This weekend we ventured outside of Nice, visiting Cannes on Saturday and Antibes on Sunday. Our day trips enabled us to experience a fundamental part of French culture: the trains. Trains act as a primary mode of transportation between cities in France. Many people depend on trains to get to where they need to go when they need to get there. For this reason, the program leaders emphasized punctuality. A missed train is a day lost.
Upon arriving to Cannes, we headed to the visitors center where we established a meeting point and received our lunch stipend. Together we walked to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. There, we separated for lunch and free time. I, along with a small group, chose to visit a small island off the coast of Cannes for the day. We took a ferry over, walked around the island, and hung out on the beach. Those who decided not to participate in the island excursion continued their free time shopping, eating, or hanging out at the beach. The weather in Cannes was a nice reprieve from the heat of Nice due to a steady breeze and cloud cover. It was a good day.
The weekend continued with a trip to Antibes. We were able to visit the Picasso museum and wander about the town. Unlike Cannes, not a lot of shopping was done in Antibes because many shops are closed on Sundays in France. However, we were able to see a beautiful market with an array of vendors and merchandise. After lunch, we walked for about twenty minutes, singing and listening to music, to get to the beach. At the beach we were offered to choose between hanging out of the beach and kayaking. Naturally, I chose kayaking. Of the people who wanted to go out in the water in kayaks, we split up into two groups. Half started out kayaking and the other half stand-up paddle boarding. The walk between the store and the equipment was excruciating. We had all left our shoes with our stuff in the store, so we had to run barefoot across a large stretch of pavement to reach the docks. We were definitely happy to get in our boats, if only to keep the skin from burning off our feet. We rowed through and out of the port until we reached turquoise water. There, we were able to get out of our boats and swim. When the paddle boarders caught up to us, some of us switched from kayak to paddle board and paddle board to kayak. We then headed back to the beach. Before heading towards the train station, the staff purchased us all drinks from the cabana on the beach where the other part of our group hung out during the kayaking trip. When that was settled we rushed to the train station so as not to miss our train. After returning to Nice, we had dinner at a pizza place where we watched the Euro Cup final. Unfortunately, France lost 1-0 in overtime.
Next weekend we are scheduled to go to Monaco where we’ll have the option of going to the palace or the Oceanographic Museum. It will be a highly anticipated trip.