The beauty of Monte Carlo the capital of Monaco is unsurpassed. It is a small country bordering France. The place is a haven for the rich and famous and the feel of same can be had as soon as one sets the feet here. The personal yachts of who’s who adorn the seafront which is pristine blue. One can see the small pups being carried in the purses by their female owners. Do not be surprised if you see the best-bred puppies going around in the strollers with fancy clothing, collars and even dyed fur. The harbour front looks like a setting direct from a Bond movie!Not surprising that 'Golden Eye' , 'Casino Royale' and 'Never Say Never Again' were shot at verious locations here.
This post is not about the description of the riches that the city flaunts but about the many a treasures such as the regal palace where the current King resides, and one of the most unusual botanical garden called the Jardin Exotique, situated at the highest hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
The Prince of Monaco resides in the fortress that was built in the 11th century and is accessible by a short climb over the hill. The view of the harbor leaves one spellbound. The glory of the palace was restored by Prince Rainer III and his wife Grace Kelly, a well-known Hollywood actress from 1970’s.
Both of them lie buried in state at the cathedral close to the palace where Prince Albert, the son of Prince Rainer, resides. The parts of palace are open to public and one can witness the change of guard’s ceremony every day at 12 o ‘clock. According to a legend Francios Grimaldi, from Genoa, entered the castle in January 1297 disguised as a monk. He killed the guards and his followers took control of the castle. The statue of Grimaldi adorns the castle even to this day.
|(Some More Cactii at the Jardin Exotique)|
The Prince of Monaco personally took interest in construction of the garden and series of over bridges within the precincts. The cacti from different regions of the world ranging from Sahara, Africa, Mexico, to almost all arid regions of the world can be seen flourishing here.
A grotto at the feet of the garden can also be accessed by climbing down a flight of long steps to the sea level. The stalagmite and stalactite formations takes one back to the prehistoric era since the times these were formed. Evidence of prehistoric humans has been found in the grotto which was opened for public only in 1950.
|(Legendary Formula 1 racer; William Grover)|