My European Trip, Part 13, Monaco

Hello ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

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My schedule  has been quite hectic since November . Fall semester is going to end soon, and that means, final exams, and submissions of all school projects. Also, I now work longer hours at my  two part time jobs.  I come home at 11 PM almost everyday. So, my apologies for  not visiting your blogsites . Believe it or not, I have, to date , 5,137 unread emails.

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So, anyway, this is my 13th post and it’s  about my trip to Monaco.

Okay, to us, peons, Monaco is definitely out of our league.  It  is the recreation center for the rich and famous.

Monaco is officially called The Principality of Monaco.  It is a sovereign city -state and is located on the French Riviera. It’s just 16 km. from Italy and 13 km. from Nice, France. We stayed overnight at Nice, by the way. I assume the tour company couldn’t afford the hotels in Monaco. One thing, parking there is like , 125 Euro /hour.( $165 ).  Yep.

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.Monaco has an area of just 1.98  sq. km. ( .76 sq. m. ), with a population of a little over 36,000, making it one of the  smallest countries in the world, second only to The Vatican , and  the most densely populated place in the world. It’s a constitutional monarchy, headed by Prince Albert II , the son of Prince Rainier, and Princess Grace ( American actress Grace Kelly ), both deceased.  The House of Grimaldi have ruled Monaco since 1297.

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.Above is the Mediterranean Sea.

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.Do you know why the rich come to Monaco and take up residence there? It has no income tax, and  has very low business taxes. In other words, a tax haven.

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.Monaco’s official language is French, and official religion is Roman Catholicism.  I guess there’s no separation of church and state in their Constitution.  Although it is independent and has  full voting rights at the U.N. , France is responsible for Monaco’s defence.

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Look at all those yatchs  that are  docked  at Port of Hercules. Do you have any idea how much it costs to park a yatch  at the port? Our tour manager gave a figure but I couldn’t believe it. I won’t tell. You wouldn’t believe it, either.

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.Monaco’s only natural resource is fishing. There’s no  agriculture whatsoever. Most of the state’s income comes from tourism,  services , banking, and yes, the Casinos at Monte Carlo.  Monaco is subdivided into 3 municipalities ;  Monte  Carlo,  La Condamine, and Monaco-Ville.

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.We arrived in Nice,  at our hotel,, dressed up for our Monaco tour that included a $ 75 a person optional dinner , and  drinks and some gambling  at  Le  Cafe de Paris.  We took  a walking tour of Monte Carlo.

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.Monaco has the world’s  highest GDP nominal per capita at $ 154,000, with unemployment rate at 0% ( yes, zero ! ),  and check out those residential buildings above…….. the real estate market as of 2011 is $66,000 per square meter., the world’s highest. And do you notice how clean the streets are? I swear I can eat food off that street. The place is just too clinical.

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.Monaco also has the lowest poverty rate in the world, and has the most number of millionaires and billionaires per capita.

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.I really find that statue of a baby a bit odd, considering that it’s in front of the Oceanographic Museum.

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Above is the cathedral where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace got married.

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.Sorry  but I  feel I have relegated myself to posting some old royal wedding picture stuck on one random street post. Monaco is a place fo the rich and famous, but not for me who gets excited to see ancient ruins and piles of rock the ancients had used at one time.

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Above is where we had dinner.

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Our  $75 .00 dinner.

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.Tuna, anchovies, olives, greens, half boiled egg, cucumber, and tomatoes.  I liked the salad… and to be honest, the anchovies made it really delicious.

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.Chicken didn’t taste good….. the tomato sauce tasted like rust, fries were very limp, the beans were overcooked.

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.Egg custard dessert……. I make a better custard than that. I call it leche flan. I could tell they included the egg whites to save on the cost, I guess. The texture of the custard is different if it’s pure yolk.  I expected  we’d get at least a spoonful of caviar.

Next photos were our night out at Monte Carlo Grand Casino. No, we didn’t go inside. hahaha….. We went to the  side casino, the one on the left,…. that was the one  for  common folks.

