EST. 2009

November 6, 2012

That Natural High

THE MONTHS LEADING UP TO DECEMBER perhaps aren't the most ideal for sightseeing in Europe, unless you're happy to splash around in occasional rain. Fortunately, I had one afternoon of sun in Monaco, which proved enough to explore over half the country on foot.

Monaco's altitudes are so extreme and varied, even streets adjacent to each other are easily storeys apart. I hiked up steps by the hundreds, from one road to another and from one quartier to the next, stumbling upon obscure lifts that took me back down and out onto seemingly secret paths. There were no tour groups around, as they take buses, leaving me alone with the gulls, the glorious lapping waves, afternoon rays and quiet boats down below.

And then began the rain, which made any more trekking, roaming or rambling impossible for the rest of the trip. There was still the hotel and the casino next door, and all the surrounding luxuries of Monte Carlo, manicured into the otherwise rugged terrain. A drink or two. Still raining, nooneenoo. The glamor is sensational, but exceptionally so because of the landscape in which it sprawls.

Port Hercule, Cathédrale de Monaco, Hôtel de Paris, Monte Carlo Casino, various locations in Le Rocher and Monte Carlo, Monaco. Photos by Lady San Pedro and Jaime Sese.