Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo and the French Riviera

Wed June 20, 1990

We arrived in Nice, France after a 10 hour night train from Geneva. Upon awakening, we looked out the window to find that were were riding along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Vivid orange rocks and cliffs decorated the seashore. Not a cloud in the sky. It was a fantastic way to start the day. We checd into our hotel and soon raced to the topless beaches. But to my dismay, the beaches had no sand, only black rocks! What? We saw the beach frolickers lay on rolled straw mattes. It costs us $26 for sun screen! What a rip-off, but hey, we ARE in the South of France. It was a beautiful day - no clouds, 80 degrees, and plenty of beautiful female eye candy. After a few hours of sunning, we went for a stroll along the boardwalk. The hotels are ritzy and elegantly designed - I definitely "feel" like I'm in the South of France. Tomorrow, we are headed to the Matisse Museum and then to Cannes and Monte Carlo. I'm loving every adventurous second of this trip. Right now, I'm sitting on a the boardwalk across from the Casino Ruhl overlooking the Mediterranean Sea as the sun slowly sets behind me. As awe-inspiring as the mountains in Switzerland were, nothing makes me happier than the ocean.

Saturday June 23rd

Cannes was one glamorous beach! Golden sand and gorgeous sights all up the coast. To my right - incredible yachts, to my left - beautiful women. Flowering rose gardens and palm trees line the curve of Cannes' coastline along the promenade de la Croisette. I couldn't ask for more perfect weather - not a cloud in the sky. Up and down the boardwalk were shops of unprecedented opulence - Louis Vuitton, Ysatis Cartier, Mercedes just to name a few. Cannes was the playground of the ridiculousness wealthy.

photo credit: Monaco Yacht Show

Monte Carlo was in a class all by itself. The yachts were so gigantic and super-modern, but there weren't just a few - everyone had a billion dollar yacht. The hotels and casinos were outrageously ritzy, but not cheezy like Las Vegas. Their taste was unmatched against any architecture we had seen so far. It's the place James Bond goes to hang out. It's the ultimate place to take your wife. There were really no beaches (I guess you didn't need them when you have a yacht), but the shoreline drops off about 50 feet down cliffs.

Photo: Deviant Art


Monte Carlo is definitely the jewel of the French Riviera. Bjorn Borg won 5 consecutive Monte Carlo Open tennis championships in a row. Monte Carlo is located just outside of France in the Republic of Monaco. Borg was the sickest on the gorgeous red clay courts - and we've seen red clay tennis courts everyone in this region. The marina was the heart of the town and the center of activity. Views were amazing and we felt like millionaires for an evening. As you can see from this photo, Alan, Danny and I were reveling in the Monte Carlo glory.


Photo: Deviant Art

The next day we went to St. Paul De Vence, an artist colony in the hills of the French Alps. This colony was a tiny little village where only artists lived. I suppose if you are an artist, living on top of a mountain with panoramic views ain't so bad. Its quaint and small and not very touristy. Alan, Michelle, Deb and I had a terrific little lunch overlooking the landscape. We then cruised on to Vence where we visited the Matisse Chappel. We rented a car which was great b/c it allowed us to cruise on our own and see the sights that direct trains couldn't provide. However, the drivers suck and the little car that we rented eventually made us nauseous (insert wimpy kid sketch here). Anyway, the Matisse Chapel was interesting. It was a tiny little chapel where he designed colorful stained windows and drew primitive illustrations on the wall. He's done better work, yes in his later years, he became attached to the chapel because of his religious faith.

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