Henry Poon's Blog

European road trip 2022 – day 4 – Antibes and Cannes

From Èze we drove to our next destination, Antibes. We arrived late at night and after dropping off our bags, we headed out again for some late night food. As we followed the car’s GPS through the old town, somehow the roads got narrower and narrower. After a few winding turns and narrowing passing between parked mopeds with our mirrors folded in, we ended up at a pedestrian zone with patio tables and chairs throughout the street. With nowhere to turn, and backing up not being an option either (we had gone through too many turns), the only option was try to turn around at the intersection. We gathered a crowd and with my heart pounding like crazy, I was able to slowly inched our way around. Some people even stopped by to help, in English and French. Luckily, it all worked out in the end, and I’m very thankful for backup cams.

We went back the next morning and got to see how tight it really was in the day. Each day’s driving was more challenging than the last. I felt like the trip so far stretched my driving abilities so much, and while it was a bit hectic, it only made our travel experience richer. The night life was actually quite lively but sadly we didn’t really get to experience much of it since we got in so late, and had to deal with the whole car thing.

Luckily, our AirBnB host was nice enough to let us check out at noon (he seemed like a college student who stayed up late anyway), and we took him up on it since we were so tired from the night before. In the day, we got to walk on top of the old Roman city walls to take in the view of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.

Originally, the plan was to hike La Garoupe, but it was too much to be in the sun and humidity the whole time. Besides, we had already woken up too late for that. Occasionally, we’d walk under an archway in the shade that channeled a constant cool breeze to cool us down – it was rough walking back in the sun though. Instead we just spent our short stay walking around the town.

Antibes is an immensely popular place for people with yachts. It makes a lot of sense – the water is super blue, it’s sunny all the time, and it feels super tropical without being too remote. I even saw a yacht with a helicopter on it – same as the ones I saw on the plane as we arrived in Europe. There’s millionaire yachts, and then billionaire yachts.

After visiting Antibes, we headed over to Cannes for a brief stop. Thus far in our trip, we hadn’t really noticed any sketchy spots until we arrived in Cannes. As we walked from where we parked (near the train station) to the main part of the city, we encountered a few shady characters standing on the side of the street seemingly with nothing to do but to people watch. We walked past them quickly and moved on. Still it was nothing like the sketchiness of the Paris metro. We walked through the main street and eventually reached the Les Murs Peints (“The Painted Walls”)

Not only is the mural showing a film being made, there are a bunch of easter eggs from classic films to look for. For example, there’s C3PO standing with R2D2, the “I’m flying scene” from Titanic, Batman/Joker, and Mickey standing with Minnie Mouse. Afterward, we walked up a hill to a viewpoint of the city.

On our way down, we noticed a quiet little courtyard, and when we went in, a person greeted us telling us that it was the Association of Beaux-Arts of Cannes, a local art school. They were very welcoming and let us wander about admiring their garden in the courtyard. Once we went back down, we stopped for a light pre-dinner snack at Astoux et Brun. We were completely enticed by the smell the aromas of the seafood as we walked past. The appetizer was quiet peculiar to me, but I’m sure was quite normal to the locals.

It’s basically an escargot, but much much smaller – I don’t even know what it’s called. A small toothpick is provided for picking the meat out of the shells. It had the texture of clam but of course much tinier. The rest was quite familiar fare – raw oysters and baked mussels Provençal style. People here love eating outside – it was hard pressed to find any restaurant that didn’t have primarily outdoor seating. The tough part is that when the wasps come, they never leave. We kept having to wave them away and after we finished eating, they started bugging the table beside us to the point that they lost their appetites – there’s no shortage of food for these wasps.

Check here to see more photos of Antibes and Cannes

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