Europe – day 9 – Nice and Cannes

Our task this morning was to do laundry. We pack light so we don’t carry enough clothes for a 16 day trip. We had asked the women who we rented the apartment from where the nearest laundry was but that led us to a full service laundry which would be too expensive, but the women at the laundry was very friendly and gave us very detailed directions to a Laundromat very close to our apartment. I tried to get our laundry from the car but again the garage appeared closed (we would later discover that we were on the wrong block). Susan and I headed over to the Laundromat with enough clothes for the rest of the trip (or as close as we could get). Most of the machines were very small and of course the instructions were in French, but I always get this sense of accomplishment when we can figure out something as basic as laundry in a foreign language. I also get clean clothes.

The girls had headed out early to an internet cafe to try and make contact with someone they had met in the Zurich hostels who was in town but all the internet cafes in our neighborhood had not yet opened.

We walked back the 25 minutes to the train station. I noticed a display in the station about various units of the French Foreign legion and where they were stationed currently. We bought our tickets and took the train to Cannes. The train was about 8 euros for the girls (students) and 11 for the adults. The one town along the way that looked interesting was Antibes.

We stopped at a restaurant across from the train station for Croque Mosieurs/Madams gari avec pommes frites, etc.

Unfortunately the ladies really enjoyed the shopping in Cannes, although they might not say that was unfortunate. Kevin and I walked the length of the main beach by the town which is mostly private beaches and explored the town while waiting for them. We opted not to take the embarrassingly touristy tram tour. Renting a chaise on a private beach seemed to be about 13 euros for the day and about 11 for half a day. An umbrella was extra. It was not clear if you could rent a chaise at the private beaches run by hotels. At both public and private the beaches were packed. The beach is often only about 50 feet wide or less. It is a sand beach unlike Nice although not a particularly fine sand compared to elsewhere in the world.

Some women were going topless as had been advertised but most of them were not. Age did not seem to be a determining factor as more than one grandmother lacked tan lies. Most, if not all the men, were wearing Speedos.

After the women were done with the shopping we found a spot on the beach. It was 5pm by now so the beach was not as crowded nor the sun as strong, but it was still a lovely day. The water was probably about 80 degrees and was cool getting in so that only Liz, Danna and I got in. As a married man it seemed that being in the water with my glasses off might be the best solution to wear to focus my gaze, but that did not keep at least one beautiful topless woman from walking by.

We took the train back to Nice around 7pm. It was much more crowded at this time. After a quick dinner the girls headed to the nearby hostel to meet their friends and the adults walked around the old town. I am so glad we did not go straight back to the apartment as I don’t think I fully appreciated Nice until seeing the old town at night. We walked by the shops near Place Masséna. We had no particular destination so only stumbled by chance into the very large number of restaurants just behind the Quai des Etas Unix from the beach at Marches aux Fleurs and Place Charles-Félix. There were street performers, crafts booths, shops and many many sidewalk cafes. in this pedestrian only zone.

The girls also found a free concert in the park by the Place Masséna.

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