Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Our Lifestyle Adventures: Two Perspectives of Cannes in a Day

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Our Lifestyle Adventures: Two Perspectives of Cannes in a Day

view of Cannes from the Ile Sainte Marguerite
Cannes from the park around the Palais des Festivals
Cannes is just a twenty-minute bus ride from Mougins, so it was the very first day trip we did. The Film Festival that the city is famous for happens every May, but we were there a month too early! The entire city is walkable, just 7 square miles but two certified seniors couldn’t do that. Although we only had a day, we still got two different perspectives of the resort city of about 70,000, of the rich and famous.
Bill on the boat dock of Ile Sainte Marguerite
From the Islands

The Lerins Islands are a group of four small Meditteranean islands off the French Riviera, near Cannes. The two largest and inhabited are Ile Saint Honorat and Ile Sainte Marguerite. The first one houses a historic Cistercian monastery while on the other, there is a fortress. We did not have the time to do both so chose the Ile Sainte Marguerite. The ferry ride took only fifteen minutes.
the Palais des Festivals from the ferry
From the boat dock, we walked to the top of the hill to what is now called the Musee de la Mer. In a cell of this former fortress, the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask was said to have been held captive for eleven years. On the entire trail, there were so many beautiful views of Cannes. On the way back, we were also rewarded with lovely photos of the small harbor and the Palais des Festivals.

Walk of the Stars
After disembarking from the ferry, we looked for a restaurant along the marina for another great French lunch. Then we walked to the small park beside the Palais de Festivals where the Film Festival is held. We had a little bit of time so we lingered at the Walk of the Stars which featured the palm prints of the famous celebrities that have walked the red carpet. Bill loved his moment as his favorite, Johnny Depp!

From the Petit Trains
Le Petits Trains
When the time came, we boarded the Petits Trains. It is a charming little train (we found out later that it is a mainstay of other cities on the French Riviera) that passes all the city’s popular sights in an hour. There were two tours, La Croisette and Le Suquet, but we chose the combined tour to get a  complete view of Cannes up close in one afternoon.

La Croisette
the Public Beach
As soon as we boarded the train, it quickly traced the Promenade de la Croisette, the famous 2 km long road that runs along the shore of the Meditteranean Sea. La Croisette is known for its picturesque beaches, restaurants, cafes, boutiques. Luxurious grand hotels such as the Carlton line the Promenade. At the Palm Beach Casino (beside the old port), we turned around and found the Public Beach where a lot of water sports was happening!
Allees de la Liberte
Soon we reached the Rue d’Antibes where celebrities shop. Before we went up the hill to go to the Le Suquet, the train rolled back to the promenade and passed the famous park, the Allees de la Liberte (Paths to Freedom). Lined by old plane trees endemic to the Northern Hemisphere, the park is where the locals congregate and play bocce. It is also where the farmers’ markets are held on weekends.

Le Suquet
view of the Bay of Cannes
Then the train slowly climbed up the hill of the old historic neighborhood called Le Suquet.  I was glad we were on the train; a walk up would have been impossible for me. At the top, we relished  the stunning views of the Bay of Cannes so much that we almost lost time for the Historical Monument that is a top Cannes attraction. The Monument is composed of the Eglise Notre Dame d’Esperance, started on 1521 and completed in 1627,  the Musee de Castre and the Chapel de Saint Anne.
Notre Dame du Bon Voyage
At the bottom of the hill, we walked to the Rue de Meynard, the long, narrow street of shopping for the not so rich. That’s where I met the real star of Western Europe, Pinocchio, the fictional character created in a small Italian village. After finding a few treasures, we also stumbled upon the Notre Dame for Bon Voyage! That was a great find, a church for all of us who travel a lot. 
mural of Marilyn Monroe
When we walked back to the bus station, we could not help but notice a large mural of another star, Marilyn Monroe on the side wall of a hotel. We both wished we had time for a third perspective of  Cannes in the evening.But we had to get back to our lovely little apartment in Mougins for our evolving unscheduled honeymoon!  

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