David and I took a trip to Europe in May 2013, and we crammed a whole lot of activities into that two week vacation. We timed it perfectly so that we were along the Mediterranean coast for both the Cannes Film Festival in France as well as the Grand Prix Formula One race in Monaco.
On the day we were in Monaco, they were having a F1 practice race, which (to my uninitiated eyes) felt just like the real deal! The city was electrified by bustling crowds and race cars screaming down the streets…
Ritzy millionaires were everywhere, cruising the streets in their Lamborghinis (I had never seen so many in my life!), kids wearing those huge headphones to protect their hearing from the roar of the race cars whizzing by, women dressed to the nines and toddling down the road in their stilletos.
I felt like a peasant in my jeans and t-shirt. But hey, I slapped on some lipstick that day, so I was at least a little fancy.
Essentially everything was shut down or blocked off in preparation for the race. We couldn’t even visit the famous Monte Carlo casino! We’re budget travellers and didn’t have official tickets for the race, so we entertained ourselves by simply walking around, people watching, and peeking through the gates they’d put up around the city to keep poor people like us from actually seeing the race.
Luckily, we knew a secret view point.
We headed up a hill to the city’s old palace, Place du Palais. From there, we had a spectacular bird’s eye view of the race as well as the gorgeous city and coastline, which allowed me to snap the photo featured above.
If you ever get the chance, definitely make a trip to Monaco during the Grand Prix in the spring, and unless you’re a die-hard F1 fan, don’t bother with buying tickets! Even on a budget, it’s a crazy, bucket-list worthy thing to see!