Monaco

Had a great dinner and time at the casino with the family in 2018

In 2018, my family and I took a Backroads bike trip pedaling from Provence in central/south France all the way to Cannes, on the coast. While in France staying in Cape Ferrat, we decided to hire a driver & car to take us to Monaco, about an hour’s drive up the Mediterranean Coast!

With Monaco being around 2 square kilometers in size, it is the most densely populated country in the world, with ~ 40,000 people living here! The official language is French, as Monaco used to be a French-owned territory until it negotiated with France for its independence in 1861. The primary religion is Roman Catholicism, Monaco’s official state religion. Monaco’s income comes primarily from tourism, casino revenue, and it is a world financial center.

Monaco is known for its warm, sunny climate, reaching over 300 days of sunlight per year on average. What’s stunning about Monaco is that it not only has views of the Mediterranean Sea but of the the Alps as well. In Monaco City, there are a number of palaces, gardens, and casinos all worth a visit to get a better view of the life and culture.

There are no shortages of events and festivities going on in Monaco. Chances are good that visiting at any point in the year will give an opportunity to see one of the big events. A particularly glamorous event is Rose Ball hosted every March, an internationally known charity event where all the proceeds are donated to the Princess Grace Foundation started in 1964 in honor of Princess Grace of Monaco.

Some really cool cars here in Monaco

Cabo Verde

Shopping for dinner in the market! Country Information:  Cabo Verde is also known as Cape Verde. It’s located on a volcanic archipelago off of the coast of Africa in the northwest. About 600,000 thousand people live here and the capital is Praia. The official language...

Portugal

Beautiful castle outside of Sintra Jim and Kenan in Lisbon On the coast outside of Sintra Visited Portugal with my son Kenan in 2109, although I had briefly crossed the Spanish/Portugese border briefly in 1989. In Portugal, the capital city is Lisbon. There are...

Costa Rica

At Peninsula Papagayo, outside of Liberia, Costa Rica Country Information:  The Republic of Costa Rica literally means “Rich Coast"!  It was founded in 1821 and its main language is Spanish. About 6 million people live here, with almost a million people in the...