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Monaco

Curious what backpackers do in Monaco? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Monaco was always a place for the rich and beautiful. My imagination was fueled by film scenes from James Bond, the myth of Grace Kelly and the King's House, as well as Formula One.

    On the spot, the picture was also quite similar to my idea. We reached the city on a Saturday at noon. Much of the shops had already closed. Expensive cars pushed through the streets towards downtown. Countless yachts anchored close together in Hercule harbor. The autumn sun attracted residents and visitors to the cafes on the quayside. It was as if we were moving in the backdrop of a film. If there were other tourists, they could camouflage themselves well. We, on the other hand, reached the city in a camping bus, where we lived for two weeks, strolling through the city in outdoor clothing. A break in the picture.

    The old town of Monaco-Ville with its small narrow streets and views over the ports of Hercules and Fontivieille is worth seeing. It is situated on a plateau called Rocher. The fortress of the Grimaldis, the Saint Nicholas cathedral, and the Oceanography Museum, once led by the famous marine explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, are located here. The actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer III, as well as the present royal family Prince Albert II and the sportswoman Charlene Wittstock, once married in this cathedral.

    We moved in another world. Even the everyday seemed strange. In the Starbucks, I met young people who displayed expensive labels and are named Avantgarde, Naomi, Diamond or Chiara. With my name I feel like an exot. Alina and I talked about our ideas about how we could best use the bad weather situation. We discussed possibilities and created plans. Looking at the faces of the teenagers, I wondered what kind of life they dream off? What plans do they have? How would they use their fully privileged situation (assuming they are from a wealthy parental home)?

    Involuntarily, I must think of the four men we had seen on the highway. At first I thought they were construction workers, but then it turned out they were on the road from Italy to France. They were dark-skinned and with small luggage on the road. "Refugees," I said abruptly to Alina. We were surprised and worried. The subject of refugee movements in Europe and also Asia has always accompanied me on my travels. And how is the Europe-wide issue of refugees and asylum seekers treated in Monaco? Monaco is not part of the EU and connected through special contracts with it. Few refugees are currently being admitted. Just around the 33 refugees living in 2014 in the small principality with about 40,000 inhabitants (current data are difficult to research). A sad figure, considering the prosperity in this state. But statistics alone do not show the entire picture.
    It is more complicated than that. I am curious how this topic will be handled within the EU in the future.

    +++

    Monaco war für mich immer ein Ort der Reichen und Schönen. Meine Vorstellung war gefüttert durch Filmszenen aus James Bond, dem Mythos von Grace Kelly und dem Königshaus, sowie der Formel Eins.

    Vor Ort fügte sich das Bild auch relativ gut in meine Vorstellung. Wir erreichten die Stadt an einem Samstag zur Mittagszeit. Ein Großteil der Geschäfte hatte bereits geschlossen. Teure Autos schoben sich durch die Strassen Richtung Innenstadt. Unzählige Yachten ankerten dicht nebeneinander im Hafen Hercule. Die Herbstsonne lockte Anwohner und Besucher in die Cafés am Kai. Es war, als bewegten wir uns in der Kulisse eines Films. Wenn hier noch andere Urlauber waren, konnten sie sich gut tarnen. Wir dagegen erreichten die Stadt in einem Campingsbus, in dem wir seid zwei Wochen lebten und flanierten in Outdoorbekleidung durch die Stadt. Ein Bruch im Bild.

    Archtiktonisch sehenswert ist die Altstadt Monaco-Ville auf dem Felsenplateau namens Rocher mit seinen kleinen engen Gassen und Aussichtspunkten über die Häfen Hercules und Fontivieille. Ursprünglich eine Befestigung beherbergt der Stadtteil den Fürstenpalast der Grimaldis, die Saint Nicholas Kathedrale, als auch das Ozeanographie-Museum, das einst vom berühmten Meeresforscher Jacques-Yves Cousteau geleitet wurde. In der Kathedrale heirateten einst die Schauspielerin Grace Kelly und Prinz Rainer III als auch das jetzige Königspaar Prinz Albert II und die Sportlerin Charlene Wittstock.

