Cannes, oh you beauty. The glamor, nature’s brilliance, historic monuments, and miles of sea blue settings, Cannes had it all.
Ever since France decided to make Cannes as the world’s film and arts center in the year 1946, the place had been sought after by the who’s who of the celebrity world. Be it leisurely vacation or for the shooting of films like the Golden Eye, Cannes had innumerable Hollywood’s memories canvassed all around the place. Like the locals said, if the hotels had ears, there would be untold stories to tell.
We dedicated about 6 hours to explore Cannes. This time we decided to take the train – a 20 minutes ride from Nice St. Augustine station. Right outside the train station, there was an information center. You can get all the tour details or a city map if you would like to explore the place on feet.
We made a left from the train station and headed towards the beach, about 20 minutes walk along the Boulevard de la Croisette. Once we reached the waters, we made a slight right to reach the main attraction of Cannes – Palais des Festivals et des Congres.
The Petit train ride was one of the best ways to explore the city. The train was about a 40 minutes ride and ran every 30 minutes. One could board the train right outside Palais des Festivals for 10 Euros, children under 12 could ride for free. The train offered a running commentary, with headphones and choice of language. I highly recommend listening to the interesting facts while enjoying the ride.
The tour would take you through the beach side-walk showcasing the famous hotels, the old port, arrays of shops and the old town.
Palais des Festivals et des Congres This is Cannes main attraction. We stopped by the red carpet that has graced the past and the present celebrities on its famous stairs. We took some time to enjoy the view, strolled around the beachside park and captured some memories. The petite toy train started right outside the famous red carpet stairs, and we waited for our ride to arrive.
The toy train ride took us through the famous Boulevard de la Croisette. On one side we saw the elegant strip with the display of famous hotels such as Le Grand Hotel, Majestic Barriere, and Martinez and on the other side, we saw the beautiful beaches of Cannes.
The train then looped around the Palm Beach Casino, the place where the young and the rich party. The place offered game rooms facing the Lerins Islands, an upscale restaurant, and terrace overlooking the sea. Shortly after that, the train took us through the branded arrays of shops through the narrow streets of Cannes.
From there the train headed towards the old town, Le Suquet. The town sat on top of a hill overlooking Cannes. The cobbled streets, the narrow pathways and the local restaurants, all provide the distinct flavor of the history of this place which dates back to the 12th century. The train then climbed the narrow road and stopped by an old fortress – the Notre-Dame de l’Espérance. The fortress was built in the 14th century and offered some stunning views of the old harbor and the city.
The stone roads were laid over 400 years ago and gave the reminiscent history of the old fisherman’s bringing their fresh catch to the old market(Marche Forville) alongside the rue-saint Antonie road.
After 40 minutes of the enthralling ride, we concluded our journey at the Palais de Congres building.
After a quick bite in a close by Italian joint, we headed to the beach. The French Riviera has all kinds of beaches – Rocky, pebble, and Sand. Cannes offers mostly sandy beaches. The waves were mild and water was warm enough for us to enjoy the rest of the afternoon soaked in water and sand.
It was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for the Monaco by the Night tour.
Copyright © Shantanu Baruah