Cannes, France

December 10, 2001

Film buffs will know Cannes for it's famous movie festival and it carries the movie star reputation with a marina of yachts, but it really isn't as glittery as it may sound. Yet there's a casino and high end shopping that somehow leave the old part on a hill forgotten as a silent film.

Off the coast lies two islands, one where the "man in the iron mask" was kept (his story made famous by the book) and an even smaller island with a monastery, perhaps contrasting the nearby material world, where the monks have been known to welcome visitors.

Take a step off the main road at any point and you're on the beach where the sun worshipers lie year round. Even I was glad to be wearing a clean t-shirt under my sweater and winter jacket as I unzipped my convertible pants and felt the sun's rays warm my flesh. Escape the wind and any trace of a shadow and the sun is warm enough for this even in December!

Ritsuko and I strolled the drag, enjoyed a trendy cafe and walked up the old hill for a view. The bright sun refreshed us, but quickly made us sun tired. It wasn't long before it retreated. These are short winter days and with their end, quickly comes the cold. We bundled back up and the old women walking French poodles everywhere changed their sunglasses for fur coats.

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