When we planned our driving leg through Europe, I mapped out a clockwise circular-route starting in northern Germany going south, then west, them back up through Paris and ending in Amsterdam. How we were getting from northern Italy to Barcelona was up-in-the-air; all we knew is that we had to drive through "the South of France" - oh yeah.
So, what do you know - we land up in Monte Carlo, Monaco just as the F-1 Gran Prix race weekend is beginning, and then in the twin cities of Antibes and Cannes, France, right in the middle of the famous International Film festival!
Sometimes our laissez-faire planning style works out! (Nice French, oui?)
The wealth we have seen here, especially with all of the European millionaires (and Russian billionaires) coming in on their "Super and Mega Yachts" (yes, those are actual categories of boat) for these side-by-side events was amazing. I am not sure what kind of "culture" we are teaching our kids with this leg, though? But it is fun as an adult to see this once in your life. Definitely a mix of South Beach and Los Angeles, plus some Euro-trash thrown in. Lots of tight dresses, hair gel and cigarette smoke.
Culturally enriching...definitely not. Junk food for the commercialized soul is more like it. ;0
Off to Provence and Barcelona where we'll have to double-down on the museum tours to wash away all of the glitz.
P.S. We also saw a number of $200,000+ cars down here, including a $2.3 million dollar Bugatti Veyron (which is Ben's favorite car - he was excited to see one in person as he saw it in the Guiness Book of Records). I learned that the Bugatti name was purchased by the VW Group about ten years ago and they are made in Stuttgart, Germany. The push to photograph that car was like a celebrity sighting!
P.S.S. Yacht lengths generally range from 10 metres (33 ft) up to dozens of metres (hundreds of feet). A luxury craft smaller than 12 metres (39 ft) is more commonly called a cabin cruiser or simply a cruiser. A superyacht generally refers to any yacht (sail or power) above 24 m (79 ft) and a megayacht generally refers to any yacht over 50 metres (164 ft). This size is small in relation to typical cruise liners and oil tankers.
P.S.S.S. (or shouldn't this be P.P.P.S.?) And we didn't even feel dorky in our black minivan as that model and color is the official limo of the festival. Who knew what celebrity was riding behind our blacked-out windows? The next Bridgette Bardot/Izzy?