Cannes

Palm-lined sandy beaches, luxury yachts, sunshine, style, and affluence are all words that would describe Cannes as well as of course exclusivity personified in its annual world famous film festival which draws the ‘A-Listers’ of the film industry as well as those aiming for the top.

(Note: a few photos from Nice)

The premiers are not open to the “great unwashed”! (i.e. the everyday public, tourists ) you need a connection to the film industry and even then a complex system will decide what films can be seen by whom.

Although to be fair, the public were once invited and things did not go so well. Despite all of this, and the many private beaches like Montego Bay, Cannes still retains the personality of a lively city in a way which perhaps some think are missing in Monaco.

The city was not part of my original itinerary – which consisted of Nice and Monaco but I deferred my trip to Monaco to go here to visit Sophie, who had saved my trip to Nice from being a disaster..

SophieWhen I was in Nice it rained constantly and often heavily throughout the day, which meant had hardly saw anything in Nice. Except for a restaurant, a cafe, the museum of Contemporary art and in the evening in fading light the large and impressive Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St Nicholas. I hope to return to Nice and to visit the latter. However I enjoyed meeting with Sophie and decided to take the opportunity to meet her city of residence in Cannes the next day. Thankfully the weather was much more compliant.

I had to store my luggage in Nice Airport as Left luggage is a problem in this region. Apparently, there was no facility in Cannes Station because of ongoing refurbishments. At the time of writing Monaco has no left luggage facilities anywhere. The bus stops close to the station and the tourist centre. In-between them is a major site the Palais des Festivals. Here tourists like to pose on the steps that the film stars walk up when attending the festival. Although the famous red carpet is not rolled out for the tourist!
At the bottom are the hand prints of many film stars as well as impressions of the palm leaf, a symbol of Cannes.

The Man in the Iron Mask

Man in the Iron MaskThe infamous “Man in the Iron Mask” was held about half a mile off shore of Cannes at Île Sainte-Marguerite in the Fort Royal prison in the 17th Century.
Under the pain of death the prisoner is said to have been forced to wear the mask at all times and not permitted to speak.

But who was this prisoner and why should he be silenced?
There is a strong claim that the prisoner was the older, illegitimate brother of Louis XIV. This would explain why the prisoners’ identity was hidden and he was not permitted to speak.

Picture taken from wikipedia released under the wikicommons license

Cannes is a great place for people watching in good weather, with the many expensive (but at least in my experience nice) restaurants or cafes with outside seating. The Old Town itself and street Rue de Antibes for luxury shops.
There are also attractions of sure in two islands Île Sainte-Marguerite and Île Saint-Honorat. The later has a Roman Catholic Monastery. The former a prison of the Main in the Iron Mask. Both Islands are known for offering some respite from the crowds and walking opportunities. I did not visit them during this trip but should I return to Cannes I hope to visit at least one of them.

Sophie and I walked up to Cannes castle where also the Notre-Dame d’Esperance church is situated. From these heights there is an impressive panoramic view of Cannes, the Alps, the beach and sea.