Curmudgeon Travel Companion – Cannes
Getting to Cannes from Aeroport de Nice
On a visit to Cannes, most likely you will be flying into A'roport de Nice, and will need to get to Cannes. Your Humble Curmudgeon offers several possibilities.
From A'roport de Nice to Cannes for One Euro! The best bargain you will find on this trip is the # 200 bus which runs every 15 minutes between A'roport de Nice and Cannes, Monday through Saturday.
It makes a stop at Terminal 1, except for the last two buses – which depart from the airport at 9pm and 10pm respectively – which stop at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
Yes! The cost is only one euro! The bus ride is approximately 65 minutes. Not too bad, considering its stops at almost every bus stop along the way The bus is fitted for carry on luggage, and because of their frequency they are rarely overcrowded.
are the most obvious option. They have several distinct advantages. You will load and unload your luggage only once. And, the taxi will get you directly to your hotel. For those traveling in groups of two or three, the cost of approximately 70 (approximately US $ 93) can be spread over several persons ..
Shuttle buses run from 8am to 8pm from the west end of Terminal 1. (Terminal 1 serves flights originating outside of France.) ATM machines are available if you need euros.
If you are flying from within France, take the free airport shuttle from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1. Purchase your ticket (? 12 one way) at the ticket office just outside the terminal.
Alternatives. Traveling alone and its too late for the bus and you are too miserly for a taxi? (Sounds like YHC himself!) There are some alternatives.
You can pay 18 (approximately US $ 29) and take the # 99 bus to the Nice Ville train station, and connect with the local train to Cannes.
Even cheaper is to take a taxi to the nearby Nice St. Augustin station (last train approximately 11:30 pm) and take the local train to Cannes.
SIM CHIPS FOR MOBILE PHONES
Non-European travelers pay a fortune for cell phone calls when they use their own cell phones. Your Humble Curmudgeon recommends pre-paid SIM cards that can be purchased in France and placed into your own mobile phone.
There are various services. But, I have found SFR (a subsidiary of Vodafone) to serve me very well for seven years.
There is an office near the Palais at 22 rue D'Antibes. You can buy a SIM card for about 38.50 (about US $ 61.25) and hours of local use for 25 more euros. (No charge for incoming calls.)
Also, as long as you use the phone at least once every seven months, you keep the number. YHC has had his for over seven years.
Unlock your mobile phone before you leave home! For Americans, Australians and people from certain other countries to use new SIM cards in their own mobiles, they must contact their telecom provider in the US to "unlock" their cell phones – and this this should be done at least ten days before arriving in France.
Otherwise, the phone becomes disabled as soon as a SIM card is put into the phone.
Alternatives to pre-paid sim cards are limited. To get a cell phone on a regular plan requires a major credit card. Easy enough. But, the credit card must be issued by a French bank, and monies deducted from a French bank account. How many of us have one of those?
Cellhire. Make your own judgment as to whether the rates are competitive with pre-paid SIM cards. ( www.cellhire.com ) But, remember to get that phone back to Cellhire as soon as you get back home, as you are charged by the day whether you use it or not.
You will find it very expensive to operate your Blackberry or iPod in France. Your company or client may feel such expense is justified by the immediacy of access that such devices allow.
Others have enough access to the internet at their hotels and their business location in Cannes (eg stand, booth or hotel room cum office, etc.) that their needs are met.
But, for those with notebook computers who lack sufficient access to wi-fi or DSL, there is an acceptable – but by no means a bargain – alternative. SFR offers a wireless service where one can purchase a flash drive (35) which combined with a sim chip (another? 35) will allow you to access the internet via mobile wireless networks – not wi-fi – for three hours. Additional time will cost? 9 per day. (There are no weekly or monthly rates, unfortunately.)
The price is no bargain. But, YHC bought coupons for those days when he knew that free wi-fi might be unavailable, and it worked for him on buses and trains anywhere that normal cell phone coverage existed.
WI-FI at the Palais des Festivals. For several years, SFR controlled the wi-fi franchise at the Palais. Via Pass now does a good job for a very reasonable price.?15 per day. 40 for three days. 60 for five days. visit http://www.viapass.com/ for more information. They also have a small booth in the bunker at the Palais during events such as MIP, MIPCOM and Marche 'du Film.
Free Wi-Fi options are limited. YHC has accessed the free Wi-Fi by sitting outside of conference rooms at the Hotel Carlton. He has also had success in the lobby of the Hotel Univers at 2, rue du Mar'chal Foch – just off of rue D'Antibes.
Inexpensive Dining and Gifts
DINING. One would not characterize Your Humble Curmudgeon as cheap. He always picks up the tab wherever one orders standing up and uses plastic flatware.
