Cannes, Nice, and Monaco, 7/5/15

Thankfully, the ship docks around 9:30, so our excursion doesn’t depart until 10:00am, allowing us to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. We’re docked in the port of Cannes, France, site of the big movie festival. The dock isn’t large enough to handle our ship so we have to board smaller “tenders” to get to shore. Once on shore, we board a coach bus and start driving through town. Our guide shows us a few sites around town, mostly related to exclusive hotels and celebrity hotspots when the festival is in town. We also saw some huge yachts in the harbor.


One of the tenders, heading into the dock


Our ship, Equinox, anchored in the Port of Cannes

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We drove along the coast to Nice, another French Riviera town. There is some beautiful coastal scenery. After arriving around 11:15, we get a short walking tour through a market area and then they turn us loose for a couple of hours to wander, eat, shop, or whatever. We saw some big yachts in Cannes, but this harbor has some even larger yachts, and many, many more of them. Our group split up, with Judy and I doing a couple of short walks with brief stops at cafes for coffee, smoothies, and a sandwich. I intended to eat the sandwich on the bus, but it didn’t get that far. We had too much fun people-watching from our café seats, and my sandwich gradually disappeared. Courtney contributed to the Nice economy with a purchase of shoes, and Brad & Glenda walked the beach (it’s rocks, not sand?) and the streets, enjoying the sites.


Some of the coastal scenery


One of the rocky Nice beaches


Down the beach

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The next portion of our trip took us along the coast, arriving at the 2nd smallest sovereign country, the Principality of Monaco. Monaco is slightly over 2 square kilometers, and is divided into 4 districts/regions. Most everyone knows about the district of Monte Carlo, with it’s Grand Casino (didn’t get near it). Our bus dropped us off on “the Rock”, or Roche, where the palaces, and cathedrals are located. We thought there were large yachts in Nice, but the yachts in the Harbor of Monaco dwarfed the other boats we’ve seen. HUGE BOATS!!!! There is lots of “discretionary” income being spent in Monaco.


Palace of Monaco


Harbor of Monaco


Looking back up toward “The Rock”

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The views were breathtaking as we drove in, and from our vantage point up on the rock. We were turned loose on the town for almost 3 hours. We ate lunch, and then I went on a search for a Starbucks where I could pick up a mug to add to my collection. I felt a little stupid walking around Monaco, with all it’s beauty, traditions, and history, asking for directions to Starbucks, but how else was I going to get my mug?

We arrived back to the ship around 6:00, ready for a shower, and dinner. When they talk about the French Riviera or “the south of France”, I’ve heard many times the phrase, “sun-drenched”. It always sounds so relaxing and comforting. This time of year, however, it means “really hot”. There is a heat wave in effect, and today was our first taste of “sun-drenched”. Combined with the humidity, the sweat factor was really high today.

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