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Phespirit goes to Monaco
districts     November 2005

AROUND MONACO

Map of Monaco

1 Fontvieille

Stade Louis II is situated in Fontvieille. Phespirit made his way to the stadium without much difficulty. Finding the stadium entrance was another matter entirely. First he walked the length of the front façade, then he retraced each step, certain he must have missed it, then he continued a full circuit of the outside and finally located the entrance at the far western end of the ground.

No sport inside. Just band practice.

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2 Moneghetti

Steep slopes make Moneghetti a daunting district to visit on foot. High-rising steps, tucked between buildings, eliminate the need to walk around the roads that switchback to and fro over hundreds of metres, all uphill.

The Jardin Exotique is lovingly woven into the rocky hillside at the top, but an even greater beauty in situ lies beneath. The Grotte de l'Observatoire is stuffed with complex cascades of stalactites and cavorting crowds of stalagmites - seas of subterranean splendour.

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3 Monaco-Ville

Back in November 2004, Phespirit wrote of Dublin:

Phespirit was thwarted in his first attempt to sightsee Dublin: the state rooms in Dublin Castle were closed due to the inauguration of the Irish President during the previous day. This only happens once every seven years, such is Phespirit's luck.

In November 2005, Phespirit was similarly thwarted on attempting to enter Monaco's Cathedral, only to find it closed from the 14th in preparation for Prince Albert II's formal ascension to the throne on Saturday 19th November - the first royal ascension in Monaco for 56 years. Bugger! Such is Phespirit's luck.

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4 La Condamine

The start-finish line for the Monaco F1 Grand Prix is on Boulevard Albert 1er. Having found the slender, faded, chequered line across the road, Phespirit was at a loss for some way to engage with it. He scrutinised it, walked across it, photographed it, but remained disconcerted that the location marking the climax of arguably the most glamorous race in the world ..... is so mundane.

Where are the echoes of glory?

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5 Monte Carlo

More grand prix-related shenanigans in Monte Carlo. The Monaco tunnel is one of the most famous parts of any grand prix circuit in the world. Phespirit walked through this tunnel but felt something was lacking, so he timed himself as walked back, maintaining an even pace around the outside footpath. He can now declare that it takes him precisely four minutes and fifteen seconds to walk from one end to the other. Beat that!

Experts may now be able to tell Phespirit how much slower he is than the fastest F1 car in any given season.

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6 Larvotto

Larvotto is actually just an extension of Monte Carlo, as opposed to being a district of Monaco in its own right. And the beach here is actually just imported gravel, with concrete jetties protected by large boulders, as opposed to being a naturally sandy shore. Not very glamorous in November, but probably highly chic in season.

A 'Champions Promenade' has been created along the path to the beach, featuring footprints of legendary footballers, plus one set of handprints. Phespirit can now proudly proclaim that he has bigger hands than Dino Zoff (well, his middle three fingers are longer than Zoff's anyway).

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  1. Fontvieille
  2. Moneghetti
  3. Monaco-Ville
  4. La Condamine
  5. Monte Carlo
  6. Larvotto
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Fontvieille Fontvieille Monaco-Ville La Condamine Monte Carlo Larvotto