Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cannes + Saint-Tropez

From Nice we drove along the coast stopping in Cannes and Saint-Tropez.
Cannes has the allure of being known for it's famed movie festival, however it was a bit of a disappointment. My friend Julie, who is French, told me it's France's Florida - where all of the old people go.  Perhaps if we were out on a yacht or wanted to "see and be seen" it would have been different, but it was our least favorite stop during the trip.

The cars shipped over from Kuwait in front of the Carlton were a sight and the black lamborghini was beautiful even to someone like myself who's not really into cars. Maybe they were his and hers.
The beach was built up and it seemed to lack character. Even though we were only there for one afternoon it doesn't top my list of places to revisit.
On the way to Saint-Tropez we spotted a field of camels and passed some road side bamboo. Those were certainly unexpected.
Saint-Tropez was a different story. It was clear as soon as we arrived why it was/is such an inspiration for artists like Paul Signac, Matisse, and David Hockney. It is very charming, except for the traffic in and out. Since it's on its own little peninsula the only way to avoid the traffic is by helicopter or yacht. The city's charm left us enamored nonetheless. There were some definite characters at the port lounging on their yachts. Most of them were in their late teens or early 20's and absolutely loved the attention.
The pastel hues decorate the façades with lots of sea foam green and peach. It had characteristics that reminded me of Essaouira, Morocco. Quiet narrow streets and alleyways with water splashing at the edges of buildings.

We picked up some Ladurée macarons (the lemon basil was the best of the mix) and stopped for an afternoon treat while watching a group of older men play pétanque.
One shop we visited was Le Caveau de la Porcelaine Blanche, which has whiteware in a myriad of shapes, sizes, and forms. I loved it. [There are a couple more shops I've found in this area that also have a huge array of porcelaine blanche / whiteware: Antibes + Avignon.]

Next stop: Marseille... for one night.

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