France: Ooh la la
Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
21Trip End Oct 23, 2009
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We're not ashamed to admit that after three + weeks of living out of suitcases (fortunately we did laundry in Florence and Rome) treking across 8 countries, challenging ourselves every night to read a menu... we're looking forward to coming home soon.
But first we were in for a treat arriving in Cannes. We have landed at the famous Majestic Barriere Hotel, on la Croisette Blvd. Talk about culture shock
To add to it all, there's a convention in town (Tax Free World Wide Expo) which has brought in all the top brand names of luxury products and all the pretty people: The Names (i.e. Chanel, L'Oreal, etc...), those who buy it (Airport directors, duty-free shop owners, on & on) and those who "sell it" and spray their new scents on you (The Ducati Girls who were hanging out in the lobby trying to sell John a new eau de parfum... ). So even more pomp and circumstance than usual- perhaps a bit reminiscent of the Film Festival, but without the superstars.
Back to the senses: France smells good and tastes good too! Le Marches (the markets) occur everyday where fresh flowers, bread, fruits, vegetable and fish are sold daily
The food here in France could be the best... the flavors and savors or french cuisine, rival all of our other meals in all of the countries we visited. Fresh food, all the right flavors, spiced just- right for the most discerning palate... be warned: as we try to communicate with some of the waitstaff at undisclosed locations in Cannes: they might not translate "sweetbread" clearly..! It is calf thymus gland (throat)...! other than that: translation was clear & the food was good.
The shopping here in Cannes has been spectacular. Dawn has picked up on all the very chic fashions of today's France and has taken the opportunity to invest in bringing some of it back to the US.
Cannes and the French Riviera is really a spectacular place. Again, fancy yachts dock here and along the coast. We took a drive down to St. Tropez to experience the hype: but instead, found delight in an old medieval town called Grimaud, just a few miles inland from the coast. Grimaud had an old castle on the top over looking the now flashy Saint Tropez and Sea below. The old town is so beautiful and quaint, we could have spend the day sitting outside the old church listening to the "Women of Handel" do a dress rehearsal for their upcoming concert, a tribute in honor of the death of Handel, 250 years ago. You can enjoy the sounds of Handel in a video below.
Despite all the glamor in Cannes, there's also the old town of Cannes (le Suquet) and the vistas of the fancy harbor below. It's those picturesque moments, the tiny bistros, and photo opportunities that have made this trip real.