This morning we arrived in Cannes, France. Cannes a resort town on the French Riviera, is synonymous with glamour thanks to its world-famous film festival. Its Boulevard de la Croisette, curving along the coast, is lined with sandy beaches, upmarket boutiques and palatial hotels. It’s also home to the Palais des Festivals, a modern building complete with red carpet and Allée des Stars – Cannes’ walk of fame.
There's a small train tram which takes you all around the city showing all the main points of interest and stopping for photo-ops and we decided this was the best way to see the sights.
It was a bit of a gray day today but thankfully there was no rain. We saw beautiful palm trees and fabulous luxury hotels along the waterfront in addition to prestigious condos with large flower-covered terraces facing the ocean. This is a town for the rich and famous. You can find small cafes on tiny narrow alleyways jutting out along the Croisette the main street along the ocean.
A tasteful and expensive breeding ground for the upper-upscale, Cannes has long been a sybaritic heaven further glamorized by the ongoing success of its film festival, as famous as (and, in the trade, more respected than) Hollywood's Academy Awards. About the closest many of us will get to feeling like a film star is a stroll here along the famous La Croisette promenade, lined with fancy boutiques and lorded over by the Carlton hotel, the legendary backdrop to Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief. Nearly 60 years later with life imitating art, a whopping $53 million worth of jewels was stolen from this same hotel, one of many high-profile heists to hit Cannes during the summer of 2013.
Settled first by the Ligurians and then dubbed Cannoïs by the Romans (after the cane that waved in its marshes), Cannes was an important sentinel site for the monks who established themselves on Île St-Honorat in the Middle Ages. Its bay served as nothing more than a fishing port until in 1834 an English aristocrat, Lord Brougham, fell in love with the site during an emergency stopover with a sick daughter. He had a home built here and returned every winter for a sun cure—a ritual quickly picked up by his peers. Between the popularity of Le Train Blue transporting wealthy passengers from Calais, and the introduction in 1936 of France's first paid holidays, Cannes became the destination.
La Croisette, which starts at the western end by the Palais des Festivals and leads over to the Jardin Alexandre III, is precisely the sort of place for which the French invented the verb flâner (to dawdle, saunter): from the broad expanse of mostly private beaches to the glamorous shops and luxurious hotels, which these days are filled with the not-so jet set and conventioneers.
The harbour was filled with million dollar yachts and as we walked the waterfront we enjoyed looking at the large palm trees and beautiful boutiques.
We spent a few hours in this port before going back to the ship. We had a few hours to relax before dinner, saw a show and went to bed not too late.