Imagine a clear sky, a sunny day, a slight salty breeze coming up from the sea. Picture a tree-lined street with rows of buildings older than your greatest of grandparents. The French Riviera is more beautiful than I ever could have imagined, more beautiful than I have words to describe it.
I have travelled around the South of France quite extensively during my time living in Girona. Since the border was a short thirty-minute drive, France was within our reach and I relished weekends spent having crepes next to the sea and practicing French conjugation as I ordered another glass of wine.
The six hour drive led us further than we had ever been; to Cannes. Home of the famous film festival, it at first appeared like any other small village. As we made our way nearer the shore, we understood what the fuss is all about. A gorgeous coastline and luxurious high-end shops were on either side of me. “Is this Heaven?” I asked aloud, which would turn out to be the first of many times I asked that question over the course of three days.
We were famished and arrived right at noon, ready for lunch. I ordered a delicious parmasean risotto and a glass of white wine- the likes of which would cost an astronomical amount stateside but was delightfully in budget and I could not have been happier. Our hotel wasn’t the Ritz Carlton but a quaint Bed & Breakfast a few blocks up from the city center. A gate opened to let us in and we drove up a gray-gravel driveway and palm trees rose above us. The house was white and three stories tall. It had old French charm and I loved it instantly.
That afternoon, we walked along the shore and shopped on the Rue d’Antibes and I bought (and ate) far to many Macarons. We sat at a bar in the mid-afternoon and watched people. Luckily, I chose a table next to three older French women, probably in their late seventies. They were chic yet casual, wore red lipstick and drank wine. Although I couldn’t understand a word I could tell they had been friends for awhile. I imagine them hooking up with celebrities in their youth when they came to Cannes for the festival. I imagined them exchanging stories about “that time when….” and I was mesmerized.
After much walking, it was yet again time to eat dinner. We walked uphill, and found a very long street where there restaraunt after restaraunt. Maybe thirty or so, lined up all the way to the top of the hill and across from each other. Waiters stood outside next to their menu, beckoning each tourist inside. One though, got our attention by having an apertif ready for us. Honestly, he made our decision for us and we chose well as it was another wonderful meal. We dined on Escargot and a second course of three fish, served three ways. For dessert, an apple pastry. Again, if Heaven is anything like this, count me in.
We ended the night walking along the Promenade de la Croisette and had one last glass of wine before we poured ourselves into bed, ready for the next day.
Provonce is spectacular and I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it once more, I would retire there. It’s truly no wonder the people are healthy, live longer, look younger and feel better (read about the French Paradox here). The air, the sea, the lifestyle is absolutley what I believe in and what inspires this blog. Check out photos from my trip on Instagram, #wanderfullifestyle and check back for Part Duex of my French Travel Adventure!