I just wanted to drop you a note about my doings in Monaco. In short, IT’s AMAZING! After spending a day walking around this steep harbor city, I realized after having grown up in a Southern USA state that I had no idea just how obscenely rich some people in the world are. This teeny-tiny state covers only 1 square mile, but has a huge number of millionaires and billionaires in it‘s population. To become a resident of this tax nirvana, you simply need to pay an up-front application fee of (place pinky to mouth) 1 milllllion dollars. However, just because you have the cash doesn‘t mean that you get to play the no-tax game, some very “A” list Hollywood celebrities have been denied before and said goodbye to their application fee. Since the residents pay no taxes, most of Monaco’s infrastructure is paid for by the profits of the infamous Monte Carlo casino (yes that one, Bond…James Bond).
Wandering a bit longer, I emerged from the marble corridor leading from the spotless train station to a waterfront overrun with tourists. Most of them were snapping photos of the numerous supercars as they sped past, or the monstrous yachts and cruise liners that were lined up along the piers.
There seemed to be a lot of red Ferraris cruising up and down the waterfront. I soon saw that they could be rented for a drive around the same streets used for the Monaco F1 Grand Prix race. Well, well, well for me this was an opportunity not to be missed. Half an hour later I was climbing into the driver’s seat of a bright red Ferrari 360 Spider. The rental agent climbed into the only other seat and explained a few simple rules. The speed limit is 30mph, your gears are 1 through 6, let’s try to not to hit anything. I managed to get around the crowded cramped streets without stalling (too many times) and even had a few chances to hit it, though the beast was up to the speed limit before my foot was even half down. The soft transmission made shifting sloppy to make it easier for the limited skills of the typical tourists. Yee Ha, what a ride.
I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the sights of the city center. Outside the casino, supercars of all colors were lined up and fawned over by an army of parking attendants. Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and Maseratis, oh my!
At dusk I walked up to the older part of the city known as Monaco Ville. Up here there were the now typical cramped narrow streets lined with expensive restaurants. I gazed upward and there perched on the cliff top was my destination the Prince’s Palace or as the locals put it Palais du Prince. I could go on and on but don’t want to take up all your bandwidth, so I finished up my writeup here. Think I will go mingle, HeeHee.
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