I was up and 0800 and had my breakfast in the Ibis; baguette, jam and cafe au lait like a true French person to ensure I was ready for the day. The breakfast was set out in a canteen style arrangement with a small buffet of breads, pastries, hams and jams, along with some yogurts and fruits. A self service coffee machine provided all the usual coffees style, American, au lait, espresso, hot water etc. The tables and chairs were made of laminated compressed wood in a typical Ikea style giving a modern and fresh feeling. Some of the tables were bar style while others were of the normal sit down type. A large flat widescreen TV was pinned to the wall in the centre of the room blearing out today’s news in French, which made sure that my half asleep state did not allow me to forget that I was in France and not at home.
After breakfast, I creamed up with sun lotion and put my swimsuit on under my clothes, left the hotel around 1030 and headed straight for the public beach next to the festival hall. There were still some places near the front of the beach at this time, most of the places were taken by the older generation who unlike the youth of today get up early on a week day. Many of the bathers seemed to be locals and were using the beach as a meeting place, the old ladies in their one piece swimsuits sitting on beach chairs chatting amongst the other ladies, while the men stood proud next to them in their own male group make hand gestures to emphasise what they were saying. A few younger couples were there too with young children who no doubt didn't let their mums and dad have a lie in. The sound of all the chatter and the gentle waves of the sea were relaxing and the warm sun massaged my body as I lay on my towel on the sand with eyes closed. I had bought a sun umbrella from a shop on the beach costing 20 euro, I later found out that on the western beach side they we cheaper at only 15 euro. However, at least it was not costing me 50 euro for a lounger and umbrella rental on one of the private beaches in front of some of the fancier hotels.
The time passed smoothly like silk as I occasionally revolved like a chicken on a spit. After about an hour of cooking my body, I went into the sea, which was refreshingly cool, in fact a lot cooler than I had expected but my body soon got used to it. The sand was fine grained and comfortable to walk on, not a single stone was amongst it. The sand stretched out into the sea so it was comfortable to walk out until the sea level was high enough to swim. The luxury yachts were moored out in the bay and the odd helicopter arrived and landed on them taking their wealthy passengers back and forth to the main land. Il St. Marguerite lay on the horizon in full view. Another hour of laying under the sun and I was done, too tired and dangerous to sleep on the beach, so I went to the cafe near the Hotel de Ville in the old town for an espresso and water. I sat there under the canopy watching the Cannes hustle and bustle alternating sips of espresso and water. After a long rest I continued on back to the hotel.
I spent the afternoon walking amongst the Monday shoppers on the rue D’Antibes and searching for a cool place to sit and have a cold drink. I walked up and done various roads parallel to the Croisette and the Croisette itself without finding a good place to sit. Finally just behind the rue D’Antibes a small bar lay in a pedestrian area which offered me solace and a suitable distance from the passing cars. I ordered a cool and refreshing bear which flowed down my throat easily as the condensation dripped down the glass as my fingers as I held it. Revitalised again, my next objective was to find a suitable place to eat that evening. I did not want to spend too much money today and wanted something cheaper but still tasty and well located. I walked the breadth of Cannes for a second time today and found that most restaurants were either well situated, too expensive and poor value for money or badly located in a back street but cheaper but not that cheap to justify the bad location. I continued my search undaunted and had to expand my search radius. I finally walked along the Croisette towards the old port and beyond in the west, just by the western side of the old port was a perfectly situated pizza restaurant called La Pizza Cresci at 3 Quai Saint-Pierre. The pizzas were only about 12 euro and the examples I could see on the diners’ plates sitting outside looked fully loaded and large. It was still only 1800 so I decided to go back to the Le Suquet for a drink at Charly's. They serve such nice wines and provide a nice tapenade picking plate too, which would take the edge of my appetite as I hadn't eaten a thing since breakfast. I ordered a glass of gewürztraminer and sat watching the passing crowd walk by on Le Suquet, this street is a small cobbled lane on a slope with old buildings some 4 storeys high with poorly maintained facades but full of character, the ground level shops were better maintained to attract customers and this juxtaposition created a bohemian feel.
At around 2000pm I could no longer deny my stomach, so I paid my drinks bill and went back to La Pizza Cresci for dinner. When I arrived I discovered how poplar this place is, there was a queue for seating outside. The queue was some 10 people long, so I joined it with my stomach still moaning. There was seating inside with a queue but to sit outside meant waiting. Fortunately it did not take long as the early sittings we coming out. I was sat just opposite the open oven where the pizza bases were spun, twirled and slammed on the table before being sprinkled with their toppings and placed inside the stone oven with its open flame. I ordered a pepperoni pizza and a bottle of Perrier, which arrived in 10 minutes, the pizza was delicious, and the pepperoni was a thick layer hidden benefit an even thicker layer of cheese. I ignored my waist line as this pizza was too good to miss. I was fed and watered by 2130 and ready to walk again. As I left Cresci’s I noticed the queue was three times as long and still growing as the evening progressed.
I then had one final walk along the Croisette to my other favourite bar that is next to the Martinez hotel near the sea front for a cool glass of beer before heading for bed. As I sat at the bar reading my news paper on my iPad about the various celebrities also in the Cote D'Azur. I realised how the rich and famous are cut off from real people and that being here is as close as I can be to these people. A wealthy looking group just visiting from their yacht in the bay sat next to me with all their glitz and expensive watchers and arrogant posture. Chatting aimlessly they seemed to be struggling to find a point to anything or say anything of any consequence to the rest of the group. The pictures on my newspaper of Simon Cowell on his yacht and riding on his jet ski, seemed destined never to wonder amongst real people in real places. Do those people really spend their lives in their own bubble due to their celebrity status? No wonder they become detached from normal people that work hard and earn little. Whilst these people spend their time in that wealthy setting or only exploring extremely poor places in the third world, what a disjointed view they must get. Never do they rub shoulders with normal people that get up in the morning go to work, aspire, pay taxes, get sick and use the national health service, save, spend and get old and basically run the rat race. The wealthy lose all sight of these real people. No wonder their politics are mainly idealistic liberal/socialist ones. Hard working aspirants who do the right thing seem to be the ones that are vilified for succeeding in their small way. Only those that are very poor or very famous are the only life styles they recognise.
After my drink and excursion into the world of the rich and famous, it was time for bed. Back at the hotel I fell asleep ready for my trip to the hinterland of Cote D'Azur.