28 November 2010

FRANCE: Day 9 - Cannes y Mougins

We wake to a rainy Sunday in the South of France. We’ve planned a quiet day in Cannes and a trip to the Provençal Market, and after a bit of discussion we are on our way. CA has an umbrella, and I plan to buy one in Cannes. LG talked me out of my teal mini-brella before we left Bratislava.

We’re both half wet before long, but the market is covered and we wander about checking out all the vendors before buying Clementines and vegetables for stir fry—mushrooms, red pepper, and onions. Before leaving the market we buy a block of artisanal butter (demi-sel).

It’s still raining as we begin wandering the market streets and then along the Pantiero (marina). These boats are big, but there’re massive yachts across the harbor. I eventually buy a cheap pink umbrella in the 2€ shop and immediately appreciate the expenditure. Maybe not the umbrella I’d envisioned, but we’re both drier.

We decide to have lunch again this Sunday at La Piazza on Place Cornut Gentille, CA chooses the hot chevré salade and I get pricey with sole mernieure. My sole is mediocre, which is tragic for someone who’s not in love with fish on any day. I do enjoy the vegetables (all called légumes) and white rice that accompanies the sole. CA is very pleased with this salad.

We wander about a bit more after lunch--the rain has let up, but it is still a grey, cloudy day on the coast. When we enter the parking garage—P1 Palais—we find another brocante and spend a bit of time perusing the goods. Other than the silverware, I’ve found nothing of interest at any of the antique’s stalls this trip. And, the silverware is pricey—more than I’m willing to spend for something I really don’t need.

By the time we drive back to Club Mougins, the sun is out and we again get to appreciate the Maritime Alps on the horizon.

Some observation:
• Large cranes (the machinery variety) are ubiquitous. With all these steep terraced hillside neighborhoods, any renovation or construction necessitates the use of cranes. And, we remember our first visit to Paris and how platform cranes were used to move into and out of flats—through the large windows rather than up and around the narrow staircases.

• Sunday’s are not shopping days in France. Food markets and boulangerie-patisseries might be open until 12:00m, but everything closes in the afternoon. Sundays are family days.

• Based on our observations of the commercial areas in the cities and villages we’ve visited so far, clothes shopping is way down the ladder from food shopping. There are numerous culinary purveyors everywhere, and far fewer clothing or shoe stores. There is definitely an emphasis on food and a multitude of ways to procure it, while acquiring a great quantity of clothing doesn’t seem to be necessary. CA says the natives should be fatter. They aren’t. We are.

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