Wednesday 28 August 2013

Road Trip to Cannes

Apologies for the absence of blog posts this week, but I have been away! On Monday 19th August, myself and two friends packed up our car and started on our journey down to the French Riviera. Our final destination of Cannes being nearly 900 miles away, we decided not to tackle the whole 14-hour trip in one go, and planned instead to drive for as long as we could, and make a stop somewhere along the way. We drove through some wonderful little towns on the way down including Ham and Brie! Everywhere seemed very sleepy and the roads were empty, but at least that made for a smoother journey.

Having left London at 7:30am, we found ourselves in Lyon by about 10pm, however it then took us about an hour to find the Ibis hotel we had plugged into our SatNav! After a long day and a plate of food, we collapsed in our beds. Although not exactly what we were expecting (a room for three consisted of a double bed and a single bunk over the top!), we had a perfectly decent night and were energized and back on the road by 9:30 the next morning.

The excitement levels rose as the sun began to shine brighter and soon we could see the crystal blue sea in the distance. Our apartment was absolutely perfect. Il Paradiso is a gated collection of apartments located in La Bocca, the old part of Cannes. A twenty-five minute walk to the port and only ten minutes from the beach, we couldn’t have had anywhere better for a relaxing trip away. Only in Cannes for four nights, we spent most of our time by the pool, on the beach, cooking incredible lunches, and exploring the area both in the day and at night. There’s such a lovely buzz in Cannes, and it meant that finding a drink or dinner at midnight was never much of a problem.

On Friday, our last day, we decided to spend the morning snooping around the Gambetta market and all the lovely backstreets that surround it. The market offers everything from food to clothing, and we bought some bags of spices for as little as €4. As well as coming across some unexpected bagpipers (!), on the Rue Hoche we picked up many presents for the family in a wonderful little chocolate shop called Paci Chocolatier, which sold everything from hamburgers and croissants to iPads and credit cards, all made of the sweet stuff. A must-see on our list had also been Jean Luc PelĂ©, whose main attraction is its vast variety of macaroons. Buying two boxes between the three of us, some highlight flavours included nutella, mojito, passion fruit and champagne, which had glitter over the top and popping candy mixed into the creamy filling!

Very sad to leave, we packed up our bags and headed back onto the road on Saturday morning. This time, we had booked a hotel for that evening in Dijon and although heavy traffic delayed our arrival time, we still enjoyed a brasserie dinner of breaded camembert, escargots, confit de canard and moules. Dijon is a beautiful little town. Walking around the next morning, I was happily snapping away at the beautiful architecture, and we even stumbled across another market, selling antiques and bric-a-brac. And of course, a trip to Dijon wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a mustard shop. Though there may not be enough to do for a whole week, we all agreed that Dijon would make for a perfect weekend destination.

What a wonderful week away I had. Perfect location, perfect weather and most importantly, perfect company :) 

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