Tuesday 8 March 2011

Monaco Blues

I have a bad case of the winter blues. (I keep hearing that spring is on the way, but other than longer days I can't see many signs of it around here). I have so completely had it with freezing temperatures, with heavy coats and boots. I'm dreaming about the sensation of warm air on bare skin, grass or sand underfoot. Planning our summer holidays this past weekend brought on a feverish fit of vicarious sun-seeking, browsing pics of summers past.

The gardens of St Martin in Monaco-Ville overlook the bay on the Côte d'Azure, where the Alpes-Maritimes meet the Mediterranean. We took a train ride along that coast a couple of summers ago, from Antibes past Cagnes-sur-Mer, Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, to Monaco Bay, watching the boats bob along that impossibly blue sea.

The gardens are perched up high on a cliff top, adjoining St Nicholas cathedral where Grace and Rainier are buried, and are full of exotic plants, water features and sculptures.

I liked it up here. The tacky commercialism of Monte Carlo fades from this distance, and all looks serene and blue.

Pick a yacht, any one you like ...

The Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium are up here too, courtesy of Albert I (great great grandfather of the incumbent Albert), and very cool they were too, in every sense of the word ...

Roll on summer. I'm getting desperate.

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