Cannes Travel Diary
Cannes – does it need an introduction? I doubt it! I only made it over there once while I was staying on the Riviera, but it turned out to be one of my favorite cities.
Above: Plage du Midi, Cannes
I took the train from Villefranche-sur-Mer to Cannes on a June morning, a scenic 45 minute ride along the sea (30 minutes from Nice). I arrived fairly early, walked down to La Croisette, and once I got there, just stood in the warm sunshine, marveling at the views. The color of the water, the yachts, the Esterel mountains in the distance – it was breathtaking.
I went down on the beach, it was still pretty early, and not that many other people around. It was so peaceful and the sand was so soft! The beaches in Cannes are naturally sandy (unlike Nice and further east on the riviera where sand is often brought in and placed on top of the pebbles) and meticulously maintained. Most are privately owned and managed by the hotels, but there are a few public ones as well, including Zamenhof, pictured below.
After dragging myself away from the beach, I started walking along the Croisette towards the Old Port, stopping to shoot whatever caught my eye along the way. It’s such a beautiful walk, lined with palm trees on one side; beach clubs and that turquoise water on the other.
There were also a lot of cool and beautiful sculptures along the way.
Lots of beautiful architecture too!
I strolled around the Old Port for a bit and then made my way up to the Old Town, Le Suquet. It’s funny how the atmosphere of the city changes once you’re in the old part of town. Along the waterfront, it has a ritzy, glamorous feel; in Le Suquet, it’s a rustic, south of France village kind of mood.
I eventually found myself in the area of Notre Dame d’Esperance, a 17th century stone church sitting high up on a hill. It has a pretty little garden and great views of the city.
Above: Looking out over Cannes from the garden at Notre Dame d’Esperance.
I kept going, strolling along the winding streets of Old Town without any plan or place in mind, photographing whatever caught my eye.
At one point, I came around a corner and in front of me was this beautiful homage to Jaques Tati (below). I’ve been a huge fan ever since I was a teenager, so it was quite a treat to come across that!
After spending a few hours in the old town, I went down to Marché Forville.
Marché Forville is a large covered market, usually with food and flowers, but I was there on a Monday, which is flea market day (Marché Brocante).
I love a good flea market, so I browsed around for a bit, and then went for a walk and window shopping along Rue Meynadier and Rue d’Antibes.
After that, I went back to the waterfront, on the other side of Pointe Croisette this time. I spent the rest of the afternoon there, and it was my favorite part of town.
I strolled along Boulevard Jean Hibert towards Plage du Midi, and then kept going on Boulevard du Midi-Louise Moreau towards La Bocca.
These seaside promenades are so pretty, with the cutest little snack kiosks, turquoise accents everywhere, the beaches with their amazing water, and those views.
Le Scoubidou is not French for Scooby Doo as one might think. 🙂 It has a few different possible meanings:
1. A form of plastic craft lace used in macrame
2. A song from 1958, “Scoubidou” by Sacha Distel
3. A corkscrew-like tool that is used for the commercial harvesting of seaweed
I don’t know which one is the intended meaning for this kiosk, but my guess would be No. 3. What do you think?
I really loved Cannes. It’s beautiful, easily walkable, and I kept coming across all these incredibly nice and helpful people. There was the elderly grandfather with his granddaughter in a stroller who came by as I was trying to figure out where to put a coin in an incredibly complicated bathroom “pod” and told me where to find a free (and super clean) public bathroom; the girl in the eyeglass shop who fixed my Maui Jims after someone walked into me and basically crushed them (she did a fantastic job, you can’t tell anything happened, I still wear them); the guy who was handing out free Wall Street Journals on Le Croisette and turned out to be from Portugal, which led to a long and fun conversation about what a fantastic country that is, among other things. The list goes on.
There’s also a dreamy quality to Cannes, especially along the waterfront, and I think it has a lot to do with the light. So bright but soft at the same time, calming and happy in a summer chillout kind of way. It’s a good place. And definitely on my list of places to return to!
If you love a particular image in this post that you don’t see in my store, and would like it as a print, just get in touch and let me know which image it is, and the size you would like. I’m happy to make a custom print when possible.