Standing in the security line at Versailles, I noticed the fresh gold leaf on the ornate gates to the Palace. My mind wandered to the history of the Sun King, Louis XIV who built most of the Palace and the angry and hungry French revolutionaries who stormed the Palace, attempting to capture and kill the monarchs.
And how history repeats itself. The current Yellow Vest protesters in Paris argue that the rich need to aide the poor. Then, in America we have a “man bites dog” situation where the wealthy president fights to build a wall to keep out the poor. Poor vs rich, rich vs poor.
Then, I come back to the present where I stand in line and admire the gates for the outstanding piece of historic artistry they are. In this view, perspective lines up the gates in opposition to the palatial architecture behind them. Admire the iconography: see the “Sun king” represented? I’m grateful that the French government of the 20 and 21 century has restored these gates for all of us to admire and appreciate and to reflect upon history.
With the Monaco Grand Prix coming May 26 to 29, I was inspired to look back on my photographs of this spectacular location. I have visited Monaco with my family three times, thanks to my generous and adventurous Dad. The last time was in 2008 when we sailed from Monte Carlo in a cruise ship. (Our ship is docked at the upper right of the harbor.)
The view of the harbor from the royal palace is spectacular on a clear day, as you can see in the photo. It’s a wide view, but I captured the whole crescent using my fish eye lens (15mm). When the Grand Prix is not overtaking the rim of the harbor with race cars and crowds, you can enjoy a scenic walk along the harbor to check out the fantastic array of yachts. Enjoy a glass of wine at a cafe and a gourmet French dinner. Later on, collect your passport and go see the famous Casino. If time permits, be sure to visit the Jacques Cousteau Aquarium. Enraptured by the outdoor vistas, I never visited the aquarium until my third visit. Then, I knew what I was missing!
If you have visited beautiful Monaco, the tiny country on the Mediterranean between Italy and France, share your favorite memories here.