Friday, 25 October 2013

Winter



It’s not quite winter yet but summer is definitely over. Most of the big boats have left planet money for warmer climes and I had to dig out my socks and coat. One of the reasons we moved to the Côte d’Azur from Scotland is its superb climate. In summer the temperature doesn’t often rise above 30°C and in winter you can still get T-shirt weather. 2 years ago we celebrated Christmas on the balcony and on my rare day off, I still look forwards to having a swim in the Mediterranean. (Albeit with a wetsuit) 

Normally I would recommend coming to the Côte d’Azur in winter; there are fewer tourists and as there is less custom to go round, shopkeepers and restaurant staff are friendlier than during the busy summer season. Unfortunately, this winter Planet money has transformed itself into a building site. Train traffic is going to be disrupted for the next 6 months. (I know essential work which is going to bring much needed improvements and I shouldn’t grumble!) But also the beautiful terraces of fountains in front of the casino are being pulled up behind some high fences.

 Planet money is tiny and space is at a premium here in Monaco. To make more money, you need space to build and the only way now is to go up or down. Under the fountains are already about 7 floors of car park and going down is not an option, so to build a row of luxury shops they are digging up the fountains. Hopefully they will put the fountains back on top and the end result will be equally beautiful, but I have my doubts and I fear that some of Monaco’s charm will be lost in the pursuit of money.

One of the fountains before they got dug up: