I boarded a speed train to Cannes last Sunday with very little knowledge about the city. In my imagination, Cannes must be very fancy and glamorous — you know, with the world’s most prestigious film festival, the red carpets, the Hollywood stars and all. The truth is that in the absence of celebrities, Cannes is just a peaceful and picturesque beach town. You can leisurely walk along the promenade without being disturbed by thousands of teens acting crazily outside the Festival Palace or being stopped for security checks every street corner.
Cannes does not look that youthful. I was surprised I stumbled across so many elderly people in the downtown area especially at the outdoor antiques market right in front of the harbor. A local told me that this city is a retirement haven because of its warm weather all year round and an endless source of entertainment. So aging (and very rich) people from all over the world have come to Cannes, Monaco and other cities in the French Rivera to spend the rest of their life in luxury, he said.
Many guidebooks say that November is not a good time to visit Cannes, that it’s one of the dampest times of the year, and that it will be chilling and very quiet. Well I say November is a perfect time. The French Riveria city boasts 12 hours of sunshine a year, so oftentimes you’ll enjoy the blue sky and lovely ocean breeze. Also November is also considered the low-season in Cannes when the large crowds of tourists must have dwindled and celebrities have gone back to Hollywood after the May international film festival. So Cannes is yours to discover!
The delightful view at the port of Cannes
The road leading to Cannes’ Old Town