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.
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