Welcome to Monaco
Day 14: Sunday, April 24, 2005
Pictures from tour bus began at 1:41 PM.
We arrived in Monaco after lunch by bus.
Riding on a tour bus is a pretty good way to get a quick tour of an area, but it surely is not a pretty good way to take a collection of pictures to represent the area. One must snap, snap, snap and hope that some come out without reflections from the window, and with the subject somewhat in focus. And we have to hope there isn't a power pole in the middle of the result. We can, sometimes get enough of a sampling to convey what it was like to be on the bus touring the area. Is it worth the effort? Well, if I didn't take picutes that way, there wouldn't be many pictures on this Web site. A good cropping tool in the image editing program can work wonders. For example, the picture at left is just the upper corner of the picture returned by the camera.
This is known locally as The Rock, site of the palace.
I don't know how old these walls are, but here's what happened in 1297:
On January 8, 1297, Francois Grimaldi took power of the Monaco fortress. In the book, Monaco, its Origins and History, the indisputable authority on Monaco's history, author Gustave Saigne relates the details of this paramount turning point in the history of the Principality : "During the night of January 8, 1297, a monk appeared at the gates of Monaco. Inconspicuously, Francois Grimaldi was let through. Barely having entered the enclosed grounds, the imposture monk threw himself over the guards, apparently few were holding watch, and a full pledged attack was launched as the large Guelf troops, which had been hiding closely behind concealed by the obscurity of the night, forced the gates before the guards could react." By his actions, Francois Grimaldi forever engraved the family name on the flanks of Monaco's rock.
If you have been following along, you'll recall that the captain had to anchor down the coast from the planned anchorage because of the high winds over the Mediterranean. The wind still gales, the the seas are very rough.
We are about to turn into the ramp to the bus parking building.
It seems incredible, but they have a 3 or 4 story parking building for busses at the base of the cliff. Elevators take the passengers up to the top of the cliff near the Oceanographic Museum which hugs the precipice.
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