Stars of the Cote D'Azur
Trip Start Nov 07, 2013
28Trip End Dec 11, 2013
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
In spite of the weather we visited Cannes, Grasse and St Paul (de Vence) . We were supposed to leave our berth in the Monte Carlo harbor, very early in the morning so another ship could dock "along side" and we were going to go into the town by tender boats. We couldn’t leave due to the high winds and so the other ship had to go somewhere else. We were beneficiaries of the bad weather for a change.
We got on the bus and headed for our first stop: Cannes. On the way we saw the beginning of the Grand Prix auto race
$1000 for a seat in the stands
$3000 a night for the hotel if you want to stay in Monte Carlo, which of course you do) You have to buy a minimum of 3 nights
So there you go, $10,000 and you haven’t even gotten here yet. Start saving.
So there are three roads between Cannes and Monte Carlo, the Grand Corniche (really high), the middle Cornich, which is down farther and the Basse Cornich. Traffic is terrible coming into and going out of Monte Carlo during rush hours. 32,000 per day from France and 6,000 from Italy. We saw the traffic on both of our days leaving Monte Carlo and we would not want to sit in that kind of traffic everyday.
This area has a long history. You have all heard of the Pax Romana. Well this happened right after Caesar died
So we drove through a small town called Cagnes which is one of the small towns/medieval fortresses that we have seen. We didn’t actually go in to this. We did learn that the Cagnes which Cannes is named after the canes that grown in the river here are where the Palm d’or comes from (Golden Palm)
We then arrived in Cannes. Ken and Andrea were not totally impressed with Cannes, but we did see the steps with the red carpet where the starts go into the film festival hall. We noted the arms for Cannes which include the Palm d’or. Now you will also be quite surprised to learn that Andrea bought a new pair of shoes here, which will now be known as the Palm d’or heels.
The had a beautiful market in Cannes, that we walked through – very colorful.
The file festival was supposed have started in September, 1939
While driving along the beach we were told not to look for topless bathers. Andrea initial reaction to this was “ Well duh, it’s freezing outside” but we were then told that topless was fashionable in the 70’s (remember Rudi Gernreich’s monokini) but it is not anymore. Andrea can only speculate that white is the new tan.
So then we loaded the bus again for our trip to Grasse. We visited a perfume factory here
A little history of this town: The hardworking citizens of Grasse originally tanned leather as their major industry. They had a lot of money and looked down upon the people of Cannes as “sand eaters”. So here is how they got into the perfume business – Catherine de Medici, remember we met the Medici’s in Florence, decided that the leather in her gloves did not smell good, so she started to perfume her gloves. Being the person that everyone wanted to emulate, they all started perfuming their gloves. Grasse started making perfume. Then in 1750, Louis IV figured out that he could make money by taxing leather goods, so the good people of Grasse said F you to Louis and stopped making leather.
Queen Victoria frequented this part of France and Edith Piaf died here.
On to St Paul. The guide books called this St Paul de Vence but the residents prefer to just call it St Paul. It was a lovely town with winding streets and cool little shops
Also, you will all be interested to know that the Chef Escoffier had his part time home here. I won’t bore you with that story which is fascinating. Read “White Ruffles in Winter” to learn more. This is the guy that invented Peach Melba.
So that was the “Stars on the Cote D’Azur” We missed Trivia because our tour was so long, but that’s ok because we would have lost anyway.