Nonetheless, YHC is hesitant to eat anywhere between rue D'Antibes and Le Croissette unless it is on someone else's tab. The restaurants are pricey. And, as with anywhere that serves a largely tourist clientele, they don? T care whether they see you again – as long as you pay the bill. Service standards tend to be substandard.
By all means, go to this alluring area if you are trying to impress a client.
But, if you are venturing out alone or are with friends reeling from dealing with the tr's cher euro, you will find between either side of rue D'Antibes and the train station are a number of reasonably priced restaurants providing locals with good food and attentive service at reasonable prices.
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Le Bistrot des Artisans. 67 bd Republique. Perhaps, it is a mistake to start a presentation on quality, low cost dining with an exception. But, while Le Bistrot des Artisans is of the highest quality, it probably belongs in the mid-price range. The restaurant is a ten minute walk from where bd Republique begins on the north side of Rue D'Antibes near the traffic circle at the opposite end from the Palais.
This restaurant is most celebrated for its buffet, which can be supplemented by entrees ordered from the menu. Is an excellent means of introducing friends and clients to local favorites, ranging from pat's to vegetarian specialties. Great atmosphere. The proprietors Freddy and Camelia are local treasures.
Le Splendid is conveniently located at Place du Gare, across from the train station. Is a large place, so the odds are generally good that you will get a table right away. The daily specials are fresh and inexpensive. The pizza is good. YHC thinks that it is a great place to drop in for a quick glass of wine when waiting for the next train home to Antibes.
Le Pacifique. 13 rue Venizelos, Reasonable prices. The Menu du Jour is inventive and appealing. Chez Margot rue H'l'ne Vagliano. Good portions. Attentive service. A good spot for the hungry and impatient.
Bistrot Casanova. 4 bis Rue Hoche. Pizza and pasta. Not the best service. But, with Fischer Blond on tap, is an appealing spot along the migratory route to good times elsewhere.
New Monaco. 15 rue 24 A "ut. Unpretentious. Fresh food. Good value. Perhaps, the favorite of YHC.Valentino. 14, rue Mimont. Just on the other side of the passageway running under the train station. Good pizza and good service. But , dont make the error of YHC mistaking andouette (a noxious sausage made of pig extraneities) for the ever-appealing andouille hot sausage.
LOCAL SPECIALTIES. Yeah, Salade Nicoise comes from Nice. But, those wanting to indulge less international local specialties will find three simple splendors.
Socca is a pure 'of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) and spices fried in a large skillet or on a grill.
PissaladiSre is essentially a ragu of anchovy paste, onions, olives and spices slathered on a bread base and baked at a lower temperature than a pizza. More an appetizer than a main course. Its origins go back nearly a millennium.
Chou Farci are cabbage rolls stuffed with pork sausage and herbs. Yeah, you can find versions of cabbage rolls anywhere in the world. YHC does not eat on sunny days. But, on a cool, rainy day there are few things less comforting.
GIFTS. Expensive gifts are to be found everywhere. YHC has little acquaintance with such. But, when it comes to purchasing inexpensive local specialties, YHC may have advice to offer. And, most of the following can Monoprix (near the train station).
Liqueurs. Two regional favorites come immediately to mind: G'n'pi is a girly drink made from the eponymous alpine flowers. Smooth and sweet with a menthol aftertaste. About? 10. Gignolet is an exceedingly drinkable cherry kirsch. About? 7. Pastis and its cousin Pernod are anissettes that are about as Provencal as one can get. Stick with the main brands like Pernod-Richard Pastis 51 (about? 12) and you won't go wrong. But, be careful to whom you give this stuff. Anisettes are not to everyone's taste.
The area where the French and Italian borders meet the sea produces a limoncello that just doesn't match its counterparts in southern Italy. Give local limoncello a pass.
Wine. The best Provencal wines might be the ros's. You cannot go wrong with a local Grand PalliSre ros'. (? 12).
Among the Provencal reds, YHC really likes the Chateau La Lieue (about (? 12) and Cassis Rouge. (Do note that vin Cassis comes from the Cassis area near Marseille, and has nothing to do with the blueberry-like fruit of the same name.) If a French version of a barbera appeals to you, this is your wine.
The Entre Deux Mers from the far eastern Valle du Var ranks first with YHC among inexpensive Provencal whites. (About? 10).
Candy. The western reaches of the Provence near Aix-en-Provence offers one of the world? S most addictive treats. Caulissons are oval shaped, bite size sandwiches of baked almond paste with a honey nougat interior. You are warned that once you open the canister you will eat the wholeety in one sitting.
Provence Lavender Soap. If your gift recipient can receive soap without presuming insinuations about their personal hygiene, Provence lavender soaps make a good supplement to a gift that actually requires some thought.