Ile de Porquerolles
Known as "the pearl of the golden isles" - couldn't fit any more copywriting superlatives in, eh? The largest of three islands at 3km x 7km
Boat leaves 8.30 from the old port - an expensive trip this, at 49 Euro adult return, 2 hours 15 minutes each way, Sundays only,
Trans - Cote- d'Azur lines
Palais des Festivals et Congres
"The Bunker" on the front at Cannes is the centre for many international conferences, music concerts, and of course the annual film festival in May each year.
Film Festival fortnight aside - all the big French and International singers will feature Cannes on their tour itinerary. It is well worth checking on the net or at French stores like Virgin and FNAC in Nice if there is a forthcoming concert during your stay for which you can buy tickets. Concerts are usually announced six months in advance so there may well be a great opportunity for you to catch a favourite star, in a much more intimate environment than the likes of London Docklands or Wembley Arena (where you pay same price to see your favourite band "Four Dots on the Horizon").
Be warned: live concerts in France are a "big ticket" item - expect 60 $/Euro a seat plus. Worse still, expect your fellow French audience to set up a group "clap along" whenever a beat is laid down. Oh and France is big on "classic songs". The audience know every word by heart, and after the initial applause of recognition dies down, expect the first ten rows to sing along raucously. One concert any minute I was expecting 500 cigarette lighters to start their slow windmill arm motion.
Within the Palais the seat rows rise vertiginously to ensure everyone has a good view of the stage or screen. Very fit young Cannois assistants glide up and down the aisle steps to show you to your seat. It is customary to tip for this service. This is no cheapskate venue. - show some style.Tip generously.This is about who you are, not how much can you save.
If you do brave the process, my tip is to bring your own small binoculars - "lorgnettes" the kind you used to have mounted on the seat in front of you at the opera. Makes a big difference.
View from Pantiéro esplanade.
A nice view on the Suquet hill with the Château de la Castre and the church Notre Dame de l'Espérance is the one you will see from the large esplanade called "La Pantiéro" at the Vieux Port.
La Pantiéro is in August the place for a music festival. In 2008 the music was electro, hip hop and rock. Young people are amazed when I tell them that I was a teenager when rock music started. Who did better than Bill Haley with "Rock around the clock" (1954)?
Stars, beaches, festivals and cars
"A must see on the Cote d'Azur, but ..."
Cannes, worldfamous for it's festival, the European walk of fame and the wonderful location of the town on the coast and the bay. One hardly can't visit the Cote d'Azur, without visiting Cannes, however ... disappointment can easily be found in the home of glitter and glamour. The beaches are full and expensive. On top of that, they all close at 18:00 hours (so a romantic evening on it is out of the question). The boulevard is long, yet somehow always packed with cars, leaving no place to park. Prices are outrageously high and the walk of fame ... well, if I would be a star, I would find it a disgrace to have my hands here (the stones are dirty and badly maintained).
"However, not all is negative in Cannes"
Still there is this mondain spirit hanging in the streets of Cannes. This is the place that every year knows to attract the biggest stars in the world to the film festival. Once YOUR favourite filmstar walked over these stones and, hey ... isn't that ... oh no. Cannes situation on the bay and along a long stretched beach is also wonderful and the old part of town hasn't lost it's antique charme. In the bay hundreds of yaughts, variating from extrvagant huge monsters to slim beauties with sails.
"Home of the stars"
On the boulevard one finds as main attractions the casino and the Cannes festival palace. The stairs where the stars ascent and descent is for sure the most popular photographic spot. At the bottom of it in between the normal streetstones are the handprints of the stars. Find your favourite and lay your hand in it ... in a seperate travelogue some of my most popular handshakes.
But also enjoy Cannes history, as being a place where the rich from all over Europe came to stay during the mild winters here. English mansions, Dutch artists apartments and even a Russian Orthodox church.