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On To Cannes

Written on: Thursday May 13th, 2010

A journal entry from: Europe 2010

Cannes photos at this link


Monaco/Nice photos at this link http://picasaweb.google.com/pathandley47/MonacoAndNice?feat=directlink

May 13th

Drove from Marseillian to Vallauris near Cannes, it was a difficult start in a marshy area moving around washed out roads and waterways. I was very excited to see flamigoes at several points wading in the water. Opted not to take the toll road which made for seeing some lovely towns (some not so lovely) but made for a long journey winding around all the various waterways. We stopped for coffee at a service station and had a great experience learning how to get a very small cup of coffee out of a French machine. Picked up strawberries (and almost a box of wine) from a fruit stand. When we reached Cannes the traffic was horrendous because of the Festival but we followed Tom's directions, however after being in a huge traffic jam for ages, we found that the road was closed and the police was just turning traffic around, I asked Tom to find an alternative route to our Hotel in Vallauris, this took us on a winding road behind Cannes to get us to the east side, several motorbikes were wildly driving, there were some nice views but no opportunities to stop. Hotel quite basic run by two gay guys, we think, our room had peek a boo view of the ocean but no balcony. Our gay host told us that the buses ran until 11 pm. We decided to bus to Cannes and maybe walk back but when we were on the bus we realized how far it was and decided we would bus back too. Cannes was incredible, milling with people, had a meal in a restaurant off one of the side streets, pizza and raw beef plus fries. Walked along the harbour and saw all the big boats and everyone poncing around because they thought they were being seen in the right place, I also took photos of a line of step ladders that were all chained individually to a fence, it seemed like such an odd picture. When we went to catch the bus back at 10 pm we found that the last bus had gone (thanks gay guy). So we started our walk back which took us along the festival and things were just getting going. Suddenly fireworks went off, best fireworks display I've ever seen, then we passed the areas where the stars walk up the red carpet into the viewing area. At this point we realized what the stepladders were for, they were for people to stand on to see the arriving movie stars. Didn't see anyone famous that we recognized but then we didn't have a stepladder!! There were big TV screens everywhere showing the stars as they arrived, movies running on big screens, tents with people lined up to eat. It was a bit like Ironman. We wouldn't have seen on this if we'd caught the bus (thanks gay guy). The walk took us 2 hours and we arrived back at the hotel after midnight exhausted, slept well.

May 14th

We caught the bus to Nice, a 1 hour journey thru lots of small towns. In Nice we walked to the train station and caught the train to Monaco, a 20 minute journey. We had a problem trying to figure out how to get a ticket as nothing was in English but we thought we'd got it but once on the platform found we had return tickets and not tickets out to Monaco, so back to the ticket machine. Talked to some people from Brazil who told us where they thought the train was leaving from and all went well. The Grand Prix was taking place in Monaco (no races today though) but we did get to walk around the back of the pits and saw piles and piles of tires, labeled for the conditions they were to be used for (wet/dry etc). A lot of the streets were cordoned off but we got around OK, walked up the hill to the palace and around that area – great views. Again lots of expensive boats in the harbor, saw what we thought was the paparazzi on one of the hills with their cameras aimed at a boat below – wonder who they were looking for. I tried to take a photo of the same area but my camera was nothing compared to theirs. Went to catch the train back to Vallarius and almost got knocked over by the crowd trying to get onto the train. Ended up having the door close on us so we were left on the platform reminded me of the trains taking the Jews to the concentration camps where they were all crammed in. The next train arrived 5 minutes later and was virtually empty so got good views of the coves as we went back to Nice. We caught the bus easily in Nice although very full and had to stand up most of the way. We went down to the waterfront in Vallarius for dinner and were surprised at what a nice area it is, lots of restaurants and had a super meal of ribs, I think we were the only ones having that though as most of the folks were French, think we were the only English speaking people in the restaurant. Enjoyed the last few days spending our nights in the smaller areas.