Cannes, France

Today, we have been rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, in Cannes in the South of France. Well… maybe not the famous, but definitely the rich, and when I say ‘rubbing shoulders with’, I’m probably exaggerating slightly; more drooling at, from an appropriately safe distance.

Cannes, of course, is the setting for the famous annual film festival which happens every May. This week, it has been playing host to the Cannes Royal Regatta, so many yachts of all shapes, sizes and probably second mortgages, were in residence.

The Magellan dropped anchor in the bay, and passengers were ferried to the shore in several tender boats. Shore excursions were given priority; after that, folks wanting to visit Cannes independently had to acquire a lettered tender ticket. We’ve been on ships where this has meant a long wait, but today, it was all very efficient – after picking two ‘E’ tickets, it wasn’t long before we were in a tender boat ourselves, bobbing our way towards the town.

Even without the film festival and the regatta, a quick glance at some of the luxury yachts moored in the harbour is enough to confirm that Cannes is clearly a very popular, and opulent, place.

Upon disembarking the tender boat, we soon found ourselves walking along the harbourside, and by lines of yachts all preparing to go off regatting, or whatever it is that they do.

Our attention then turned towards the Old Town, where a short, climb up several flights of steps brought us to an old monastery, which is now a museum. We weren’t interested in paying the entrance fee to look at a bunch of old archeological artifacts, but we were sufficiently drawn to the extensive views we had across the town below, and across the bay.

A short walk from here, on top of the same hill, was a church, which we took a look inside, and enjoyed more views, before navigating the miriad of steps and interesting narrow old streets back down to sea level.

Cannes is an bustling, interesting place, with old narrow streets, arty film-related house-sized murals and endless harbourside bars and cafes. We finally managed to choose one for a sit down and a drink and a little something to eat. After paying just 6.50 euros for a coffee and a large beer yesterday in Barcelona, we were quite horrified to discover that the same amount wouldn’t even cover a single beer here – my beer cost a whopping 7.80 euros! A further lemonade and two bowls of fries brought the bill to 18.50 euros (11 of which was the drinks). We had also ordered two portions of New York cheescake, but cancelled the order when we found we were struggling to finish the fries.

A small open-air market, and an ice cream kiosk, grabbed our attention as we slowly headed back towards the pier. Before heading back to the tender boat, though, we took a short diversion onto an adjacent beach where we enjoyed a short paddle in the sea. Had we known the beach was there before leaving the ship, we would have took our bathing cozzies with us.

Last tender back to the ship was 4pm, and we were ready to set sail at around 5:45, heading towards our next destination, Civitavecchia (for Rome), where we expect to arrive tomorrow morning.

Peter Woolley

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