I forgot to mention that we had another wander around the site last night (even though we now knew just how steep it is – it’s actually steeper the more you explore!) We were looking for the ranch that we’ve noticed on the site map – yay, perhaps I can go riding 🙂 Only we couldn’t find it 😦
We decided to go to Cannes today on the coast road (difficult to get lost when following the coast road so perfect for us then…)
The views are amazing – blue skies, sparkling azure seas, towering red cliffs and the railway running along by the road or directly over the sea, with it’s own viaducts or tunnels blasted through the mountains.
I have to admit to having been pretty ignorant of the geography of the area before coming here – I had no idea it was so mountainous right down to the sea.
It wasn’t long before we stopped. I think our 1st stop was at the Cap Roux. I thought it was just a viewpoint but it turned out to be the remains of a fortification from the war. Very interesting and unbelievable views. As we headed back towards the car I was a little behind Calv. Guess what?? Yep, he did his usual little disappearing act. I looked everywhere I could think, including heading down a little path. However I was in flip flops and the path was quite steep and I was a bit worried about turning my ankle over, so I headed back up, sat on a bench and waited.
After a good 15 minutes more up pops young Calvinio, huffing and puffing from that same path, which it turned out went down to a little beach. And was quite hard work coming back up!
Other stops followed as we were in awe of the views. Finally we came across a little village just before Cannes itself, Mandelieu , which had a lovely little beach and a well preserved castle directly on the beach. Calv wouldn’t let me go in the castle – meanie.
Time was getting on so we found somewhere to eat. Pizzeria – naturally: everything is a pizzeriea here – far fewer creperies than on the west coast. Calv wasn’t impressed with his burger (or my pizza – he finishes all my food off. He spends half the meal eying it up, wondering how much he’s going to get…) I thought my pizza was fine – just rather uninspiring 😦
One thing I have noticed is just how many people still smoke over here, and with no qualms about lighting up as soon as they’ve finished eating with no thought for the fact that they’re surrounding by people who are still eating. Not something I particularly enjoy!
After lunch we carried on to Cannes. We had been warned by our camping neighbours that parking was expensive (fewer free parking spaces down here on the South Coast than on our way here!) However, Cannes was ridiculously busy – it seems that we are visiting while there’s a massive international conference on – Cannes Lions – International Creativity Expo. So Cannes was full of Brits & Americans. And cars. And more cars. Fat chance of parking anywhere near the centre!!
We eventually found a space quite some way past the main drag. Then spent all the time we were away from the car worrying that we weren’t meant to have parked there, due to the fact that we saw about 3 cars being towed away!
I’m going to be honest with you here – I didn’t much like Cannes. I found the excess on show to be irritating, as it was very much ‘them and us’. i.e. the vast majority of the beach area is cordoned off as private, and you need a pass to get in. There were bouncers/guards checking passes everywhere to make sure that the hoi-polloi didn’t get in. The harbour was separate so you could only gaze on from a distance – you get the picture.
To be fair it may well we different if there isn’t a massive conference going on, but I’m not intending to hurry back.
We walked all the way along the front to the main square where there were many petanque matches going on, and a band playing in the bandstand. This was all nice to watch and listen to. Along the way we hadn’t managed to see anywhere that we wanted to even buy an ice-cream – what a sad state of affairs that is!
It is at this point that I have to make a confession (it was Calv’s idea…) we actually LOOKED for a McDonalds (hangs head in shame) – the point being, you know what you’re getting and you know it will be a reasonable price – all we wanted was a drink and a simple ice cream.
We were impressed to find self-service points where you input your order, pay and then go straight to a dedicated counter to collect it. It’s been so long since I’ve been in a McDonalds at home though it’s entirely possible that this is perfectly normal these days?!
After another couple of miles walk back to the car we decided to carry on up to Antibes. Although the wealth on display here was at least as high as that in Cannes I much preferred this town, as it was much more understated (in my opinion anyway). We first parked up by the old fort, where there was another petanque game in progress. It’s mostly men, mostly old, playing petanque. I think I’ve only seen 1 woman playing.
We then continued to dribble round the coast and the Cap. This was beautiful with the most amazing houses and the yachts moored offshore! It was on this part of the drive that we first encountered the ‘submarine’ yacht (I’ll post a picture just as soon as I can..) – it’s called ‘A’ (yes, just ‘A’) and is owned by a Russian billionaire. And it’s huge (we come across it again on Thursday when we visit Monaco).
Nice beaches in Antibes, so we stopped and sat for about an hour – what a lovely end to our daytrip out.
We got back to the site about 8.30/9pm to a gourmet meal of fish finger sandwiches (there’s a theme developing here..)
Was it Tuesday evening that England played Slovakia? I’ve lost all track! If it was then we went down to the bar to watch the match. So we would also have been watching the baby swifts/swallows – which would still have numbered 5 at this point, but were getting bigger and bigger. Their behaviour is amazing in that I was surprised to see 1 struggle to turn round in the nest, pop it’s bum over the edge, plop and turn back round!!
Good night all – beach tomorrow methinks xxx