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French Riviera - January 2002

We had an Airlift that we were managing in Cannes, so we had the incredible opportunity to visit the south of France. It was incredibly beautiful and I'd definitely like to go back with more time to explore.

As it was we made the best use of the time we had. We explored Cannes during the evenings, and we had two days after the airlift before we had to fly to Singapore for the next Airlift. We rented a Smart Car (an adorable tiny little car you mainly see in Europe) and drove down the coast, through Antibes, Nice, Monte Carlo, and on to San Ramos in Italy, where we had a sandwich : )

The next day we drove down to Nice and up into the hills to a beautiful walled city now turned artist's community called St. Paul de Vince.


 

Majestic Barriere

We checked into the Majestic Barriere, a hotel across from the theater where the Cannes Film Festival is held. It was a beautiful classic hotel with great views of the water.

View Right

The view from the room was outstanding, and there were some incredible Yachts in the harbor.

View Center

Here's another shot of the view from the room, showing a barge out by the lighthouse.

Barge

A close up of the barge in the harbor

View Left

Here's another shot from the room shot with a polarized filter

Noga Hilton

The Airlift was held a couple blocks away in the Noga Hilton. The decor was straight out of an Austin Powers movie. It was incredible and taxed even my considerable powers of mockery.

I'm Trapped!

In the lower level of the Noga Hilton I found this incredibly convenient glass cage. You never know when you're going to need one of these things.

The Beach at Cannes

Looking down the beach toward the Hilton and the Majestic

Sunset

The Sunsets were incredible

Nice Coat!

This woman used to have several dogs, then one day she only had one left, and this fetching coat. Cannes was definitely the seat of snooty 'old money'. Nice was a bit more laid back and friendly.

Noga Hilton

This was the dock in front of the Noga Hilton and made for some great photos of sunsets

Another Noga Hilton Shot

I was fascinated by the neon sign on the dock

Out to Dinner

Left to right: Chef dude, other Chef dude, Ed, Joey, Lenny, Christi, and Nikko. Yes, I somehow remembered Joey the waitresses name, but in all fairness she spoke great english due to her time as an exchange student in Minnesota.

Hamburger?

To be fair I don't speak French (Mrs. Billett from High School would be ashamed) so getting this when I tried for a hamburger was pretty much just deserts.

Noga Hilton

A shot of the front of the Noga Hilton from their dock

Me

Me on the dock in front of the Hilton. The weather was outstanding even in January

Michael

Pronounced "Meekail". This was the first time I met Michael. He was working in another group and living in Munich at the time, but he's working in our group here in Redmond now so I see him quite a bit.

Smart Car

This was the smart car we rented for the drive down the coast. It was a blast. We had it up to nearly 80mph (if my conversion was correct) on the highway, but that was a bit scary

Smart Car Front

Check out how small this car is! We didn't even have to park it. I just put it in a hot wheels case and took it into stores with me

Antibes

Antibes was one of the first places we saw as we drove down the coast.

Christi at Antibes

The old castles in the harbor were incredible

Nice

This was some sort of war memorial in the harbor. It lit up beautifully at night, but none of my shots came out good enough to share

Zoom in

A slightly closer view of the memorial

Looking toward Cap de Antibes

A beautiful harbor a little past Nice

Cap de Antibes

A zoom in of that last shot slightly to the right

Looking back

We drove to the other side of the harbor and I got this shot looking back

Chicken Sandwich

We drove all the way down to San Ramos Italy, stopped at this hotel, and had a chicken sandwich. A bit of an anti-climax when you consider the cuisine of Italy, but we'll go back and spend more time later

St Paul de Vince

The next day we went to St Paul de Vince. Here's a shot as we drove toward it

Petanque

We saw lots of old men playing Petanque (kind of like bocce ball)

St Paul De Vince

A beautiful building in St Paul de Vince

A Great Shop!

Christi really wanted to go to this shop in St Paul that she'd been to before. I thought it was going to be lame, but it was really cool.

Cemetery

There was this far out old cemetery just outside the walls of St Paul de Vince

More Petanque

More old men playing Petanque

Building

I couldn't get over the beautiful old buildings

Looking out

Looking out over the walls of St Paul de Vince

St Paul

The view driving away

Another angle

Not as great a shot of St Paul, but the sky was beautiful in this shot

Close Up

A zoom in on St Paul as we drove away

Clock Tower

That night before we headed for Singapore I got this cool shot of the clock tower on the hill near our hotel