Saturday, for our weekend excursion, we took a 50-minute train ride to Cannes. A few others and I decided to leave on an earlier train, so we could have more free time to explore Cannes and the islands around it. Our early departure turned out to be a great idea, because the rest of the program who went later were stuck waiting at the train station for an hour, as their train was delayed. While we were waiting for the others to arrive in Cannes, we went into a few of the hundreds of clothing stores, ate lunch, and just spent some time discovering the beautiful and busy city.
Finally, the whole group was together again. From there, we all split off again and did our own thing. Many went to check out the shopping, while others went on a search for food. I, on the other hand, was more interested in seeing the islands very close to Cannes, Les iles Lerins. So a few of us made the long walk to the port and hopped on a boat to the bigger one of the islands, Sainte Margeurite. The boat ride was so relaxing. It was short, but still a beautiful experience. We wanted to sit on top of the boat so we could get a great view of the French Riviera and feel the breeze. We were right – there was a spectacular 360 degree view from the top of the boat! It was still very warm on the water, but the cool breeze was very refreshing.
lle Sainte Marguerite was beyond beautiful. It reminded me a little bit of the Caribbean. There were a few simple, old houses and cafes, but other than those and the big fort, there was nothing else but tourists and nature. We took one of the many paths around the island, and on either side of us were lush, green plants and flowers in full bloom. From everywhere on the island, there was also a great view of Cannes.
We made it up to the fort to see the even more spectacular view. The water around this island was so blue and crystal clear. The fort was huge and made of stone and I was surprised to see much of the fort remained intact. After we were done seeing most of the island, we got back on the boat to take us back to the mainland.
Later, the whole group reconvened again at the Palais de Festivals, where we took some pictures on the famous red carpet steps before heading off to dinner at an amazing sushi restaurant in honor on the two birthday boys in our program.
After dinner, we took the train back “home”… But instead of getting off at the usual station, we blindfolded the two birthday boys, got off a few stations later, and took them to a Bastille Day family dance party/barbecue/fireworks show at Beaulieu Sur Mer. It was such a fun night, as we danced together and watched fireworks, which, by the way, are even more exciting in France than America. It was also great to see many families getting together and having fun in celebration of their national holiday. And it also felt great to be a part of it.