May 31, 2011

French Riviera

Sorry for the gap in posting. I have been pretty busy lately. This past weekend this blog turned two years old, and I would like to increase the frequency of posts over the next year.

Earlier in May, I went to the French Riviera for a 4-day weekend. I stayed in Nice and took trips to Antibes, Cannes, and Monaco. It was nice to get away from cool and overcast Scotland for a couple days. The weather was prefect on Thursday and Friday.

The Cannes Film Festival was going on that weekend. All of the huge yachts were out, and I got to see some of the largest in the world. I walked out to the end of the dock to get a better view and hung out with the paparazzi as they wanted for someone to leave the Lady Moura. The events surrounding the film festival were a little bizarre. You had all kinds of people walking around trying to spot someone famous or to get into one of the various parties. Some of these people were rather dressed up, which made them seem all the more desperate. It resembled groups of college freshmen on a Friday night trying to find a frat party that would let them in.

Monaco was also an absurd place, but in a different way. It is very much a place of contradictions. The city/country consists mainly of high-rise towers. However, there are lots of nice little parks and green areas all over. Of course, there were plenty of middle age men driving expensive supercars and a flat the size of mine would cost over €1 million, but at the same time, I got the impression that Monaco must have been a kind of a backwater 100 years ago.

Since I was there two weeks before the Grand Prix, the course was almost finished being set up and I was able to walk most of the track. One of the things I did was I went to the Monte Carlo Casino. The Casino is very grand and not like any casino you would find in America. It cost €10 to get in. Since the minimum for blackjack was €50, I just played the slot machines for a while and watched people play roulette. I saw one guy win over €8,000 on one game. It also had a self-cleaning toilet I took a video of.

My pictures are now uploaded and a few are below the jump.

Beach in Nice


Paul Allen's yacht Octopus off the coast of Cannes. It is the 12th largest yacht in the world.

Monaco set up for the Grand Prix


Monte Carlo Casino

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