Day 1 - Friday, April 26, 2013 – Explore Cannes; Boat Trip to Ste. Marguerite Island; Visit Fort Royal; Batéguier Pond
WALKING TOUR OF PROVENCE
Our breakfast this morning at the Novotel was very good. A buffet of fruit, cereals, breads, cheeses, and meats gave us plenty to eat before we set out for our day in Cannes. We talked to Vanessa and thanked her again for all of her help – the staff has been wonderful!
The city is doing major construction on the street below and the noise carries up to the rooms, but it will all be complete by May 15th, the opening day of the Cannes Film Festival.
Heading to the port, we walked to Grand Théâtre Lumière of the Palais des Festivals built in 1982 to host the one of the world’s most famous film festivals. We were in town about three weeks early for this year’s festival – we have not seen any shining film stars yet!
Thinking that today might be the best day to go on a catamaran trip to the Lérins Islands; we hustled down to the ticket office of Trans Côte d'Azur, bought our tickets, and then had to wait for only ten minutes until the shuttle boat left for Ste. Marguerite.
We walked up to Fort Royal, once a maritime fortress and then a prison at the end of the 17th century. The most famous prisoner was “The Man with the Iron Mask” who was held captive there for eleven years. We saw his cell, but nothing remains of his time in the prison.
The fortress is in very good shape and inside is a museum that houses artifact from the time as a fort and prison. Also on display are the contents of a Roman shipwreck dating from 1 BC. There is also a remarkable collection of amphora containing olive oil, dried fish, olives, wine, and grain found in a 10th Century Saracen cargo ship that wrecked along the rocky coast.
We walked along the north and west perimeters of the island past the Batéguier Pond all the way to the observatory platform. Île de Saint-Honorat was visible from the tip of Ste. Marguerite. Legend has it that St. Patrick studied there in the 5th Century.
The return boat was leaving at 2:15 and we were on the dock early enough to make the passage back to Cannes. We talked to a father and son from Ireland who were here in the area for a Rugby Championship.
Taking our umbrellas with us was perfect insurance against the rain. We had a few drops while on the island, but the weather gods keep smiling on us!
On the way to the hotel, we walked through the shops, had an ice cream, and went to the Carrefour grocery store for a few things. Once in the room our tour director for the next tour, Jean-Sébastien Saito called to welcome us. What a nice gesture!
At 6:00 when the journal was completed we went out for dinner. This Walking Tour of Provence is starting out well. Our goal was to walk at least 5 miles per day; we have exceeded our target today at 8.4 miles!
Accommodations: Suite Novotel Cannes Centre - - - Meal: B - - - Rate: A+
Sounds wonderful! We are taking a river cruise next August/Sept in France and then hope to extend our time and do some of Provence. It is a great place. We were there several years ago and loved Provence. Lake and Lynn
We have stayed in Antibes near Cannes many times, but have never gone to the islands off the coast there. I am very interested in hearing about your walking trip! We were in Giverney in October. The flowers were different, but we really enjoyed the gardens, ponds, and house. Hope you have lovely weather for your hiking. We go back to Tenerife from Gran Canaria tomorrow. We are having lovely weather and enjoying exploring the volcanic islands as well as eating great fresh fish!
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Really interesting; looking forward to reading about and seeing pictures of your walking tour. You also inspired me to try to visit Luxembourg in July.
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Because the three caves can be dangerous to hikers and nonprofessional spelunkers, they are...