One of less known parts of Monaco, is Fontvieille – a big piece of territory, built on land artificially created on sea at the beginning of the eighties. One of its landmarks, is the pier, which spans almost from La Rocher de Monaco to the nearby port of Cap d’Ail, with the frontier passing in the middle.
In order to enjoy a walk spanning across the entire pier, it is necessary to bypass the heliport, with its landing approach half suspended over the sea, like a big plate with lobsters sticking over the edge of a table. You can get from here to the nearby Nice airport in 7 minutes.
The pier is popular with people walking the dogs, jogging, strolling and fishing. There are some benches here and there, where you can just sit and relax watching the sea, but in other parts there is a motorcycle riding school and a cage with obstacles for kids playing on skateboards. Recently a local firm has used one of the internal pier spaces, to create a successful oyster and seafood growing farm.
For me, the nicest moment when to go there, is in the evening, at dusk, when the lights are being turned on, but you still see some clear sky to the west. The unique combination of beautiful light and the murmur of the waves are conducive to reflecting, as you walk.
I hope you all enjoy your long weekend. As to the photo – this is a new (sic!) sculpture on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. I think I’d like to redo this shot, as the framing is a bit tight and also, there was a flaw in the film, which makes it unsuitable for printing. Even the music has some slight hiss in the recording, but I could not find a better version…
Monte Carlo is a steady witness of visitors who come here to fulfill a dream, be it to play some chips at the Casino’, make a round speeding up on the F1 track ( yes, I can hear you making noise at night !) or simply to walk the same pavements of many rich and famous while celebrating some personal event – often a long planned cruise of the Mediterranean opening the retirement, or even a honeymoon.
Scenes like this one are particularly tender, seen through the eyes of a middle-aged person. Are these kids going to do well? Will they find balance in their relationship, satisfaction from their careers? Will bad spells spare them along the way? For now they are busy looking up and making plans. I wish them luck.
Sempre caro mi fu quest’ermo colle
E questa siepe che da tanta parte
De’ll ultimo orrizonte il guarde esclude.
(Always dear to me was this lonely hill,
And this hedge, which from so much part
Of the ultimate horizon the view excludes.)
Ma sedendo e mirando interminati
Spazi di là da quella, e sovrumani
Silenzi, e profondissima quiete,
Io nel pensier mi fingo, ove per poco
Il cor non si spaura.
(But sitting and gazing, boundless
Spaces beyond that, and more than human
Silences and profoundest quiet
I in thoughts pretend to myself, where almost
The heart is overwhelmed.)
E come il vento
Odo stormir tra queste piante, io quello
Infinito silenzio a questa voce
Vo comparando; e mi sovvien l’eterno,
E le morte stagioni, e la presente
E viva, e’l suon di lei.
(And as the wind
I hear rustle through these plants, I such
Infinite silence to this voice
Go on comparing: and come to mind the eternal
And the dead seasons, and the present
And the living, and the sound of it. )
Così tra questa
Immensità s’annega il pensier mio:
E’l naufragar m’è dolce in questo mare.
(So through this
Immensity is drowned my thoughts:
And being shipwrecked is sweet to me in this sea.)
I love the way in which our imagination works. A simple combination of a calm and sunny seashore with a human invention like this, and your mind wanders immediately to exotic holiday destinations , and most likely a smile will appear on your face. Almost all is true in this subtle message, except that I made this photograph while having lunch at one of the beach restaurants in Nice in February.
Thinking about Surrealism, one might think that it has been invented by the likes of Salvador Dali, but I think surrealism is as old as our world. We organize the mental images according to some order, naturally look for patterns that are familiar, and oddly paired circumstances tend to amuse us by default,