Cannes, Cagnes Sur Mer, Nice, Monte Carlo…..Love.
It all started on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012.
I knew that I wanted to finish my trip with an epic finale, so what better way to do that than to visit Cannes, Nice, Cagnes Sur-Mer and Monte Carlo all in one day?
The train station was only 5 minutes from the hotel. I think the ONLY thing that wasn’t perfect about the day was the fact that I had to wait a few minutes for the train. Shame. Good thing for an iPhone and a creative mind.
The train itself was legendary.
It was a double decker, so of course, you go second floor every time.
The seats were posh, and even though I bought a 2nd class ticket, it would have been considered Business class anywhere else.
So, what do you choose—-the beautiful mountain ranges on the left, or the amazing coastline to the right? The decision was quite difficult and there were a few times where I looked like a jumping bean going from one side of the train to the next. But no worries.
I took a bunch of videos and pictures.
The whole time I’m thinking—-is this really my life? Yup, it is.
I made sure not to stand out.
When I go to foreign countries, I don’t want to appear like a tourist.
I had my incognito shades, a nice shirt, my amazing stylin’ Asics going out shoes, and shorts.
I didn’t have a bag.
I didn’t have a wallet.
Nor did I have a huge purse.
I had two pockets where I had my cash, and my credit card, and the other had my camera and phone.
To make me even more non-touristy looking, I made sure to have my hands in my pockets.
I had a smile on, but I wasn’t gawking.
Now, tourists that read this, please don’t take this wrong in any way. This is just me, and that’s how I like it. You do medium rare, I do medium well. It’s all good.
Upon arrival to the ‘Cannes’ station, I just decided to walk.
I decided to first head towards the Beach.
Now, keep in mind, the Cannes Film festival is in a week or so.
You can only imagine how amazing it looked.
And the details. Most importantly the details.
It was all epic.
And it was all for me to see.
I got to the harbor where I decided to go left towards Dior, and away from Gucci.
I found Dolce & Gabbana along with Fendi along the way, but I decided not to succumb.
Yesterday, I realized I’m a phenomenal window shopper.
The longer I window shop, the easier it is to find out what I really want to wear/buy/ not buy and not wear.
After exploring one of the many beaches, and taking some quite artsy pictures, I decided to turn around and head towards the train station and past it, but only take the super small alleyways.
That was one of my favorite things about Cannes.
The small alleyways.
And the hole in the wall coffee shop.
And the corner booth that had a secret door to an even smaller alleyway.
I finally came across a more populated alleyway with a bunch of more stores like Sephora, Mango, Esprit, etc etc, but once again, I resisted temptation with ease.
Sure it was not too hard to say no to shoes that were 750 Euros, but hey, when in Cannes.
For security reasons, I can’t mention the celebrities that I saw, but I made sure to just give them the internationally known, “acknowledgement nod.” I’ve perfected it. For lessons, contact me.
After what seemed to have been hours, I was ready to eat.
I chose the hole in the wall that didn’t have an English menu—-perfect.
Now, some of you may not know this but I’m doing Rosetta Stone for French. I know a little bit to get me around France without a problem.
So sure enough, I ordered in French, and even spoke to the waiter for a little bit.
He asked me where I get my ridiculous tan.
I was glowing—-when in France!
Anyway, anyone that knows me pretty well, knows that I cannot do cheese unless it’s melted mozzarella on pizza or lasagna. So sure enough, I get my dish and it had cold mozzarella on it.
I decide to go for it.
I went all Italian on it and cut a little piece on top of a small tomato and some balsamic vinegar.
Once I took my first bite, I was scared I was going to scare everyone away from the restaurant—- I started heaving.
It wasn’t great. Nor attractive. But hey, good thing I had a smoothie/fruit juice thing, that was probably the best drink I’ve had in quite a long time. After almost hyperventilating, and assuring everyone that I was ok “C’est bon, c’est bon” I decided to eat the rest of my salad.
It was an amazing salad, but there was one vegetable that I couldn’t figure out.
I’d never had it before, didn’t know the name, and was completely virgin to the taste.
Once I tasted it, I knew right away that I loved it, and decided that I would find out from the waiter what it was.
Sure enough, by the time he came back, I had already finished it.
After not leaving a tip, since that’s how they do it here, I kept on with my stroll.
I decided to head past the train station, and look at some postcards.
Usually postcards are the best things to look at for your own touristy experience.
There’s a ‘palace’ that’s called the Carlton Palace that is famous, so I decided why not. Apparently I was just short of it when I was on the coastline, but hey, I didn’t mind. Last time I checked, walking on the beach is pretty awesome.
After taking some even more artsy pictures, I realized that it was still only 1 o clock. Still super early.
So sure enough, I went through some different alleyways, did some more window shopping, and talked to more people.
There were fresh markets.
A shop with fresh fish that was getting brought in as I walked by.
At around 2 o clock, it was time for my afternoon expresso. Once again, I went to another hole in the wall spot where the waiter told me I had a beautiful smile in English. I told him thank you in French, and complimented him on his beautiful white hair on his head. He laughed and complimented me some more.
The expresso was smaller than a kid’s size in America.
After my expresso, I figured it was time to go.
I got my fill of Cannes, and I felt like I knew the city pretty well.
I couldn’t have come at a better time either.
During this time, the city can get up to 12 hours of sunlight.
I hadn’t walked that much in a really long time (athletes just run) so it felt really refreshing.
I got to the train station where I asked a kind lady to lead me to Nice, my next city for the day.
I got to Nice, and sure enough, another beautiful site. This city wasn’t as packed as Cannes was but it still had it going on. I walked along a deserted alley where I found one of the most beautiful public gardens in the middle of the city.
One of the things I noticed about the cities so far was the amount of pigeons, and the amount of fit people.
I sat on a bench next to these lovely older ladies that were probably gossiping more than two teenagers.
I laughed at some of the things they said, but I just kept to myself.
Knowing that my time frame was not long, due to my next journey, I decide to head back to my hotel to pick up my travel buddy for the night.
I picked up my British friend, Heather Watson, and we headed to Monte Carlo—-as one does.
We arrived at around 6 o clock to Monte Carlo, and I personally think it was perfect timing.
Oh, keep in mind that the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. It was 75 Degrees Fahrenheit with a slight breeze. Good visual.
We got there, and decided to once again, just go.
No specific spot.
We just wanted to walk—-and find food ASAP.
We were both completely famished, and wanted some grub.
Yacht, upon mansion, upon luxury car—-Monte Carlo was a joke.
I think I spent money just looking at some of these places and cars.
We decided that because the Grand Prix is only in a week, we would go ahead and walk on the track. I mean, how do you not?
After taking the legendary picture in front of the Casino, Monte Carlo, we realized that we were even hungrier.
We found this totally empty alleyway with a little shop that held the best beef pastry that I’d ever had.
It was legendary, and gone too soon.
Per morale, we decided that we needed to go to the Monte Carlo Country Club and see the club where Rafael Nadal has held the winner’s trophy 8 years running.
Kim, trust me when I tell you that you would love the place.
After taking some pictures and videos, it was finally time for food. We resorted to this Vietnamese spot that was yet another hole in the wall, and wasn’t going to completely rid us of our savings with the prices.
Great dinner? Check.
The scenery was getting better by the minute, but unfortunately, it had to come an end.
We totally decided to go back to the train station via bus, and sure enough, we got there right when a train was departing towards our spot.
A perfect morning.
A perfect evening.
The perfect day.