Entry 90, June 15th, 2011, 12:34am (ship time GMT +2)
I visited Cannes for the first time today. It was the only port that I hadn't been off the ship in yet, for a combination of reasons. I suppose it was also my first time on French soil, and now that I think about it . . . that's pretty cool.
Cannes (pronounced “Kahn” (as in Kirk's scream at the end of Star Trek III)) is in the South of France, along the famous string of beaches, resorts, and other playplaces of the rich and famous. It also hosts the famous Cannes film festival, which ended about a month ago. The city is definitely structured around the “privileged enjoying their privileges” (as Jimmy Stewart says in “The Philadelphia Story”). The long beach is broken up by strips of land owned by rich hotels or restaurants, and is crowded with sunbathers and holiday-makers as far as the eye can see. Never before have so many worn so little so fashionably . . .
Leaving the beach and heading into town, one finds themselves winding through block upon block of luxury boutiques and expensive sidewalk cafes. Style obsessed women with twig-thin legs and four inch heels stalk their prey through the canyons with Louis Vuitton handbags that likely constitute a substantial percentage of their body weight.
As you can imagine, this was not really my scene. It was nice, to be sure, but when you are living on ten bucks a day for incidental expenses there aren't a whole lot of things to do (particularly after you convert to Euros!). Next time I think I'll visit the beach and try to crack this farmer's tan.
There is a nice museum in town, up in the old fortress on the hill. It has a really odd collection of art – Eskimo artifacts, an exhibition on pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, a room of Egyptian and Roman busts, and then three rooms of French landscape paintings from the 19th century. Wha??? I believe the story is that the museum was formed by the joint donation of two barons' personal collections, which makes some sense.
I also climbed a tower and got some nice pictures before meeting a friendly young Irish woman named Kitty. She works for the National Trust in Great Britain, an organization deserved to preservation and history, and was on vacation in Cannes with one of her friends. We got some drinks and laughed about the relative differences between the USA and the UK before exchanging emails. Now I've got a friend in London (hi Kitty, if you're reading this! (hopefully I wrote down the right URL . . .))!
Oh, and I passed my 90-day evaluation with flying colors! No longer on probation with the company! Woo!