I'm so glad my research brought me here -- really, I need to make sure all my future projects are this cool. I may just have to come up with another track & field project again.... or perhaps modern pentathlon. That's here in Monaco, too. I met the General Secretary at 9 am on Thursday, and thank goodness the IAAF building in which I was meeting him (there are more than 1 in Monaco) was about 2 blocks from my hotel. not that anything in this country is all that far from anything else, but still. The Gen. Sec. (basically, the highest person on staff of the IAAF that isn't a representative of a country), the receptionist who is 7 months pregnant, and her replacement and I all drove to Menton, France, to go to the IAAF archives.
IAAF villa -- where Prince Albert stands to start the marathon
which are in a warehouse. The roads here are very windy, and most of them seem to go up (or down) a cliff. we drove along the coast on the way to Menton (which is between Monaco and Italy, in the opposite direction of Nice and Cannes). After a bit of searching, we found a few things for me to look at and took them back to the IAAF. On the way back we drive a different way and stopped on one of the cliffs to take a picture of Monaco from just outside -- awesome. The roads that divide Monaco and France are crazy -- one side if Monaco, with really nice brick (in patterns) sidewalks, and the other side is France. with boring concrete sidewalks.
We also stopped at the IAAF's villa -- where the president's office is (when he is in town), and the General Secretary's other office is, and some other staff.
This building, very much appropriately called the villa -- is beautiful! Also, the balcony outside the waiting room of the president's office is where Prince Albert starts the Monaco marathon. and just to give you a sense of how nice this place is..... when the Nazis took over a city/region, they always made the nicest building into their HQ. Göring chose the building that's now the IAAF villa as the Nazi HQ here in Monaco. so yeah, it's nice.
The General Secretary also gave me a bit of a driving tour of the country before we went back to the other office for me to work. The part of the Grand Prix where the cars get the fastest speed -- I can't believe how fast they get at that spot -- all the roads have really sharp curves -- those guys are definitely crazy to drive that fast! Then, to get up to the part of the country where the palace is, you can walk or, if your car has a Monaco or a 06 license plate from France (the part of France that surrounds Monaco) then the police allow you to drive up there.
crazy! We stopped to take a few pictures overlooking the port, and then also of the palace. Anyone, however, can drive to the part of the country that was reclaimed from the sea. 40 years ago, it was most definitely water. To get there, you have to drive through tunnels that cut through the rock on top of which the palace (and other buildings) are. Somehow I don't think the US would ever allow anyone to drive below the white house, even if it were through a few hundred meters of rock.
Monaco Sights & Attractions review
Prince Albert and Princess Stephanie opened the Princess Grace exhibit last weekend at the Grimaldi Forum, and it will run through mid-September befor… read entire review