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Issue Two Behind the Scenes

The making of the Alpes-Maritimes Super Alpine magazine

It was another perfect day in Monte Carlo, wall to wall blue skies and temperature in the high 20 degrees Celsius and I was sitting in the lounge of the Hermitage Hotel, sipping a Vesper.

The conversation with Lewis Hamilton had turned to line choice at Sainte-Dévote and I absent-mindedly fiddled with the flyback function on my Richard Mille RM11-03.

While he spoke at some length, a kerfuffle was ensuing at the lounge entrance as Jon Olsson came in filming Nico Rosberg, who in turn was filming another 'influencer' that could have been that awful bore Mr JWW. Thankfully the Hermitage has a strict no filming policy and they were all evicted tout-suite - much to Monsieur Hamilton amusement, muttering something about F1 Champions and how they had fallen.

I made my excuses and signalled the valet. I was debating taking the 911R for a quick lap of the Braus when a voice rudely interrupted me...

'Monsieur! Monsieur! Allez ici, Allez ici!

The teenager behind the counter at Monaco's most scenic Mcdonalds thrust my lunch at me, spilling the fries all over the tray. Back in reality, I took my McChicken Sandwich® and sat with some construction workers tasked with expanding Monaco into the sea and poked at a cold chip.

The table opposite had four very well-suited gentlemen, mostly wearing fashion watches but one may have been wearing an AP, eating salads. Not the usual crowd for the golden arches but this is the duality of life on the Riviera.

When you tell people you are going to the French Riviera you can see their minds conjuring up images of Monaco; fancy hotels, beaches, glamour, cocktails, Bond at the Casino (you don't point out that was Royale-les-Eaux or Montenegro for filmgoers) and money. Lots of money. Tax they don't pay tax!

We stayed in the Novotel, it's nice for a Novotel, streets ahead of the one in Milton Keynes I can tell you but probably not what you dreamed of when you thought of Monte Carlo.

It's not all about Monaco though. The Alpes-Maritimes reaches down the coast to Nice and far inland to where there is not a lot of anything but low slung mountains and tiny villages with dark streets. It's hard not to be swayed by the glamour of the coast after all who doesn't want to see Sir Philip Green walking down the promenade on Lavrotto beach in his slippers. No watch mind.

This issue was photographed and written over the course of a few trips, some short breaks to the aforementioned Novotel in Monaco, an extended stay at an Airbnb in Beaulieu Sur Mer where there was no bedroom but a bathroom as big as a Chamonix apartment and another couple of weeks to fill in the blanks.

Some of the photography dates back to 2016 with the Turini article that appeared in the prototype magazine shot on Fujifilm X-series cameras and lenses. The more recently photography is shot on Leica Q and there's even an Apple iPhone photograph in there. The writing was done over the course of a few months and edited by Georgia Laval. It was put together in a month, no thanks to the oddities of Adobes Indesign. The front cover was inspired by maritime maps and 3D paper cutouts. If we had the budget the cover would have been a series of paper layers giving that depth a reality.

The best part is of making the magazine is, of course, the exploring. Seeing new places, driving new routes, hiking up trails that lead nowhere. These aren't places nobody has been, those days are over, we are looking for new perspectives.

There are still some copies of Issue Two available and we are currently looking for support for Issue Three, Swiss Passes.

Coffee in the two worlds of Monaco. Starbucks and the Metropole.
The long walk back from getting the shot
The view from the Easyjet to Nice | Onboard on the Turini.
The apartment block had the smallest lift in the world