Published: May 29th 2008May 18th 2008
The Formula 1 race is in 1 week, only drawing more rich and famous people to the area.
This was probably one of the coolest days of my life up to this point. I laid on a beautiful beach, went to a place where the rich and powerful hang out, walked around the most famous formula 1 circuit while the teams unloaded their equipment for the race, and hung out with some movie stars. Let's begin.
It was sunny! And hot! And we went to the beach! It was a pretty start to the day. We sunscreened up and just laid on the beach for a few hours.... Finally! It would have been pretty sad if Oosduinkerke was our only beach on this trip. Actually, the beach in Nice is quite rocky, but the water was a lot warmer. A LOT warmer.
I left after about three hours to avoid getting a severe sunburn and decided to head to Monaco for the afternoon. Neil and Amy stuck around for another hour or so and went to Monaco later, and we had completely different experiences.
I was in some sort of dream land. There were cool buildings, expensive cars, the Mediterranean sea, and a Formula 1 race being set up.... Not bad. I got out of the
The Water is Warm
A sunny morning on the beach in Nice. A good way to start any day, I think.
train station and was just in awe. It's really the kind of place that is totally worth spending a few hours walking around in... mostly because you'd never be able to afford to stay there.
I walked up towards the palace, partly to see the palace, mostly to get a view of the famous race track. I saw the changing of the guard, which was hilarious because it involved no more than three people.... I guess they aren't all that concerned. And then I started my walk in Formula1-fairytale-dreamland. If you're not familiar, the Monaco grand prix is almost certainly the most famous race in the world, and runs right through the tight streets of Monaco.
The Sunday I was there was the Sunday before the grand prix, so all of the barriers were up, the stands were built, and F1 teams were starting to arrive with their equipment. But the coolest thing is that the road is still open to street traffic.... and some foot traffic... So basically what I'm saying is, I walked a lap of the Monte Carlo circuit. It was very very cool. I definitely walked some places I probably wasn't supposed to, including
The theatre in Cannes
There's some famous people up there, I'm sure...
the pit lane where teams were unloading cars, and I also walked right on the track in some places. I don't think there would be any other time of the year when you could do that. And it was free! I took about three million pictures.
I also went to the general admission area, which is where I would have been for the race had I been there at the right time. People had already chained a few lawn chairs to trees and railings to reserve spaces, so I think if I ever go back, that'll be what I'll do too...
And there were nice cars everywhere! I saw somewhere around five different Ferrari F50's (they were all red, so it was hard to say), a bunch of Porsche's, Aston Martins, Maseratti's.... There are a lot of excessively wealthy people in Monaco. I wonder if any of them would like to take on a nephew?
Now, Neil and Amy were also impressed, but only for about half an hour, and not thrilled like me... fools.
On the way back to Nice, I decided not to get off the train and chose to carry on to Cannes
instead. The film festival was on, so I thought it would be cool to see from a distance, take some pictures, and leave. But that's not quite what happenend.
I wandered down a random side street that headed towards the water, because I knew that's where the festival was. But that's about all I knew. Then I saw a theatre and a crowd straight ahead of me. It turned out that it was the main theatre, and a huge crowd... which I was immediatley swallowed into, atfirst at my will, and shortly thereafter very much against it. It was super crowded, and everyone was watching parades of celebrities drive by in cars, get out, and walk inside. I,on the otherhand took three pictures, decided I wanted to leave as soon as possible, and was then trapped in the crowd for about 20 minutes while I tried to work my way out while hundreds of other people tried to work their way in. Very very difficult. But I survived.
I have to say I was kind of dissapointed. I always thought Cannes was for independent films, and not "Hollywood goes to France". Also, having now seen a celebrity in
The Changing of the Guard
It really is a solitary "gaurd"...
real life (but I have no idea who it was, because I probably wouldn't recognise any, and mostly don't care) I still don't understand people's obsession with celebrities. There were people shouting out there names... for some reason... and most people couldn't see over the crowd anyways, so they were watching the jumbotron. So basically they were watching TV. I'm glad I got out of there.
Oh yeah, after the beach.... we all got sunburns. Mine covered about two thirds of my back, but was not very severe. Neil also burnt his back, and Amy burnt her stomach and thighs. We suck at beaches.
Oh, and I found out from a guy at the hostel that it was the premiere of the new Indiana Jones movie, so that's kind of cool. And that explains the enourmous crowd.
That's it for France. I definitely have to come back some day. There were lot's of places in the south I'd like to see that I didn't, and I'd definitely like to go back to Paris, and everywhere else, I guess. So far, it's my favourite country.... but we've only been to 3 (4 if you count Monaco). Italy will
Yeah, I could live here...
still have a tough time topping it, but I think of all of the other countries that I plan to visit, it stands the best chance.
There are more photos below