"" Writer's Wanderings: Monte Carlo - That's My Yacht

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Monte Carlo - That's My Yacht

One of the first things you notice about Monte Carlo when you approach by the sea is the size of the yachts. They are so large, you wonder if some of them are just mini-cruise ships. Commodore Warner of the Queen Mary 2 in his wonderful British wit had told the passengers that as they explored Monte Carlo, if anyone should ask, our yacht was the large one sitting outside the harbor with the big red smokestack.

Monte Carlo is a part of Monaco and is a beautiful city with lots of history including a young actress, Grace Kelly, who became a princess. On several previous visits, we explored the church, the Cousteau museum, the palace area, and of course the famous casino.

This time, we revisited a few spots including the graves of Grace Kelly and Prince Ranier and the palace courtyard where the changing of the guard takes place with full pomp and circumstance at 11:55 a.m. There is another changing of the guard around 3 p.m. but with less pomp.

Our challenge for this trip was to figure out the bus system so we could get from the palace to the casino park without having to take a taxi. To our delight it was not difficult once we found the bus stop at the foot of the palace walk and looked at the map. Just to be sure though, we asked a security guard in the area and his answer matched our conclusion. We boarded the bus and for a Euro, rode to the casino park.

The park was blooming with beautiful red tulips. We strolled, took pictures, and looked at all the expensive cars parked in front of the big Monte Carlo Casino. The trip to the casino was made even more special this time by the fact that on board our ship was one of the “Bond girls,” Mayam D’Abo.

She had given a talk about being a Bond girl (Bond was Timothy Dalton) and how it had changed her career. She is still acting but now does a lot of producing as well including an excellent documentary called “Bond Girls Are Forever” where she interviewed quite a few of the Bond girls from Ursula Andrews, the first, to Halle Berry, who at filming was the latest. The documentary was originally shown on AMC cable in the States. After the interview, the ship showed the documentary.

Somehow standing across from the casino, seeing the expensive sporty cars, one can’t help but hear the beat of the Bond theme song and imagine Sean Connery (still my favorite) driving up, getting out of his specially made car, looking your direction and giving one of those famous half grins.

Ah, a girl can dream. . .

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