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.These next 2 photos are the only ones I have of Nice, France.  We didn’t  have time to walk around and take pictures.DSCN1176.DSCN1122

.So, that’s it for Monaco.  To be honest, I’m not into Monaco. Yes, it’s a beautiful place. It’s very clean,  everything ‘s spic and span, nothing is out of place. It’s like a fairy tale land.  But I think it’s too clinical. There’s nothing spontaneous about the place.  It’s like coming from an amusement center, and then stepping into a hospital.  Ah, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me.  I should have got down on my knees  and  licked  a street .  That would a nice tale to tell my future kids, ahaha.

OMgosh, it’s almost  here.  Christmas, my most favorite holiday.

To Christians, Happy Christmas .

To Jews, Happy Hannuka ! ( Hanukka? )

To all the rest, Happy Holidays and Peace to you all ! !

Avignon, Carcassone and maybe Barcelona is next.  PEACE !

73 responses to this post.

  1. Sigh! I wish I could take a trip like this, My bucket list grows every day lol! It’s too bad about the leche flan though, especially the chicken given how easy it is to make proper chicken 😦

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  2. Wow! I envy this post! 😦 You look good though, a bit of asian but very latina! 🙂 I love all your photos 🙂

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  3. About the chicken…. it was the sauce…. aaaargh, it’s like, they just poured tomato sauce from the can, sprinkled some rosemary or some strange herbs, and that was it.

    Cheers, Andy ! Start saving up !

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    • Ugh out of a can, wonder what chef Ramsay would say about that! sure the menu didn’t read ‘mystery chicken’? lol 😀

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      • Nah. The dish was so simple what you see is what you get. lol ! Oh, my, that was $ 75 ! Do you know how much we spend when we shop at the Asian market? Once a month….. less than $200 for 5 people.

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        • Yipes! do you folks make fancy meals at home or what? 😀

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          • Rice… always with rice, and no, our meals are very simple. Just one or two dishes with rice. We have one dish meal that has everything in it, like this one .. water, beef, onions, carrots, greens , ( usually bokchoy or spinach ), potatoes. We boil and soften the meat first, then we add the veggies, then we eat that with rice. How simple is that?

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  4. Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on December 13, 2012 at 4:15 am

    $165 for parking???? omg!!! that is ridiculous! however I wouldn’t mind living there. But only if I won the lottery or whatever…lol

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    • It is ridiculous ! That actually turned me off . Tbh, it really looks nice… but think, it’s $66,000 per square meter ! ! Your lottery money will be gone in 2 years ,

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  5. Take care and have a great holiday! We thought our Jakarta prices are shocking. Seems not so…LOL

    xoxo midnightvisitor

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    • I heard Jakarta was even cheaper than the prices in the Philippines. I hope to visit Indonesia too. Monaco price is ridiculous. I heard Japan was expensive too, Been to Japan, midnightvisitor? we’ll be going there next year.

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  6. Good to know about Monaco and cost of living is very high 🙂 The Baby statue looks very cute too 🙂 I guess you had a bad dinner…..Merry Christmas 🙂

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  7. Monaco looks sterile parangh indi ako bagay diyan .haahah

    Ang ganda nung pic sa fountain 🙂

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  8. Take care not scheduling to hard… 🙂

    Wonderful shots, really enjoyed reading this post… 🙂

    Avignon, Carcassone are places which can recommended for visiting too… 🙂

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    • Thanks !

      carcassone is nice. Avignon… well, it used to be the residence of the Pope, instead of the vatican. We went there, but it was raining hard and we didn’t bring umbrellas, ugh. Not much photos in Avignon.

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  9. I’m so envious of your consistent amazing photos. nice work always!

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  10. Food bad. Monaco better. Cleavage best 😉 Hugs Ralph x

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  11. I can see what you mean about it feeling clinical. I don’t think Monaco would be on my destination list. But ah well, got to say you’ve been there once =P

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  12. always liked the first pic.. i mean.. the first scenery pic. i envy u.. aaahh! and u look nice in Monte Carlo. hehe.

