September 25, 2008
Showing off in Monaco
Yesterday the Monaco Yacht Show started. We had some tickets so we went there today. After a week of cool, cloudy weather with occasional rain the day was perfect; sunny and warm without the oppressive heat of a couple of weeks back, and thousands of people turned up to see the exhibits and take in the ambience. The event takes up most of the port area and parking is nigh on impossible, so we went in by train and walked down from the station.
Here’s a view from the Vista Palace, high above Monaco. It seems everybody is in town this week. I took this picture yesterday and today there were even more boats. It’s difficult to find a vantage point that takes them all in; there are as many outside the picture as in. They may look small but the bigger ones are anything up to 70m in length.
For ordinary folk like us the show is unreal; a fairyland of staggeringly expensive boats and their well-heeled owners. There may be a worldwide recession on but there’s little sign of it here. You don’t often get to find a shop selling single towels for €1000 each.
Half way through the afternoon the Red Arrows turned up and put on a display. The port wasn’t the best place to see it all as the planes kept disappearing behind the palace, but it was a good show nonetheless and makes you proud to be British! The sky had partly clouded over by then and a few spots of drizzle fell but that was all it amounted to. The cruise liner in the picture is the Crystal Serenity; 68000 tons of floating hotel capable of serving 1080 guests. Very different to the Queen Mary 2 we saw last week.
At the end of the display all the yachts sounded their hooters at once; a glorious cacophony of sound.