Day tour in South of France (Part 1)

Staying only two nights in Nice so I decided one full day for Nice and another day to discover other towns nearby Nice ville. Actually my original idea was to visit St-Tropez, as I could quickly take either a bus or train to St Tropez – a paradise for the rich…but unfortunately, I couldn’t make it due to my tight schedule, I had to leave Nice for Verona (Italy). So my second day in Nice was a day tour to Antibes – Cannes – St Paul de Vence – Monaco – Eze. 

3bb47-pic8The Mediterranean view from Antibes – a resort town between Nice and Cannes 

I’ve been to Cannes long ago, it was a business trip, just remember we ended up somewhere in some central park in Cannes for a group photo in a very sunny afternoon! This time Cannes received me with a dark sky, quick rain but no complaints as I had only 40′ to look around, to stop at the place where Cannes has the red carpet for the stars coming from around the world to the annual film festival. Right after we was heading to Antibes – a small resort town between Nice and Cannes.

46814-pic2Cannes welcomed me back with a dark sky and rains….

ff312-pic16The only “souvenir” in Cannes we would buy was the umbrella…

2720a-pic4The Walk of the Stars in Cannes …with Angelina Jolie! 

I rarely go with travel agency as they always try to put many places in one-day tour program and at each place they keep warning “Dear guest, you have only 45′, please do come back to the van on time”, don’t don’t don’t be late!” and the only place they prefer us to spend more time is…shopping malls! And this time was exactly the same – they took us to the perfumery “Fragonard”, next to Eze village. They let us staying there for one  hour or more, I saw boring faces of two American ladies…probably French perfume not impressed them very much!

4d97d-antibes_5Small quiet peaceful Antibes – a resort town in South of France 

3dc0a-pic5Alley leading to the traditional market in Antibes

I would love to come back to Antibes next time, to explore more the neighbourhood. I feel the peaceful atmosphere, the quiet but joyful life in this small town despite those buses, always full of noisy tourists, who keep aggressively invading the local market or vulgarly walking around those small, tiny streets in town. People in Antibes seemly used to it, they are just quietly, happily living their routine life.

d3186-pic17Tourists rushed to the central market in Antibes

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I love the traditional market. Wherever I go I always visit the market. Not only my love, my curiosity to those things I find in the market, but I do feel a real life in those places and it brought me back to the good old times.

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The market in Antibes is small but good enough to offer many things from fresh meat to the fruits of the ocean, from seasonal fruits to veggies, from French cheese to those exotic ingredients, local specialities that I hardly recognize. I would love to get some stuffs but travelling by train, carrying luggage days after days like I do right now, better not!

8d8e4-pic10I quickly grabbed some grapes, apples and apricots…

c9f5b-pic11I love these fresh fruits…as I get bored with foods already 

c015e-pic12Tomatoes “Cow’s heart” it sounds way better in French “Coeur du boeuf” 

49116-pic13No time to check what are these colourful ingredients 

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It’s not fair to Antibes if I just spent time in the market, so I quickly found the way out and discovered some places near by, until I went through a tiny alley, suddenly in front of me…a splendid view with the clouded sky, the dark blue ocean, the beautiful ship and the incomparable beauty of Mediterranean Sea.

fd0fe-pic18Following this alley, I didn’t expect amazing scenery behind these old houses…

3d869-antibes_2here we go – the  splendid view of Mediterranean sea 

3bb47-pic8I wish I could have more time to admire the beauty of the nature here…

cf578-antibes_1Nice Ville should be over there across the sea…

12a10-pic6 Beautiful yacht …

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Monaco – after Antibes, we were heading to Monaco. Many years ago when I was travelling in France with guests, on the way to the famous Pisa, we passed by Monaco during the Formula One. It was so crowded at that time, everywhere, we quickly crossed the border heading to Piza.

Now I had more time to quickly discover the second smallest country in the world. The guide took us to some multi-storey underground parking lot then we took a lift up to the top. After that we had a long walk to the Palace, the famous Monté Carlo and the residence of the Princess Caroline.

6cef6-monacMonté Carlo – the symbol of Monaco, the meeting place of gamblers from around the world.  

Glorious Monaco – always considered as the first destination for the rich, celebrities…I didn’t have chance to face any celebrities here but looking at the luxurious cars on the street, the super clean town at every corner, I could imagine how costly to live here. Unfortunately  I had no time to go down to the city centre, the Harbour to witness the routine life. What I saw was just The Palace, The Casino…

47ed4-monaco_1The view to the Port of Hercules – the largest port in Monaco. 

cbf17-monaco_2The view to the district of La Condamine 

cc384-monaco_3Fontvieille with a harbour – the second in Monaco 

7d441-monaco_4According to our tour guy this’s a Residence of the Princess Caroline 

Goodbye Monaco, our tour continued to the next destination – the most exciting, at least to me, most popular village, one of the oldest medieval towns in South of France, where the whole village turned into the modern, contemporary art galleries, museums – St-Paul-de-Vence. That will be my last stop in South of France, also my last day in Côte d’Azur, before I continued my journey to Verona, Venice and Rome.

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