Monaco – 3. Hairpin bends

If you are a fan of F1, you might recognise this, its the famous Fairmont Hairpin bend that does an almost 360 degree turn.

Yes, this is a functioning highway and sometimes a race track.   It seems the country is well organised so all the residents don’t mind having to move their cars and not have accessibility into the whole country when a race is on.

Right underneath this bend in another road that tunnels underneath, at the edge of the bend is the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel.


On a race day.

I can stand over here, as there are some pretty gardens, do spin around!

monaco yacht event

I’ll just pinch this photo from this Yacht clubs site.  You might recognise this Finish (or Start?) line.   Now we can see it when its being used as a normal street here:

This place is so small and ultra tightly packed, the roads go in spaghetti fashion all over the place, its bonkers, I love it!!

1. Monaco, my first tiny country – 2. Train in from France3. Hairpin bends – 4. soon….

Monaco – 2. Train in from France

Getting out of the train, this was my first glimpse of this micro-nation

The train goes effectively underground, as this small country is carefully compacted tightly together.

There can be an outdoor seaview above a shopping mall, which is above a car park which is above the railway line.

This is where I stayed in Nice, not Monaco.   Well, somewhere near here.   I don’t think the hostel is there now.  Because it was 2005, no one had a smart phone, so gasp!  you can actually get to know and chat to strangers, and have some friends to explore and see places.   Something I miss now.   Nice and Cannes are pleasant places, but very touristy and after a few days there it got a bit samey.

A lot of my holiday / blog exploits is about trying find a way to do something cheap in place where many people are spending big wads of cash.   So several of the days I wanted to get into Monaco, it was a quick train ride away.

nice to monaco train

This train ride was actually less than 20 mins!  along the sea front.

1. Monaco, my first tiny country – 2. Train in from France3. Hairpin bends – 4. soon….

Monaco – 1. My first tiny country from 2005

There was just something irresistible about taking a break from my IT job at a hospital back in 2005 needing some adventure and not really travelled back then.

Research showed that Monaco, possibly the most expensive country in the world is very close to the city of Nice, in France which is served by Easyjet.

So, it was simple as a 6km train ride into the place of a motor racing mecca and glitzy casinos.

Nice has ferries to Corsica, an island that looks like it should be part of Italy, but is actually French owned.  The other side of Nice has Cannes, famous for the big film festivals also.

Although because this trip was so long ago, I can’t actually find my photos from back then.

nice and monaco from the air When you take a flight directly into Nice, the plane effectively does a 180 degree turn so if you are sat in the right place, you get a view of the whole of the edge of the Mediterranean. Nice (!)

1. Monaco, my first tiny country – 2. Train in from France3. Hairpin bends – 4. soon….

Related:  Other tiny countries I have seen:- Andorra, Gibraltar, Iceland, Liechtenstein,  Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco