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After hiking Cinque Terre, Italy, my friends and I hopped several trains and made our way down the Italian Riviera, then the French Riviera. The train ride was beautiful! Our first stop was Cannes. The day we got there it was overcast and the wind was blowing about 25 mph. Although it was overcast, the water on the Mediterranean Sea was still a beautiful blue.
Cannes is a combination of old and new. On one end of town, you have the high end shopping with the red carpet areas for the Cannes Film Festival.
We were there during a Reality TV Festival, so they had a pink carpet. This side of town has the beautiful people shopping and being seen. It reminded me of Rodeo Dr in Los Angeles. High end designer shopping with upscale restaurants and bars. We sat in the bar at the Carlton. It is a beautiful hotel where you can hang out and see if any famous people walk by. A glass of champagne in the bar at the Carlton will run you about 26 euros. On the older side of town, the same glass of champagne will cost you about 8 euros.
We stayed in the downtown area at the Novotel Suites. It was a wonderful place to stay and centrally located. We walked everywhere from our hotel each day. The people that worked here were so very kind. They went out of their way to make sure our stay was wonderful. They had an amazing breakfast every morning. The rooms were suites with separate living areas and 2 bathrooms. Very comfortable. They were decorated in a nautical theme with unique lines of wood and textures. They were so much nicer than a regular hotel room.
We took a cab from the train station to the hotel and quickly saw that we could have easily walked. After checking in, we walk down towards the older part of town and had dinner and drinks. We mill around a bit and get our bearings and head back to the hotel to turn in.
Up early in the morning and head to see this wonderful city. We walk to the older part of town. Winding in and around through narrow cobblestone streets.
People are going about there usual day and are very friendly. Stopping to talk. Especially about their dogs.
We make our way to the Musee de la Castre which is in the Le Suquet area. The "Cannes" sign is on the hilltop here.
We stay for a couple of hours and shoot pictures. This area overlooks Cannes and the marina. The tile rooftops with the marina and the Mediterranean Sea in the background are breathtaking.
We make our way back down to town and find an open air market with mostly antiques.
The men are playing Pétanque on the courts by the market.
The parking garage near the marina.
I buy a franc for my coin bracelet and my buddy buys an antique blue glass seltzer bottle, that we affectionately call "the baby," for the rest of the trip.
We decide to head back to the hotel and leave "the baby," because it is pretty cumbersome to carry around.
We stumble onto another market that is in an open air covered building. Fresh artichokes...
I love the wax on the stems of the pears.
There were candied lemons.
There were big buckets of olives. I love olives! I wanted to try all of them!
And more olives...
All kinds of fruits and vegetables, meat, and seafood. All fresh and beautiful!
There was another part of this market that had more antiques.
Most of the vendors bring their dogs with them. So, me being gaga about a dog...I was in heaven.
I heard music playing and decided to walk over and get a chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) while my buddies shopped. There was a band playing. I went back and found my friends and told them I had found "OUR TRIBE."
We head over. The band is great! They play a song and when the chorus comes up, the whole bar and sidewalk cafe, sings along with great passion, "Lesse le bon..."
We walk over to the bar to get champagne and a guy makes a beeline for us. He is carrying 2 glasses of champagne with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and wants to know if we are Americans. We say yes, and he tells us Donald Trump is crazy. He then tells us his name is Patrick. He finds his girlfriend and another friend and brings them over. We all toast with our champagne. Our group engages in a healthy discussion about politics and the world in only the way that the French can do. No one gets upset or shuts down. Everybody just discusses what they think is right, wrong, or could be better in this world. What a concept! We stayed here for a while and drank champagne, listened to the great music, and snacked on olives and nuts.
To our dismay the band quit playing. We made our way back to the hotel and dropped off "the baby."
We head back down towards the Marina and head up the Boulevard de la Croisette. This is about a 2km stretch that runs right along the Sea.
There are people walking dogs. People eating ice cream. People sitting on benches.
We pass a wonderful carousel and I have to stop and ride. I refuse to grow up and you never know when you'll get your last carousel ride!
We make our way down the La Croisette, past the pink carpet, and over to the Ritz Carlton. We visit in the bar for a bit. We don't see anyone famous and head back through all of the high end shops with the beautiful people.
Gotta love a Vespa!
The sun is going down and we head over to the marina to see if we can get a good sunset picture.
I love this guy's orange shoes. "Hmmm... I think I'll go check on my boat and I'll wear my orange shoes."
I meet a man walking his Belgian Malinois on the beach. He tells me he used to work for the secret police, but is retired now. He asks if I am American and I tell him yes. He tells me he's been to California via You tube.
The sunset tonight was nice. We walked back and ate at a sidewalk cafe near the Pétanque Courts in the center, then walked back to the hotel.
Our last day in Cannes. We think we have seen everything there is to see and are wishing we had taken another day in Cinque Terre. We walk to yet another antique market and start asking if there is anyplace we should check out. We find out that Picasso lived in a house in the La Californie neighborhood. We get directions and trek the 2.5 miles to this neighborhood. It is through winding streets with hairpin curves and beautiful homes.
We pass bakeries with goodies.
We get lost a little. I never mind getting lost because I always seem to find something cool when I do.
We finally make it up to the house where Picasso was supposed to have lived. There was about 12 foot stone fence around it. So much for taking pictures of the quaint little Picasso house.
Trying to find our way back down to town, we go up a street and find this amazing view over the city. Ok, it was officially worth the getting lost, walking uphill thing.
We wind our way back down the hairpin streets and stumble onto the Chapelle Bellini. We went in an looked over his artwork and found out that he also worked as an architect. I wondered if he fought the right brain/ left brain thing that so many creative people do that also work at a regular job. All I knew about him was the pictures of the clowns and circuses. He was much more complex than I knew. His daughter ran the place and was so very sweet to us.
We make our way back in to town through flowered streets with people walking dogs.
We make our way down near sunset. We walk along the marina and take pictures. We have a late dinner and head back to the hotel.
Good Night Sweet Cannes!