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  13. It’s because of your posts why my “to-visit” list keeps getting longer. Argh! Haha! 😀

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  14. I love your tour, and your enthusiasm as I hope you know. I thought ” 75.00 seemes a high price for the dinner you had. Its clearly not a chea[ place. We all know who Princess Grace was: Style and Grace on legs. I know a lot more about Monaco after this. You make a great tour guide for armchair tourists like me. Thankyou

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    • It was high, and the food wasn’t worth the price. Mom tells me she spends leass than $200 when she shops at the Asian market…. our food for one month, for 5 people. The Asian market is far from where we live. Raw chicken is $2 per kilo., 18- egg pack is $ 1.75. So yeah, it was really highway robbery.

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  15. What can I possibly say at this point? Your shots are gorgeous, you’re beautiful, you’re friends are magnificent! Great work!

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  16. I love your post on Monaco, Great photos as well.

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  17. You’re right, Monaco doesn’t seem like all that great a place to go, especially when compared to the others places you visited. It’s one of those places I’ve heard the name of but know nothing about.

    Where’s the worst place you’ve ever been to in the entire world?

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    • In the entire world? I was in the Philippines in 2010, and Uhm, I saw poverty, real poverty. The country is beautiful, too, great people, and by the way, it’s very modern, compared to my own city here in the US. You know, out of 10 biggest shopping malls in the world, 4 are in the Philippines, #2. The philippines is composed of 7,000 islands…. can you imagine the # of beautiful beaches there…. it’s just that I’ve seen where poor people live… the so-called slum area. But if you’d ask me where you could go in the Far east, I ‘d highly recommend the Philippines.

      I think I’m going to make a write -up on this country .

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  18. I went to Monaco a long time ago, but it was when I did an in-depth tour of France. We only got to visit Monte Carlo during the day. We never saw it or Monaco at night. But to be honest, there really isn’t much to see or do in Monaco. It’s really for the filthy rich. Good post!

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  19. I longed to tell you this, Renx. You really look like Sitti, a Filipina singer. 🙂

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  20. hello, Ren… Merry Christmas, sister. Have a happy December, enjoy the yuletide season. 🙂

    It’s a wonderful post.I even like your assessment of the place. Hey, what’s the fuss about the photos, eh? Cheers, dear. 😉

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  21. That baby statue scared me, you are right the place does seem a bit sterile, no passion and pricey, thanks for sharing I shall stay away with my meagre pay packet.

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    • I know. 6_6 Where can one stay in Monaco? the hotels are so pricey… I’m not kidding about the $165 per hour parking fees. That’s what the tour manager paid for , although he got a huge discount, of course, for bringing in tourists, and commissions from restaurants for the overpriced dinners,,,

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  22. Ren … great photos and I do find that sculpture of the baby “odd and creeeeeeepy” … I really loved looking at your photos. I went to Monaco and Nice years ago. I loved Nice and I thought the casino in Monaco “so so” ( maybe that’s because I didn’t win!) … the sights were wonderful though 🙂

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  23. Posted by HisMuse on December 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Ren, this was a really interesting post and photos, as I have never really had a chance to ever look into the place. I loved your point of view. I probably won’t go there, so I’ll never have a chance to find out how much it costs to park a yacht, but I’d believe anything at this point, so will you tell us? & $75 for your dinner! I loved your food critique. I’ve said too much so Merry Christmas !!

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    • How much to park a yatch ? In the million dollars… unbelievable, isn’t it ? But the 125 Euro per hour parking is 100% true. That’s how much our tour manager paid to park our motorcoach.

      The food ! I’m going to make a separate write up on that.

      Merry Christmas ! ! 7 more days to go !

