Monaco & notes on flying

I was in Monaco for a couple of days earlier this week on a business trip. As is the tradition, I’ll mainly let some photos do the talking. Before the photos (which you can click to get a bigger one) however, a few notes on flying.

As fuel prices continue their relentless rise, airlines are in a financial nose-dive with many already having crash-landed. Instead of just directly raising ticket prices (which they’ll be forced to do anyway) they are engaging in an annoying practice of adding fees on everything imaginable and sometimes unimaginable. In the words of Michael O’Leary (RyanAir boss) who says BA “is levying surcharges faster than it’s losing bags at Terminal Five“. Touché. Anyway, as a passenger, it’s somehow highly annoying having to pay extortionate prices for basic stuff like water on board, especially when you can’t even bring water along from the outside anymore.

I’m still waiting for an airline that charges more the fair way; from overweight passengers. I think it’s plain and simply unfair that people of healthy size have to pay for a few measly extra baggage kilos while some people who hop onboard with 20, 30 or 40kg extra weight strapped to their waist can get away with it for free. Kind of like the recent success of high cigarette taxation in NYC, taxing the overweight might provide an additional incentive to lose some of that.

Talking about flying, it is an awesome sight to see another airplane heading the opposite way close to your plane. You start to appreciate the speed of these things when the other plane screams by at a relative speed of 1,800km/h.. Still I’d prefer not to see any more of those any closer, thank you very much.

Finally, how come nobody – like the travel agent for example – told me that there is a frequent and relatively inexpensive helicopter shuttle between Nice airport and Monaco? Now I had to find this out from the guy sitting next to me on the way there. Sure the drive there along the coastal road – which I luckily chose over the highway thanks to a hint from that same guy – had one of the nicest sceneries there is, but compared to what a chopper ride along the same coast would’ve had? No contest.

Those helicopters would’ve been the basic transportation choice; the heliport was one busy place:

When one thinks of Monaco, the first thing that comes to mind is boats. Big boats. And there certainly were enough of those to go around. While awesome, it’s somewhat sad that they all seemed to be docked at the harbors. Now come on, the least you can do if you have a boat like that is to use it.


The villages along the way to Monaco from Nice weren’t all too bad either, as is exemplified by this view of the beach and the surrounding village.

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One Response to Monaco & notes on flying

  1. Irie says:

    Hi Sami! Interesting point about airlines charging by weight – I imagine standing on a huge scale with all my luggage to determine how much my ticket will cost. 🙂

    Lovely photos – especially the cactus in the window, houses clinging to the cliff, and the last shot of the city. Beautiful place!

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