Sunday, 9 January 2011

2007 It Had to Happen Sometime-Bucket & Spade Required

Over the years we have been spoilt. As long as I recall, every breakfast in France has been a feast. The breakfast room has been filled with breads, various meats and cheeses, an assortment of fruit juices along with hot beverages, amongst other delights. It was easy to see the disappointment in Ian’s face when he saw a traditional French breakfast. Jam, croissant and some dry bread. Not being a caffeine drinker, Ian managed to obtain a bottle of cold water to wash everything down with. A large mental note was made by the three of us to grab a large bite to eat later. We were not the only travellers to be disappointed as we saw a couple taking food up to their room!

As Ian had never seen the Mediterranean we all agreed that would be a good ride for today, so departing Digne we soon picked up the N85, Route Napoléon and enjoyed a steady ride south, unlike the Emperor himself who headed north and ultimately to his defeat at Waterloo.

Stopping briefly for our first view of the Mediterranean

We started down the mountain road, reaching Grasse, where the French perfume industry is centred. Grasse is a mere 9 miles northwest of Cannes, our destination, however due to traffic lights stopping us at regular intervals, the final stretch took a long time. The temperature was hovering around 28°C, Ian was getting somewhat overheated in his riding gear, I was wishing I could remove my jacket and cut my fur as my perch on the left hand front indicator was getting rather warm.

Eventually the coast was reached, the Guzzi parked up to admire the Med’s horizon.

It was rather a windswept day but it did not deter guests from various hotels making the most of the midday sun.

In fact the wind must have been around force 9 or 10 due to the amount of boats seeking refuge in the local harbour.

The natives are used to these local weather conditions, undeterred they continued on their promenading along the palm tree lined Promenade de la Croisette.

Mingling with the locals we also sauntered along the Promenade and found this movie camera statue situated near the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, which surprisingly none of us took a photo of!

We had very little time in Cannes, but did manage to break an (almost) unwritten law and went into a nearby McD****d’s. Well nature was calling. I could escape into some shrubbery but not Ian or Guzzisue. A walk round some of the local shops, down some narrow streets, shoppers tottering on high heels whilst balancing designer labelled carrier bags in their hands and too big sunglasses on too small noses.

Ice creams were required and had to be consumed rapidly before they melted. This was successfully accomplished sitting on a bench, looking out to sea.

Two hours in Cannes was certainly not long enough to give an honest opinion of the town. We did not have any idea that we would end up there on this holiday as our original break had been scuppered by some unseasonable weather, therefore we had no idea what to look for. Also due to limited time there may not have been long enough to look round any place of interest. A return visit is necessary in the future.

Riding back the same way gave us the opportunity to notice previously missed stopping off places, for example, there was a small local Citroen Museum and a Resistance Museum, both of which could have been visited if we had the time.

The course had been set and we had 83 miles to cover along interesting roads to return us to Digne for the evening.


Baron's Life said...

And here I was thinking you went to for the File Festival.
Promenade de la Croisette reminds me so much of "Le Promenade Des Englais" in Nice. (The Camin deis Anglés)
This is one of my favorite spots in the...and the way from Nice to Monte Carlo is just got to be it for me...Spetacular and divine.
How does a MacDonald tast in France?...French garlic included or not? I've often wondered if MacDonald's in Japan tasted like Sushi or Sashimi.
Just kiddind of course. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures and a moment in time.

bikerted said...

Hi Baron.
Sorry to report that there was not even a red carpet anywhere for our visit.
There are so many good roads in this area of France and we only touched the tip of the preverbial iceburg. A return visit will be required sometime with better planning.
MacD's in Cannes was as bland as all the others we have been unfortunate to taste, however I cannot recall seeing un Grand Mac avec les escargots on the menu.

Affer said...

Photo 7: a Fouga Magister in the car park.....interesting.

I haven't been as far east as Cannes, but your photos bring back to me how blue the sea and sky are on that Mediterranean coast, the smell of pine trees, cicadas, the Mistrals and Siroccos, pastis at lunchtime, steak frites.......


Baron's Life said...

No red carpet only because they were not aware of Ian's star qualities...had they known he was going to be there...they would've rolled out the red carpet and brought out the Mayor to meet him

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