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  24. hello, Ren… mahal nga raw ang food, sabi. saka ‘yon, pang-royalty and ultra-rich ang Monaco, sabi… hey, magaganda pa rin ang pictures sa itaas… 🙂

    salamat sa bati. Magandang Pasko sa ‘yo! 🙂

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    • Hi, Ate…. magsusulat ako ng separate write -up sa food experience namin sa Europe. Watch out for that ! !

      Magandang pasko din ! Malapit na ! ! Whooo ! Pero, as usual, kami lang dito sa US. malungkot . All our relatives are in the Philippines. Yung Christmas banquet na niluluto namin, tapos inaayos ng maganda, kami rin ang kumakain, ha ha ha. Sometimes, Mom thinks what for?

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      • hello, Ren… o, sige, aabangan ko ang food write up mow, as in… ^^

        hugs for the coming Christmas! yeah, papapalapit na ng papalapit, di mapigilan. gusto ko nga sanang i-resched, ahihi. nami-miss nyo ang relatives sa Pinas at commotion ng kama-kamag-anak? haaiii, what to do? minsan yata, ganoon talaga, hindi mapagsama-sama kahit maganda pa ang intentions. hug your mom and remind her she’s got her kids – all grown up and rotten, haha, a definite pay-off for years of missing the home country, naman…

        pakikain pala ako sa luto ni Mommy mo… say you’re eating for two, ahaha. 😉

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        • Ate… kami lang sa Christmas meal…. minsan nakakawalang gana mag prepare. Sabi ng Mama ko, luto namin, kain din namin, Ha ha ha Nothing different from the usual, Happy New Year, huh.

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          • e, di nga ba, medyo iba sa Amerika… di kagaya sa Pinoy na pag sinabing family, isang buong clan, extended to the longest and widest level, ahaha. 😉 sentiment talaga ng mga Pinoy na nasa malayo ang family togetherness pag may okasyon… o, e, ikinain mo ba ako no’ng Noche Buena? hihihi 😉

            Happy and prosperous New Year! take care, Ren… 🙂

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  25. Wow… Interesting trip.. Will try to read each of your trips every day… This Monaco trip is well documented! 🙂

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  26. I noticed that you did not wear your hat in this post? 🙂
    Is that traditional food of Monaco? I can feel that you have a bad dinner.

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    • Weird. I thought I had already responded to this.
      Anyway, no, I didn’t wear a hat. It didn’t go with my outfit. And except for the salad, the food was lousy, and it was $US 75

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  27. Neat! I never got the opportunity to go to Monaco. I never think about it, but your photos have inspired the old wanderlust.

    I think that baby sculpture is a little weird as well.

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    • Ah, Monaco. Unless it’s your style, ( casino, etc ) you didn’t miss anything. It doesn’t have much character. But that’s just my opinion. Maybe I just can’t afford to be there. And I’m not kidding about the carpark fees.

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  28. Posted by supernova on December 30, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Nice photo’s, they give you a real feel for the place! Well done and best wishes. SN

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  29. I love Monaco. Never been but feel as though I have now thanks to you 🙂 Nice pictures as well. What I really want to know is where are the single men? Or are there any? LOL j/k 😉

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  30. The baby statue is eerie freaky, it looks so dropped there by the giant stone stork, it’s like a movie set gone wrong or something, you are right. Odd. Very. lol

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  31. Hi Ren! As much as I like being in places where the rich and famous are, I would rather visit historical places which are more interesting for me. Hehe… But I liked the Cathedral Building. Plus you’re pretty in that dress! 🙂

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  32. u look lovely 🙂 Nice trip! have never been there, im jealous! ;P

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  33. A lot to be said about a review, be it of a book, a movie, or tourist location, penned by a person who has no commercial interest in it. Brings out the reality much more than a commercial review, I think. Very useful.

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  34. I agree with you on Monaco and the placement of the neonate statue……odd! Love this series on Europe! Such great photos and narratives. Kudos~

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    • Hey, Thanks !

      Monaco is beautiful but for some reason, it’s too sterile. I can eat off the sidewalks. It’s charming but has no character. But it’s just me.

      Reply

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