France Day 3 – Cannes & Antibes

The beauty of being in the Côte d’Azur (the Mediterranean side of the South of France) is that most cities are a short train ride away. We woke up bright and early to catch the 7:25 a.m. train from Nice to Cannes, best known for its international film festival held in May of every year. You can tell by the light at the main square (Messena Square) in Nice, our home base, that the sun is not fully out yet.

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After a short half-hour train ride, we arrived at the famous city of Cannes and started our visit on the glitzy beach, La Plage de la Croisette, lined with rows after rows of beach chairs and umbrellas. Instead of watching the skimpily dressed sunbathers (why do European men all wear speedos?), I was drawn to the “candy” sculptures all along the beach, each painted in the flag colors of a particular country. We spotted one for Turkey first, then further down one for the United States.

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Notice in the photos the number of yachts dotting the seascape – not only are the harbors along the South of France packed to the hilt with yachts of all sizes (some impressive ones up to 3-4 stories high), the streets of Cannes are also lined with yacht dealerships and service shops. Maybe one day we can afford one? (That would be never, haha).

Pretty hungry after wandering around a bit, we stopped to eat breakfast at a cafe, Le Festival, normally a star-studded gathering place during film festival season. Each chair at the cafe even has the name of a celebrity who supposedly visited the cafe. Although our chairs were well-situated for people watching, we did not spot any stars… 😦

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Having feasted on another plate of pain au chocolats, we headed over to the main attraction – the location of the annual Cannes Film Festival. The concrete building was rather unimpressive, lacking any cool architectural details. (I’m sure it will probably be dressed up for the main event, but that may be akin to putting lipstick on a pig.) Although we were blocked from even approaching the building due to preparations for an upcoming event, AK and I had fun posing behind some movie boards.

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After a quick lunch at an Italian eatery (Le Brulot Pasta Restaurant), we hopped on the train again for Antibes, a small coastal town known for its small but well-curated Picasso Museum. It is a beautiful coastal town, smaller, warmer and much more relaxed than Cannes.

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The museum, previously a studio that Picasso used for 2 months to paint, has stunning views of the sea. It is no wonder that Picasso was able to create such joyous pieces such as “Joie de Vivre” (the “joy of living”) here in Antibes!

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