We woke up to a warm summers morning in one of the most A-list cities in the world, this was going to be a good day.
After a preview of Cannes the night before, I couldn’t wait to get up and ready to see it in the day. We were at a service station so today I made the special effort of digging out one of my dresses (this may not seem difficult, but when travelling, digging out a new outfit is a challenge in itself), we all had breakfast and off we went. Only about a 30 min drive from where we parked, we set off early to get a good parking spot. Along the main strip of Cannes there are parking spaces along both sides of the roads. When you get closer to the centre you have to start paying but park just a little further and it’s free. With us having the dogs we didn’t mind walking a little extra to save the pennies. We found plenty of spaces to choose from and we parked up (later on in the day it was packed so I would suggest if you want any parking on the main strip then get there early).
We started our walk and even on the outside of the main part it was lovely, you could walk along a path which on the left you had the sea and on the right a park walkway. We made our way to the centre and there was never a time you couldn’t stop to have a drink or a bite to eat as you took in the views of the ocean ahead.
Although to shop in Cannes you have to have a little bit of money (when I say a little, I mean filthy rich) I love just walking past the shops and hoping one day I could be wearing that amazing Gucci bag on my arm (a girl has to hope). I think this is an experience you have to feel for yourself, even if you don’t like it, and think its ridiculous that someone could spend that amount of money on one item for one season, just to walk where the Stars have walked gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
Enough about shopping – lets get to the real reason we came to Cannes! Apart from the amazing views and expensive shops, Cannes is known for holding a small film festival each year (it’s the Cannes film festival for those who haven’t guessed). Me and my partner love films so to stand by that red carpet where many stars have stood over the years was just an amazing experience to tick of our list.
I would advise those wanting to see Cannes is that, it is an amazing place, and you can feel the wealth around you, however my experience was that feeling was for the main strip and, like so many cities, once you go off that main path it slightly changes. Although I never felt unsafe in Cannes, I could certainly feel the atmosphere change quickly, so if you want the Cannes everyone sees on tv, stay on the main Street.
After making our way back to the car, taking in our last few breaths of the city, we spoke, like we do when we visit every place, and the same question is asked every time
Will we come back here again?
Our answer for this was – yes! We would come back but we would do it without any pets and we would love to have the money to splurge a little in the shops and to be able to have a hotel on the sea front.
Cannes we have been spoilt but for now we must leave.
After leaving Cannes and feeling a little depressed that I didn’t have the money to buy that Gucci bag, I quickly shook off the feeling and remembered everything we needed was in the car with us. So off we went and carried on along the French Riviera. If you want to take a drive along a coastal route, this would be the one I recommend. Every twist and turn will bring a new and vibrant view, and you will never get bored of the sea glistening as the sun hits it. There are numerous towns you can stop off at if you haven’t had lunch yet or if you want to take in the views there are plenty of lay-bys to stop and take a picture. We took a leasurly drive towards the border of Monaco and if we thought Cannes was A-list we hadn’t seen nothing yet.
If we hadn’t been concentrating we would have gone through the border of Monaco without noticing, it is a very small country (a principality or city state) and is surrounded by France on all land borders.
We came to Monaco for a couple of reasons – 1: to check off another country of our list 2: because it’s a very rich country but the most well known reason is 3: it holds one of the most famous Grand Prix in the world. Simon: In fact it’s one of the originals of formula one.
We arrived in Monaco and you can tell from the small windy roads that they hold a racing event here (oh and the fact they still have the racing stripes on the road is a big give away too). For me, I don’t know an awful lot about the Grand Prix and don’t understand it so whilst I was focusing on the views out to sea and the beautifully made buildings, Simon was looking at the roads and the pit lane and loving the fact he could drive the same roads the racing drivers do! Simon: it was amazing! It was a good compromise and everyone was happy (or were they? I have a feeling our boys may have something to say about this when they take over in a later blog).
We parked up to take the boys for a walk. There was a lovely park in the centre so we went there first to get rid of some energy (this park says to keeps dogs on a lead but locals didn’t seem to follow this rule), we then made our way round.
The most famous bend in the world
We started walking and suddenly hit a huge crowd of people looking down at a road, now with me not being a fan of formula one, I thought somebody famous was turning up but, as Simon quickly corrected me, people were looking at the road. This road contains a big bend in the Monaco Grand Prix so people love to look at it and take a lot of photos (later on that day Simon loved driving this bend and made me take a video). We took a few photos but with it being quite crowded we hurried along to our next stop.
The famous tunnel
We were making our way to the port and along the way we hit a tunnel (I knew what this was as we drove through it about 20mins earlier and already got the info around it), now for those who don’t know this tunnel is also part of the track for the race and is great because you get to hear the noise of the cars.
We then walked through the tunnel and towards the port. I won’t bore you with another port, you know the story, we walked around the port, got jealous at all the huge yachts and then left again.
On our way back around we came across a hotel and casino everyone would have heard of – the Monte Carlo. Even with dogs, not even we could miss the opportunity to just walk in, so off we went one at a time to see the splendour of this building. It’s a beauty you can’t make people understand until you see it in person. The design of the building was done in such detail, there isn’t anything inside that you eyes won’t want to see.
After we both had a nosy around, we then made our way back to the car, and back across the border into France!
It was a long day, but one of the best yet, where we got to live like the stars (but without the money!).