Cote d'Azur Day 4
Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another early morning swim helped me start the day.

We left the apartment and headed to St Tropez, our first destination of the day. To get to St Tropez, one can take the time and drive slowly along the coast or use the faster Highway A8 which is a toll road to Saint Raphael, then drive the remainder of the trip along the coast to St Tropez. We took the toll road to save time but it still took us 1.5 hours to drive the 65-mile trip.

Street scene in St Tropez
St Tropez, a seaside village on the southern end of Cote d'Azur, became famous in the 50's when French actress Brigitte Bardot starred in the movie 'And God Created Women'. People now flock to St Tropez every summer to enjoy the sun and the sea. In October, St Tropez is much quieter and is the best time to visit in my opinion.

We got to St Tropez around noon, parked near the harbor and walked toward the main area of the town.

Khanh and Lee by St Tropez Harbor near one of many of the art gallery stands
Yacht heaven
Can't blame them for dreaming to own one some day
On this particular sunny and warm Sunday, the town was having sidewalk sale and it was packed with shoppers. Every shop in town had set tables out front to sell its merchandise at deep discount.

Sidewalk sale near Place des Lices
St Tropezienes
Church tower framed by red tile roofs and salmon color buildings
Khanh and Lee on Quai Jean Jaures
It's a beautiful day in St Tropez
This is not even tourist season
 We wandered among the shops examining sale items, then went to have coffee at the famous sidewalk cafe 'Senequier' on Quai Jean Jaures.

The Senequier Cafe faces the harbor and a wide promenade. We sat at a front row table to enjoy our beverages and snacks.

In southern France, they serve you delicious pickled olives along with your beer.

Sitting at this sidewalk cafe, watching the expensive yachts in the harbor and the fashionable people strolling on the promenade is an exceptionally enjoyable experience.

We wished we didn't have to leave.

But we had to leave to look at St Tropez beaches. Following the 'La Plages' signs out of town, we drove to Pampelonne Beach.
Having drinks at the famed Senequier Cafe
Off season, the beach is quiet but I could imagine how rocking it is in the summertime when it is filled with sun crazed, bronze, beautiful and topless people partying in rows of huge tents lining the beach.

I could even hear the music.
Pampelonne Beach, St Tropez
It's so quiet here
Boulevard de la Croisette in Cannes which runs parallel to the beach, was full of artists displaying their talents and people who were fascinated by them. Along this long boulevard, rows of chairs facing the sea are set up to welcome your tired feet.

On the other side of the palm-tree-lined boulevard, expensive hotels and shops seem to run endlessly.
Our next destination was Cannes, a famous town that hosts the annual international film festival every May.

Cannes is located between Nice and St Tropez. From Papelonne Beach we weaved our way to the A8 Highway, drove approximately 45 miles toward Nice and arrived in Cannes.

Khanh and Lee enjoying the sunshine in Cannes
Lee on Boulevard de la Croisette. The Carlton is in the background
Khanh in front of Palais des Festivals where the Cannes Film Festival is held
Khanh and Don gazing at sea
We strolled slowly along the boulevard toward Palais des Festivals where the film festivals are held admiring the expensive yachts and cruise ships along the way.

Thanks God for digital cameras.

It was late in the afternoon when we arrived back to our apartment in Nice.
We could have rested there but how can you rest when there are so many things to do? After showers and changing into evening clothes, we headed to Monaco again to see what the city looks like at night.

VoilĂ ! Monaco looks more stunning at night than in the daytime. Buildings, shops, and parks are all lit up. This glittering city is simply mesmerizing. We walked up the steps to the Monte Carlo Casino, paid the 10 Euros per person entry fee to enter the casino's main chamber. The gilded vaulted chamber with its fancy decorations and immense chandeliers impressed me but gambling wise, it doesn't compare to Las Vegas.
Monte Carlo Casino glows at night
Water fountain in front of Monte Carlo Casino
They do look like they belong to the place
Don tested his luck at the roulette table, we had drinks at the Monte Carlo Casino Bar, then headed back to Nice to call it a night. That is how we spent our last night in the wonderful South of France.

We are leaving Nice tomorrow to go to London carrying with us so much fun memories. We are so glad to have made this trip.
Thank you Cote d'Azur from Bo, Lee, Khanh and Don

What do you think?
Feel free to leave a comment