Monday, December 15, 2014

Last days in South of France: Cannes - Antibes - Monaco (Part 1)

Staying 2 nights in Nice and I had only 1 day to discover the city, it was definitely not enough but I also had other priorities - other towns nearby Nice ville. My original idea was St-Tropez, I would take either a bus or train to this famous site which considered as a paradise for the rich, but to me - just to satisfy my curiosity about the town that I heard of many times in the high school.

Unfortunately, I couldn't make it there as the day for a tour to St Tropez, I had to leave Nice for Verona (Italy).  So I decided to go with a whole-day-long tour to Antibes - Cannes - St Paul de Vence - Monaco - Eze. 

         The Mediterranean view from Antibes - a resort town in South of France, between Nice and Cannes 

I've been to Cannes long ago, nothing left in my mind, except a hot sunny day that we ended up somewhere in some central park in Cannes for a group photo! This time Cannes received me with a dark sky, quick any complaint as I had only 40' to look around, to stop at the place where they annually do the red carpet for the stars coming to Cannes film festival...and right after we was heading to Antibes - a small resort town between Nice and Cannes.

                        Not a sunny day as when I was in Cannes long ago, it was a dark sky and rainy day...

                   The only thing that we need to buy was the umbrella for unexpected rain in a summer day 

                           Here you go, the Walk of the Stars in Cannes ...with Angelina Jolie! 

I almost never go with travel agency as they always try to offer many places in one-day tour program and at each place they keep warning "Dear guest, you have only 45', please do come back to the van on time", don't be late!" and the only place they do the exception was...shops, and this time was at the perfumery "Fragonard", next to Eze village. They let us staying there for an hour, I remember the boring faces of two American ladies...they seemed didn't like French perfume!
                             Small quiet peaceful Antibes - a resort town in South of France 

                         Alley leading to the traditional market in Antibes

I would love to come back to Antibes next time, to explore more the neighbourhood. I could feel the peaceful atmosphere, the quiet but joyful life in this small town despite those buses, always full of noisy tourists, who keep aggressively invading the market or vulgarly walking around those small, tiny streets in town. People in Antibes seemly used to it, they are just quietly, happily living their routine life.

                 All tourists rushed to the central market in Antibes

I love the traditional market. Wherever I go I always find the market and make sure that I have enough time to visit. Not only my love, my curiosity to those things that they are selling in the market, but I do feel a real life in those places and it brought me back to the good old times.

The market in Antibes is not that big but good enough as they do have all things from meat to fish, from fruit to veggies, from French cheese to those exotic ingredients, local specialities that I don't know how to name it. I would love to get some stuffs but travelling by train, carrying luggage days after days like I did right now, I didn't feel encouraged to buy anything.

                 My favourites - I did buy grapes, apples and some apricots...

                  I kept starring at those giant tomatoes... 

                     Interesting name" Cow's heart" but sounds way better in French"Coeur du boeuf" 

                        No time to check what were these colourful ingredients 

                     all kinds of preserved olives, tomatoes... 

                   hard to find any market in France without these cheese...

It would not fair to Antibes if I just spent time in the market, so I quickly found the way out and discovered some places near by but until I went through a tiny alley, suddenly in front of me...a splendid view of the Mediterranean appeared - the sky, the cloud, the sea, the beautiful ship and the whole

                       Following this alley, I didn't expect amazing scenery behind these old houses...

                        Exit from the alley and here - the  Mediterranean sea in 

                     Nice Ville could be in the background... 

                            Beautiful ship...but without sails or probably no sails at all! 

Monaco - after Antibes, we were heading to Monaco. Long ago when I was travelling in France with guests, on the way to the famous tower Pisa in Italy, we passed by Monaco during its Formula One. It was crowded at that time, everywhere, what we saw was the Monaco's border with policemen - from the bus window.
This time I had a full hour to quickly see the second smallest country in the world. The van took us to some multi-storey underground parking lot then we took a lift up to the top. After that we had a long walk around to the Palace, the famous Monté Carlo and even saw the residence of the Princess Caroline(!).

                           Monté Carlo - the famous casino right in the heart of Monaco  

Glorious Monaco - always considered as the first destination for the rich and famous...I didn't see any celebrities here but looking at the cars on the street, the town super clean at every corner, I would guess I was just entering into the Wonderland...but I had no time to go down to the city, the harbour so what I saw was just a tiny area with The Palace, The sign of the routine life of Monaco. That was a big disappointment!

                        The view to the Port of Hercules - the largest port in Monaco. 

                        The view to the district of La Condamine 

                        Fontvieille with a harbour - the second in Monaco 

                   According to the tour guy this's a Residence of the Princess Caroline 

Goodbye Monaco, the van continued to the next destination - the most exciting, at least to me, most popular village, one of the oldest medieval towns in South of France, where the whole village turned into the modern, contemporary art galleries, museums - St-Paul-de-Vence. 
That will be my last village in South of France, and also my last day in Côte d'Azur, before I continued my train journey to Verona, where I stayed for 3 nights, one day was reserved for spectacular Venice. Will come back soon with part 2!

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