Though we did get to sample the French waters earlier, we just couldn’t get enough. The call of the French Riviera beckoned to us and we responded by going to one of the best-known cities of the Riviera, Cannes. The shimmering waters and the golden sand on the coast were already enough for us to gasp, but another highlight was bound to turn a few more heads especially the guys. Cannes’s coast is one of the great coastal hotspots where female tanners love to lounge around in the nude. While the guys and our tour guide, Joe, were expecting a show, they were utterly disappointed. Unfortunately, it seems that we came a little too early and the only signs of females were the grandmas exercising and lying down in the sand. This may have been a bit of a setback for them, but after we enjoyed a walk and a few pictures on the beach, our excitement in Cannes was revived.
While the beautiful coast does bring in many people from around the world, another event brings A-list stars crowding in. The Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes) is one of the world’s oldest and prestigious film festivals. The private festival is usually held annually in May at the Cannes Palais des Festivals et des CongrÃ¨s. Since we came in April, people were already busy assembling the area for the festival. From the rising stars to the household names, the festival is certainly an attraction to many in the film industry. We took the opportunity to strut down the red carpet and soak in all the glitz and glammer. After a few pictures near the movie posters and the building, we discovered a row of gigantic yachts. Since Cannes is a resort town and a magnet to the wealthy taking a trip down south of France, we weren’t too surprised that we would find this many high-class boats. The allure of Cannes was fading away as we went onto our next stop, Nice.
Nice, the largest city in the French Riviera and the 5th largest in France, is one of the busiest resort cities and is busy almost all-year round. Before Nice was urbanized, it was just a deserted strip of sandy beaches. After English settlers came to the area, they turned the strip into a promenade, thus creating the famous Promenade des Anglais (English Promenade). The rows of shops and street vendors gave the place a sort of aura that was much like Paris, yet different in a unique way. As we walked through the flurry of shops, we were hit in the face with a refreshing breeze from the Mediterranean. We followed the rushing scent to Nice’s pebble stone beach. Waves crashed along the pebble stone shore creating one of the many relaxing sceneries that brings people to Nice. The stones on the shore were smoothly shaped from the constant erosion of buffeting waves. This led to many failed attempts at trying to skip stones and eventually led us to go back to the bus. As day turned to night, Nice’s nightlife raced on and left us to enjoy the tranquil scenes of the French Riviera.
Dinner was held at our hotel where we enjoyed a delicious leg of lamb seasoned with flavorful vegetables and a glass of red wine to tie everything together. Toasts and cheers rung throughout the dining room, as everyone feasted on the hearty meal. It was a scene filled with happiness that brought sadness as it ended. The next morning signaled the last time we would be getting into that bus and the last time we would enjoy one last karaoke session of “Hey Jude” by the Beatles. It was difficult to say goodbye to the romantic allure of Paris to the relaxing coasts of the French Riviera. Though we might not see them again in a short time we would remember the memories of the trip to France and the journey through French life. Thank you to Joe our tour guide who supplied us with an endless supply of laughs and limitless knowledge. Thank You to Mauricio for driving us through every seemingly impossible route and keeping the cleanest bus we had ever ridden in. Thank You to Mr. Liong Goei for putting together such a wonderful video of our travels in France. And thank you to everyone who traveled with us, because without everyone the tour just wouldn’t have been possible. Though we waved goodbye to everyone and everything, we didn’t wave goodbye to one thing, our memories that we would keep with us forever. Au Revoir.