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Trip Start May 18, 2011
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Trip End Aug 08, 2012


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What I did
Recon in Monte Carlo

Flag of Monaco  ,
Friday, May 27, 2011

26/05/2011

My plan for today was to head over to Monaco and collect the Americans and my tickets, ahead of the Grand Prix on Sunday, this would mean we can access the general admission area (Secteur Rocher) early on Sunday and grab the best spot going.

Following on from breakfast I headed down to the centre of Nice and caught bus no. 100 to Monaco. I heard a lot of people talk about this bus journey even before I had left England. It hugs the coast and takes in many of the beautiful sights along the Cote d'Azur, including the many yachts moored just out at sea. Unfortunately the bus was so busy and all I had a view of was the guy’s arm pit standing next to me.

I arrived safe and sound in Monaco about an hour later. By pure chance it turns out that the track is open on Thursday for an hour to pedestrians only. I headed to the ticket office claimed my tickets and then did a lap, on foot, of one of the most famous GP circuits in the world. On my way to the track I spotted a Space Invader too. I completed the lap in about 40 minutes, it’s approximately 4 kilometres. I think pole time this weekend should be around 1:13 minutes! In the pit lane there were four F1 drivers signing autograph; Heikki Kovalainen, Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari and another who I couldn’t make out because of the crowds.

Whilst I was coming down the back straight I heard a rumble of people along the pit wall and Lewis Hamilton appeared only to be mobbed by all the lucky people who could afford pit passes.

I was in complete awe of the track and the occasion, and after emerging from the tunnel I was even more taken back by the boats moored up in the harbour right next to the track side. They were simple amazing and for a moment I was a little disappointed to be travelling and visiting the GP in the manner I am doing so, however after a quick reality check I realised that I am already one lucky lad, just not as lucky as the ones on the super yachts! To note the majority of boats were flying Manx flags!

After the lap I head down to the paddock and took in the sights of all the team’s mobile offices. McLaren’s was the biggest (on land) and they gradually went down in size to the newer teams like Hispania and Virgin racing, who both had offices the size of a porta-cabin. However on my walk through the paddock I hadn’t noticed the Red Bull centre. This was a cross between a boat and a barge and appeared far superior in every way to rest.

I headed round to Secteur Rocher to do some recon on the best placed to stand on Sunday. My recon also included establishing where the train station was and knowing my route from there to Secteur Rocher. You might be able to tell I am very much looking forward to the GP.

My whole day in Monaco gave me the same sensation I used to get as a kid going to a theme park and despite their being no racing I think it was my favourite day of my trip so far.

I headed back to Nice in the early afternoon and met up with my friend Andy, who has recently returned from Honeymoon in Africa, and is in Nice on corporate hospitality for the GP. Carnage soon ensued (in your face!) which finished with me walking back to my hostel at 1am. It’s not a short walk!
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