Sunday, 12 July 2015
Cannes: Rose cones and red carpets
Cannes was my first excursion from Antibes: I fancied going somewhere and just picked a train that was coming soon. I knew the Film Festival was on but didn't know there would be a big red carpet event that evening! My day out turned out to be more exciting than I could ever have realised.
The journey from Antibes to Cannes is only about ten minutes. When I arrived I didn't really know which direction to head in so just wandered.
I found an ice-cream shop that do ice-creams shaped like roses with each scoop as a petal. You can have as many flavours as you like; they'll just make the petals smaller the more you choose so they all fit in the cone. I tried to mix milkier flavours - stracciatella, chocolate - with more tropical flavours such as mango and lemon. It was delicious.
I reached the seafront and walked along it, enjoying my ice-cream, until I spotted the little white tourist train. Having taken one in Perpignan and one in Antibes I knew they could be a great introduction to a town or city so I hopped aboard.
The tour took us along the coast and the audio-guide told us about the hotels popular with celebrities including "the Princess Laddy Dee". We then crawled through town while "Vogue" played on the audio-guide - a nod to the super-fashionable shops - before climbing the hill where we stopped briefly to enjoy the view.
The train returned to its starting point and we disembarked. A crowd was gathering by one of the Festival buildings and a red carpet was being vacuumed (really!). I hung around and finally stars began to arrive. I could only see them in the far distance but seeing them in the flesh at all was amazing.
I saw Sienna Miller, Catherine Deneuve and Guillermo del Toro among many others. They all seemed really relaxed and happy - the whole thing felt like a celebration, not a competition or anything glitzy or diva-ish. The atmosphere was lovely and I was so happy to be there and a part of it.
When everyone had entered the building the opening ceremony was broadcast on a huge screen so we could see it outside. The Cohen brothers, who were heads of the Festival jury, were introduced and then we were shown clips of all the films. Some of the barricades that had kept the public back from the red carpet event were lifted and everybody mingled. It was chilled and just really nice.
I drifted back to the station and caught my train back to Juan-les-Pins feeling so lucky that I happened to have chosen that day of all days to go to Cannes. Experiences like that - unexpected and brilliant - are why I travel.
Thanks for reading,