blog enhancement, budget vacation, cannes film festival, celebrity fashion, inspirational women over 40
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french riviera: cannes film festival and gran prix monaco in a nutshell

I never realized juggling two major events on vacation would be so challenging and yet so much fun. I also don’t understand why the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Gran Prix were running at the same time or maybe it’s better I don’t understand these things.

Anyway, we arrived in Nice for Cannes late on a flight from Madrid, past midnight to be exact and since I had a chauffeur pick up arranged for us, I wasn’t worried. Now before you pass judgment about chauffeurs and all, I had no other choice at the hour our flight landed, and public transport getting us to Cannes from Nice airport was not an option.

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The following morning, I got ready very early, and headed out to the film festival/tourist information office to get myself organized to see as many films as possible in the days I alloted for this portion  of the trip. My travel partner however was antsy to see the Monaco gran prix and was busy organizing that bit of the trip, pushing my buttons. 🙂 Not really.

The next few day in Cannes, we queued up to see films, which I will talk about on my film blog here, running from theater to another, barely having time for lunch in between the shows, and celebrity red carpet appearances. In the evenings,  we queued up to watch different free films on a big cinema size screen set up on the beach, tucked under blankets, reclined on beach chairs,  surround sound to die for. It was amazing!

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After the films we headed to restaurant/bars, I believe it was Cafe Roma, not that I cared which one it was along the main road, and back alleyways, and partied along with many individuals in the industry dressed in tuxedos and gowns, until the early morning hours.  This went on for a few days, until Saturday to be exact. On Sunday, we woke up very early, with a hangover naturally, and got train tickets to Monte Carlo, hopeful we would find gran prix tickets to see the main race.

Now I am not a fan of race car events, but the fact, we were in Monte Carlo, fighting the crowds, and queueing in line for tickets to this major event, I would have to say was something I would never consider passing up.

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When it was our turn, we walked up to the window and asked for two tickets. The clerk behind the window offered up 400Euro dollar per person seats, somewhere near the pool/piscine which really is the prime area for this race. OR 70Euro up the side of the mountain leading to the palace. Standing space only, no guarantee we will be able to see much since the crowds already there have been since 6a.m. Mind you it was 11:30a.m.  We made our way through the masses, up the hillside, and once our tickets were checked and we crossed the gate to the pink section, we were both disappointed to discover all the prime standing spaces along the ledge were taken. I suggested we climb further and see if we could find a gapped space we could stand on our tippy toes and take a peek. About half way up, we saw that very gap, where if the crowd stayed seated, along the ledge, we would potentially get a glimpse of the track by the pool- which is the prime area, I have to remind.

A gentleman in his 60s, British we assumed at first from his accent, later confirmed, was poking fun at his wife, to his friends, and they were laughing. Since we understood the language we couldn’t help but laugh along. He noticed, and began to talk to us, and then eventually invited us to share their stand. At 2 we took our places, and got the best view of the race, including the pit stop, the turns, and most of the tracks coming out of the tunnel, up the side of the road, as well as unfortunately the crash, which was the turning point of the race, from potentially being the Brit,  Lewis Hamilton who was in the lead before to Nico Rosberg after the accident. Hmmm.

Disappointed we bid farewell to our British friends, and went down the hillside, getting caught up in street parties, and crowds, nearly unbearable and yet the experience well worth it.

I needed to be back for the Film Festival award ceremony we were told was schedule for eight. BUT when we got to Cannes, the stars had already walked the red carpet, and the award ceremony nearly halfway done by six. NO MATTER. We watched the program on the large screens mounted just outside the main entrance to the theater, and then watched the stars make their way out of the theater, to the parties.  I have to say I was proud of myself for knowing most of the French actors present. How you ask? I watch an average of two French films a week at home on Netflix. I’d like to think only for my film blog, but really it’s because I love French films.

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Anyway, back to the bar we went afterwards, and again shared tables with some more men in tux and women in gowns, discussing films in general and winners of the Cannes Film Festival awards.

I think I was on cloud nine…

{What I learned. Take a chance if you are a film buff to experience the Cannes film festival. There are always tickets available. Hydrate and do eat. Line up in front of the main theater early and you can get a great view of the stars on the red carpet. It is true you do see stars in restaurants, on the streets, and even the boutiques. For Monaco Grand Prix, you can get tickets, 70Euro will get you a spot up the hillside by the castle and if you are there at 7a.m. you can get a really good viewing of the best of the race track. Always buy roundtrip train ticket to Monte Carlo/Monaco if you are staying in Nice or elsewhere, it’s very difficult to get train tickets on the way back. Be very very patient. Pack a good lunch to wait out the race or the red carpet events. Avoid drinking too much beer as finding a WC is a nightmare}

 

 

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