Tag Archives: monaco
Turns out that’s no easy task when Formula-One comes to town. If you get there before the main race, which is what we did – that’s fairly ok, but trying to get into the city state on the day of the race – that’s when things get tricky. Apparently there are that many roads closed in and around the center of town that’s it’s practically impossible to move around in a car, or, if possible – tediously time-consuming. Just keep it in mind next time you might be in the south of France when it’s F-1 weekend.
As for us, the walk from the hotel to the yacht we rented moored next to the racetrack should take just 15 minutes. But even that took much longer as everything was closed to death even for pedestrians. It seemed there were just two other options to get round this Monte-Carlo-lockdown-syndrome – either to spend the night on the yacht (hmmm, not such a bad idea), or to get to the yacht on a small motorboat. Only the former option – sleeping on the yacht – is workable, we found out: because even on a small motorboat you get caught up in traffic – in a boat-jam!!
In short, next year, I think we’ll make the yacht our base – for both sleeping on and watching the action from :).
Haven’t been posting here for a while. The reason being that last week turned out to be horrendously hectic – without a single minute to spare for putting fingers to keyboard. Now for a bit of catch-up…
From last Monday to Saturday I managed to visit four countries on three continents: Gabon, Israel, France and Monaco. To do so six flights were necessary – on average one per day. Now, I’m no stranger to tight-schedulism, but last week was just daft: such all-out non-stopism is just too much for the body and soul. It took me the whole of the weekend after to get back to normal again.
All the same, though there wasn’t time for writing – there’s always time for snapping. Herewith, then, a quick photo-textual report of my very own international Grand Prix last week, split up into the four respective ‘laps’…
Here I am in Monte Carlo, Monaco, to attend this year’s INTERPOL General Assembly. I love this place. I’ve been here several times before, but never tire of it. One thing I’d never gotten round to doing though was getting up into those hills that tower up above it.
This time, I finally managed it. It was just a shame that in the morning it was really overcast and rainy…
The view from the top of the hill – from a village called La Turbie
Well, that’s at least what you’d expect from Formula-1. But watching a Grand Prix live?… I have to tell you that, frankly, there’s little point.
The racing cars shoot past so fast you can easily miss them if you blink at the wrong moment. It makes more sense to watch it all on the box – there you get the advantage of multi-camera filming of the action non-stop. But then of course you can watch the telly anywhere on the planet. It’s much better when you have the best of both worlds: to watch the race on a TV placed a few meters from the racetrack.
You watch the TV, go and check the reality, come back to the TV, and continue back and forth like that. That way you get involved in what’s going on. Coolest of all though is watching the race from the garage, where the support teams sit and the pit stops get done in no time at all (again – no blinking!).
But you can watch a Grand Prix from the garage in one of just two cases.
The first is if you’re one of those who change the tires in three seconds; that is, you’re a very niche bio-robot who’s spent most of his adult life training for those occasional three seconds. These pit stop tech teams usually sit on foldable chairs and watch the race on TVs waiting for commands from the manager. Anyway, that’s the first option.
The second option: watching the race – on the TV – from the same garage, but as one of the lucky few bystanders allowed to stand against the wall of the garage (out of the way of the folks in the overalls). But 90 minutes stood by a wall watching the TV… also not so great.
Ultimately, best of all is when you can mix it all up a bit: combining the whoosh-reality on the track with the detailed story on TV, and also walking about the garages, around the pit stop area, being by the starting grid for the start, and also being by the podium for the champions’ champagne blow-out. Yes, that’s the way to do it. For sure :). And yes, I guess I have been lucky.
One thing you can’t do without is an experienced F1 buff to explain to the debutantes what’s actually happening on the track. Why and how is this car going faster? How does a super-speedy pit stop get performed?
Sooo. There we were, right next to the race, by the TV, under the wing of an expert: all set…
Now we can turn on the speed passion!