The amazing state of Monaco delights everyone with its extraordinary beauty. My story is about a small corner in a very small, but so unique Principality of Monaco - about a unique park with the appropriate name "Exotic" (Jardin Exotigue).
Located on the side of a cliff, with an unforgettable view of Monaco and the Italian and French Rivieras, this plant paradise brings together over a thousand species of succulents and unusual tropical plants. Hailing from a variety of arid and remote areas (US Southwest, Central and South America, South and East Africa), they all have found shelter, live and flourish in this unique place where they can proudly appear before visitors in all their glory. With the onset of a new season of their flowering, replacing each other, mixing colors, new unique shades are created, and the forms acquire extravagance. Individual specimens, as in their homeland, reach simply gigantic proportions.
A large number of alternating small bridges, arches and roads allows you to move freely and pose (to get exclusive photos) among exotic vegetation, with curiosity discovering its diversity: an eccentric cactus, importantly showing itself against the backdrop of mountains, or a small reservoir with specific aquatic vegetation and bright koi carps, "nestled" like a bird's nest on the edge of a cliff.
The author of the garden project is Ludovic Notary, an engineer from Monaco. The Exotic garden was opened for visitors in 1933.
This exotic garden has a unique grotto, which is called the "observatory grotto", because earlier there was an astronomical observatory.
At the base of the rock of the garden, a natural underground cavity opens, where a lime cave, washed out many thousands of years ago, is strewn with various kinds of karst outgrowths - stalactites, stalagmites, and draperies and columns give this place an atmosphere of amazing mystery. The grotto was opened to the public in 1950. A visit to this grotto under the guidance of specialists takes place at an altitude of between 98 and 40 m. The cave itself deepens to sea level and is regularly visited by local speleologists. Unfortunately, we were not able to visit the grotto, since at that time it was closed to visitors.
And our acquaintance with this unusual garden ended with an ascent upward (to our surprise, the garden has no other way out, since it is located in the mountains). After asking the garden workers several times if there was a way out below, getting tired a bit, we nevertheless went upstairs, and were rewarded with another pleasant opportunity to see and capture in memory the unique view of the small principality with its delightful gardens.
Photo by the author