Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
158Trip End Mar 11, 2011
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Where I stayed
It was 4 days ago, our alarm clock was cruel and woke us up at 05:30 in the morning. We crawled out of our comfortable bed in the Citizen M hotel and forced ourselves into the shower cocoon. Slightly refreshed we enjoyed our Yogurt and Cereal breakfast that we bought the day before in our room. We were ready to leave for France again. Our next destination is Cannes on the Cote D'Azur. It is here that friends of ours invited us over to their summer home, a lovely condo on the 'Californie' hills.
We make our way down to the Schiphol station. Luckily we picked up our train tickets yesterday. We had ordered our tickets on the internet, and we had to pick them up from an NS ticket machine at a major train terminal. This is another example why train travel is very chaotic and immature compared to airline travel. This ticket machine is only available between 06:30 and 21:00, but it is located in the NS lounge which is only open between 07:00 and 19:00 (or close to that). How about just putting the machine outside so people can access 24/7, what a joke.
Anyhow, our train was comfortable but not as fast as the Thalys. We claimed ourselves a cabin which we had to ourselves, and our luggage, as there is no space for luggage storage on the trains. We slept a bit and updated the blog a bit. After a couple of hours we arrived at Brussels South. Here we changed trains to the TGV towards Cannes, via Marseilles. This was mostly the same route as we took a few weeks ago. The service on the train was 'French'. A train attendant was offering the passengers in the cabin a drink and a snack, but the moment he noticed that we were not French he asked us if we were traveling with Air France (as the train has a stop at CDG airport), as we did not, we did not get a drink. He did not ask any of the other passengers in the cabin if they were Air France customers, but they all get a drink and a snack, just because they were French. But we are kind of used to this French service level, so we let it pass. After the airport stop the train was as good as empty so we had the whole cart to ourselves, this greatly improved the comfort of the travel.
At six o'clock we arrived at Cannes where Norman and JoJo were waiting for us at the station. We decided to walk around the town for a bit. We had a refresher at a beach bar where we were treated to a parade in honors of the liberation of Cannes in the 2nd world war. For the evening Norman had booked a very nice table at a restaurant for tonight. It happened to be the last day of the annual fireworks competition of Cannes tonight and we could comfortably enjoy it at the beachside restaurant. Before dinner, we walked around the boulevard of Cannes soaking up the atmosphere of mega yachts and Lamborghinis. The place was very busy due to the fireworks and there were a lot of yachts in the bay. When the sun set we headed to the restaurant where we had front row seats to the show. The food was mediocre, but the location was perfect. Just as we finished our diner the fireworks started. The sky was lit with red, yellow and blue and the fireworks were orchestrated to music. It all lasted for about 30 minutes but it was awe inspiring.
After the show we all headed back to the condo in the California hills. A lovely home overlooking the harbor and the island where the man in the iron mask was held prisoner for years and years. We all enjoyed a drink on the balcony before heading to bed. It was a long, but very lovely day.