Welcome to this travel blog which is inspired by the wandering clouds effortlessly gliding through distant lands. Sometimes almost still as if watching the beauty of the earth below and at times rushing to some place far away – as if on an endless travel mission. This is where I share my observations, experiences and thoughts gathered during my travels

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Red Carpet

Cannes is synonymous with the International Film Festival which it hosts every summer. But the glamour and glitz of this city goes beyond films as it is a popular destination for the rich and the famous across Europe and beyond. Hundreds of expensive and beautiful yachts are lined along the Meditarranean coast and one cannot help peeking and trying to get a glimpse of the luxurious interiors of the yachts. Our visit to Cannes was timed just a few days before the Film Festival. We had decided to drive from Nice where we were staying as there was no question of booking any hotel anywhere in Cannes during the most expensive season. 
Outside the Palais des Festivals  
Spotting Celebrity Hand Prints

We first went to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès which was getting spruced up for the Festival. We could not enter the Palais so just hung around checking out the pathway where several film celebrities are said to have left their hand prints. There was an interesting installation of an old camera wrapped up with extra film roll near the pathway. Within the next few days, we knew the entire place would look magical and become a pilgrimage centre for celebrity watchers. We moved on and walked along the La Croisette lined with palm trees and flower gardens on one side and the deep blue Mediterrannean on the other. We managed to find a public beach and watched how every establishment, whether a boutique, a hotel or a restaurant, was preparing itself for the Festival. Pictures of movies to be showcased were splashed on billboards. But surely, Cannes has got to have life outside the Festival. 

View of the Palais and Yachts from the Hill

We decided to visit the Old Town Le Suquet and walked up the cobbled path and up the hill. This place was so different from the happening La Croisette that we were glad we took the detour. The Old Town was sort of laid back and had a life of its own, with shops, eateries and old houses. The travel handbook we were carrying talked about a church on top of the hill and we decided to go all the way there. The Notre Dame de l' Esperance was not only located in one of the most scenic spots, overlooking the city of Cannes and the Mediterranean below but its stone structure with huge gates had some interesting interiors as well. Contrary to the city below, there were only a handful travelers who had bothered to come to the church and we were enjoying the solitude. From the top, we could see the city getting ready to lay the red carpet and large hoardings publicizing the select films. Far away, the Mediterranean was dotted with white yachts, some sailing away while others just coming in to join the big party round the corner.

An interesting billboard seen from the hill in Old Town

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