    Wir bewegten uns in einer anderen Welt. Selbst das Alltägliche wirkte befremdlich. Im Starbucks begegneten mir junge Menschen, die teure Labels zur Schau trugen und Namen wie Avantgarde, Naomi, Diamond oder Chiara besaßen. Mit meinem Namen fühlt ich mich wie ein Exot. Alina und ich sprachen über unsere Ideen, wie wir die Schlechtwetterlage am besten nutzen könnten. Wir erörterten Möglichkeiten und schufen Pläne. Beim Blick in die Gesichter der Jugendlichen fragte ich mich, was sie für Träume und Pläne im Leben haben? Wie würden sie ihre durchaus priviligierte Situation nutzen (unter der Annahme, sie stammen aus einem wohlhabenden Elternhaus)?

    Unwillkürlich muss ich an die vier Männer denken, die wir auf der Autobahn gesehen hatten. Erst dachte ich, es wären Bauarbeiter, doch dann stellte sich heraus, sie liefen auf dem Standstreifen von Italien nach Frankreich. Sie waren dunkelhäutig und mit kleinem Gepäck unterwegs. ,,Flüchtlinge”, sagte ich unvermittelt zu Alina. Wir waren überrascht und besorgt. Das Thema der Flüchtlingsbewegungen in Europa und auch Asien hat mich auf meinen Reisen stets begleitet. Und wie wird das europaweite Thema der Flüchtlinge und Asylbewerber in Monaco behandelt? Monaco ist nicht Teil der EU und nur durch besondere Verträge mit dieser verbunden. Nur wenige Flüchtlinge werden derzeit aufgenommen. Gerade mal um die 33 Flüchtlinge leben 2014 in dem kleinen Fürstentum mit circa 40.000 Bewohnern (aktuelle Daten sind schwer zu recherchieren). Eine traurige Zahl, wenn man bedenkt, wie groß der Wohlstand in diesem Staat ist. Aber Statistiken allein zeigen nicht das gesamte Bild. Wie immer ist es viel komplizierter. Ich bin gespannt, wie dieses Thema zukünftig in Europa gehandhabt wird.
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  • ...alles an einem Tag.
    Mit dem Autozug sind wir von Kandersteg durch den Lötschbergtunnel ins Wallis auf den Schienen, runter vom Zug, auf die Straße, über den Berg, durch den Schnee und ab ins Tal bis uns breitbeinig mit verschränkten Armen ein italienischer Zollbeamter zur Notbremsung zwang.
    "Du können weiterfahren" - hieß es, zum Glück.
    Durch Domodossala entlang dem Lago Maggiore über Alessandria und Genua, Richtung Monaco.
    Polizeikontrolle bei Ankunft mit Bravour gemeistert und mit dreckigem Auto vom schweizer Schnee, vor dem Hotel geparkt und dieses aufgrund der zentralen Lage am Jachthafen für gut befunden.
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  • There was time for a quick stop at Monaco to see the Jacques Cousteau Museum that Aaron has been wanting to see. Jacques Cousteau was a marine conservationist that produced many documentaries to raise awareness for his work. He also co-developed the Aqua-Lung, better known as scuba gear or underwater breathing apparatus.

    We were rather disappointed with the museum. We were misinformed about what the exhibition was about. We thought it would feature Jacques Cousteau's life and conservation work but it was mainly a small aquarium with displays of preserved marine animals. It did have a good view of Monaco from the top of the museum though.

