All of the stereotypes were there: fabulous yachts, convertible Bentleys glistening in the sun, furriers with floor-length white mink coats, champaigne on every corner. Yup. And the Film Festival headquarters. And the palm trees. But we saw more than that.
We walked all over the Le Suquet, the old quarter of Cannes, strolling up and down the winding cobbled lanes, past the clock tower and the church overlooking Cannes itself. At the bottom of Le Suquet on Rue Dr. P. Gazagnaire is the Marché Forville, where the market is held in the mornings and early afternoon.
There are signs saying this area is the original fishermans' residential area of Cannes, and you can see that the houses are all very old. The streets were laid out 400 years ago. Every house has a tiny metal post box and most have cat doors, with well-worn flaps.
All along the walkways were shops, especially back in the neighborhoods up on the hills. Toy shops were full and lit for the holidays, grocery stores were stacked with crates of this years Beaujolais, and the cafes - mon deau! Raspberries everywhere, dusted with sugar or soaked with syrup or floating in bubbly. Ah, vive la France!
Of course, McDonalds are everywhere on earth, even in France, the home of fine food - and yet who can turn their nose up at free wifi for the price of one cup of black Americano? Since the ship was charging by the minute for wifi, I happily coughed up one euro for a cup of black black black joe and a peaceful half hour of Gmail and Facebook. Dont be sayin' nuthin' bad about my Mickie D's, now:
We finally ended up in a small neighborhood grocery shop, where DS bought a 2 pound box of jellied fruits (all gone, now, entirely gone...) and I found local wine: the grapefruit was wonderful, fresh and light and the Beaujolias was sweet and red. We clanked back down the hills to the marina, and sank into our warm cabin, full of the sights of a luxurious little port filled with well-fed French.
The grapefruit wine was served with our dinner in the diningroom that night. It was perfect with my salmon and almost like sipping chilled grapefruit juice - so light and crisp. Delicious day, altogether.