Monaco is the world’s second smallest independent nation, the most expensive country based on per capita income, containing the most expensive real estate in the world across the country and the world’s most densely populated country! We weren’t sure what to expect prior to visiting this remarkably wealthy country.
You know you are in Monaco when you hear the throaty growl of some super car in the distance racing through the steep hills of Monte Carlo. Then you turn a corner and see a Chocalatiere store where the chocolate is presented like fine expensive jewelry. Small displays show through darkened windows with bands of golden light shining down on colorful Macarons.
The visual epicenter of opulence (at least for the general public) is in front of the Monte Carlo Casino. Here, new BMW’s and beautiful looking Mercedes provide the “cheap thrills” for camera toting tourists and other gawkers. The real highlights are those dressed to the nine’s driving the ‘super cars’ – vehicles like one of the world’s most expensive vehicles, the McLaren – along with Bentley’s, Rolls, Maserati, Ferrari and decked out Porche’s flow through the casino’s circle of automotive stars – essentially their main entrance – a circular driveway in front of the casino.
The drivers are on stage – if I was driving it wouldn’t make sense to circle merely once – you want the admiring eyes feasting on your flash as often as possible. One would theorize the drivers of these cars make multiple trips around this circle. There is a non stop flow of these cars.
There are car dealerships here but they aren’t the ordinary ones – we found a Rolls-Royce right next door to the first McLaren dealership I have ever seen. These must be popular photography stops for tourists – evidenced by the “no photography” decals all over the windows. Our salivating in front of these dealerships quickly caused us to ignore the no photography signs.