    It was not a wasted trip. We got to walk along a section of the Grand Prix circuit! Aaron's stoked. Unfortunately, our bad timing will see us miss the Monaco Grand Prix by a month. Maybe next time.
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  • Second smallest country in the world! Check! Apparently, you can walk across the entire country in an average of 52 minutes, so I'm thinking I could do it in half an hour 😀

    We were there only a few days after the F1 Monaco Grand Prix, so they were still in the process of taking down everything that's set up for the race. The most famous hairpin turn in F1 is in Monaco, right in front of the Fairmont Hotel, and I was there!

    We walked up to Prince Albert's Palace for some photo opportunities and group shots... Not surprisingly, amazing views!

    Our last stop was a casino in Monte Carlo... I felt like I was on the set of Casino Royale! The last time I gambled, aside from my lottery ticket purchase after my hole in one, was when I turned 18, so I figured this was a great opportunity... I played blackjack and doubled my €50 starting buy in to €100, so I'm probably good for another 15 years! I also picked up some pamphlets at the casino explaining the rules of various table games. Craps is a game i have zero understanding of, so that read should be interesting.
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  • Well it's not everday you get to party on a yacht in Monaco harbour when the Formula One cars are in town! First off must say a huge thank you to Smithy Jnr and Snr for the invite. Amazing day and evening guys.

    From arriving into the harbour and yacht via speedboat, to chilling out watching the F1 practice session from the top deck, to the amazing food, to the live band on the back of the boat, to the endless flow of drink, to having F1 driver Felipe Nasr and the Sauber guys on board, to the sun being out all day and to the great company it really was an incredible day.Read more

  • After yesterday's incredible party on the yacht today was a much calmer affair with the day spent in Monaco watching the GP2 (surprisingly a lot louder than F1) race and the Porshe Supercup. With some great seats in the stands we managed to get up very close to the cars and pits and after the racing was finished got the chance to walk the track before they opened the roads again to the public.

    Headed back to Nice this evening and with yesterday catching up on me it's an early night to recharge for the weekend.
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  • ¿ Whats with the title you ask ? Well ill tell you. We went to Monaco!! A day trip (once we gpt organised because that wasnt until around after midday). I mean who doesnt want a day trip, especailly to the lovely place Monaco. Now it gets a bit boring in the car for an hour + so we did a challenge to find 'smart cars' and it was kids vs adults. It is a pretty good way to pass time. And we had to pass time since we had no idea where we where going and also had a detour through the mountains. Monaco was really good. We walked around the boat dock and saw these really nice 'yoats'. After that we went to get something to eat. We walked around (counting even more smart cars) and got to this nice restaraunt. We had ice cream and crepes, it was really good. Whilst eating we took fun pictures and just enjoyed ourselves. Once we where coming back to our rented cars we saw this white lambogini racing past. So today i saw 2 lambogini's and 12 ferarri's and alot of smart cars.Read more

  • Off to Italy! Bye France it was great and hope to see you soon. On the way we had to see Monaco. What a city! Highrise modern buildings yachts and the Rock with the palace on it. Very fancy and really stunning.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Principality of Monaco, Monaco, Mɔnako, ሞናኮ, موناكو, ܡܘܢܟܘ, Mónaco, Monako, Манака, Монако, মোনাকো, མོ་ན་ཀོ།, Mònaco, Monako nutome, Μονακό, موناکو, Monaakoo, Monacô, Monacó, મોનાકો, מונקו, मोनाको, Մոնակո, Mónakó, モナコ, მონაკო, ម៉ូណាកូ, ಮೊನಾಕೊ, 모나코, مۆناکۆ, Monoecus, Principâ de Monego, ໂມນາໂກ, Monakas, Monaku, Mônakô, മൊണോക്കൊ, मोनॅको, မိုနကို, Monakho, Monegue, ମୋନାକୋ, Munaku, Monaköo, මොනාකෝව, Moonako, மொனாகோ, మొనాకో, โมนาโก, Manako, مناکو, Prinzsipato de Mònaco, Mô-na-cô, Monakän, Orílẹ́ède Monako, 摩纳哥, i-Monaco