Monaco, Walkabout, Walkabout 2

DOES HAVING LUNCH IN MONACO CONSTITUTE AS TRAVELLING A COUNTRY?

Not just a sunny place for shady people.
— Somerset Maugham

Apparently Monaco is a country....

Before I insisted that we stop in Monaco for lunch, I had to ascertain that it was in fact a country, as frankly that was the only reason I wanted to stop. Although dubious, it is.

  • With a total area of 2.02 square kilometers, Monaco is the second smallest independent state in the world, after the Vatican. Both would also be right up there in the "World Dodginess" and "Suspicious Characters per Square Meter" World Rankings.
  • It is a Principality, which means a Prince is running the joint as opposed to a Kingdom which has, surprisingly, a King. It does not matter that the Prince puts his wing-wang in places he shouldn't, resulting in illegitimate children; the people LOVE him, because....
  • It is tax free for individuals, meaning that millionaires and billionaires clamber into this "country" like clowns into a car, rendering it....
  • The most densely populated sovereign nation.

 

So we did stop for lunch....

As we weaved our way up the Riviera we played a game called, "Spot the car with Monaco number plates costing under 50 000 Euro." Nobody won.

Our Nice hosts had suggested we head up to the Castle as that is where the best views could be found. As I sat and munched on my flimsy 7 Euro crepe surrounded by people in Grand Prix merchandise, I could not help but feel that the whole thing was a set which was going to collapse at any point: I did not lean on anything in case the pylons were hollow.

Looking down onto the port was a crash course in, "How to be ostentatious 101." The cars, the boats, the casinos, and the distinct aroma of money and greed did not make me envious: I just felt dirty, and not in a good way.

 

Yes it does count as travelling the country....

As that is it: what you see is what you get; the whole 2.02 square kilometers are right there, laid out before you. See, if you have lunch at an airport on the way to somewhere else, then that does not count, as you have not experienced the culture. However, I assume to explore the true  "culture" of Monaco you would either need to be a billionaire, a world class gambler, or a hooker for hire (is there such thing)? As bar-tending does not pay that well, I have a terrible poker face, and no-one in their right mind would pay me for sex, this was as close as I was going to get, and that suited me fine.