residential real estate research organization.

2006-08-20-monaco02.jpgSpace is at a premium in the tiny principality on the Riviera, and it’ll set you back about €24,900 per sq/m, or just under €3 million for a 120 sq/m sized apartment. (Americans: multiply that by 1.295401.)  By comparison, locations described as ‘prime’ in the British capital are a bargain at just €14,522 sq/m, or €1.74 million for the same sized flat.

Paris, Amsterdam and Vaduz are next on the list, with Moscow sitting in the No. 6 spot, with the going rate of €6,266 per sq/m.

The survey notes how quickly prices have soared in the Baltic states, where a high-end flat in central Vilnius, Lithuania comes in at €3,792 per sq/m (€455,000 for 120 sq/m), while the rate in Riga, Latvia is €3,020 per sq/m, or €362,400 for a similar sized pad.

Here in Ljubljana? It’s No. 26 on the list, weighing in at 2,467 sq/m, or just under €300,000 for a 120 sq/m place, just behind Lisbon, but more expensive on average than flats in Istanbul, Tallinn, Prague, Brussels, Athens and Warsaw.

Grandma’s house in the hills is sounding better and better all the time.

The carnival’s in town.

monaco-carnival06.jpgMONACO — Sprawled alongside the main harbor here this weekend, home to some of the world’s most extravagant yachts and in the shadow of Prince Albert’s palace, was this very ordinary carnival, enjoyed by very ordinary people. Just across the street is an ordinary chain grocery store where one could buy an extraordinary 1983 Petrus magnum for 4000 euros. 

Anyway, I’ve always been big on clowns. And I really got a kick out of the hanging giraffe.

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