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I was delighted to have been in Cannes once again for a satisfying stay.

I didn’t really write much about my holiday there in 2017, because Trump was in his first year as president, and I wanted to document that. Consequently, his trips that summer overtook the rest of my holiday report, especially with regard to restaurants.

This also includes a bit on Nice Airport, which has undergone a few exterior changes at Terminal 1.

Nice Airport

Terminal 1 at Nice Airport has expanded outside the arrivals exit leading towards the city and regional buses.

In 2017, we were still able to wheel our luggage out the door, buy bus tickets for Cannes and hop on the bus which was in Quay 3. It was a very short walk.

Since then, it’s all changed.

Now there is a sprawling esplanade where the buses used to park.

There are three cafés there with plenty of seating and open space, making the walk to the buses somewhat longer.

The Nice Airport bus service to Cannes is now in Bay 4. The round trip price for two people is €66.

Airport bus changes

The airport bus — Cannes Express 210 — used to be part of the regional transport services.

Now it is run by Zou. The schedule is the same — every half hour — but the drop off points have changed in Cannes.

Going to Cannes

On the way in, the bus used to stop at Vauban in Le Cannet, just before entering the centre of Cannes.

Its next and final stop was near the Hôtel de Ville (Mairie) — City Hall — where a taxi rank is right across the street. It was very simple.

The bus now goes directly from Nice Airport to Cannes railway station — gare — in the centre of town. The taxi rank is at the other end, so entails a longer walk.

Paradoxically, the railway station is closer to our hotel, but a real pain to walk with luggage, as the street where the hotel is located is very narrow. There was much more walking room along the Croisette and even Rue d’Antibes with the old City Hall stop. This map illustrates the situation better.

Returning to Nice Airport

The airport bus used to stop on Rue des Serbes along with the local Cannes buses to pick up passengers headed for Nice Airport.

That was most convenient, because a lot of hotels are nearby.

Now one has to go back to the railway station, all the way to the end of the bus bays near Monoprix. It’s quite a walk, and the streets are crowded, especially on Saturdays. Negotiating pedestrians is not easy at the best of times. It’s even worse with luggage.

On the return trip, the bus continues to stop in Le Cannet at Place Bénidorm, which is no doubt a relief for the people there.

A win-win for taxis

The rerouting of the airport bus must have seemed simple for city planners and their consultants.

However, they do not seem to have done the trip themselves with multiple pieces of luggage on a busy afternoon.

Many bus users with several bags will probably hire a taxi to take them a very short distance to the railway station. They will pay a crazy price for those trips, I’m sure, especially when large conferences are going on.

Ferries to the Îles de Lerins

We have never been to the Îles de Lerins — Sainte-Marguerite (old fort) and Saint-Honorat (monastery). It used to be very easy to get the ferry which was located at the ferry terminal — gare maritime — in the centre of the city.

Since our last visit in 2017, those ferries now leave from the Old Port, which is a considerable — 15-minute — walk from the Gare Maritime.

That’s another win-win for local taxi drivers! Maybe they had a say in redoing the ferry stop along with the airport bus stops!

Taxi fares

We have noticed during our biennial stays that taxi fares are unpredictable, even when going a similar distance or along the same route.

Some drivers charge €7 for the same journey whereas others charge €8 and even €10, so it is worthwhile planning to pay more rather than less.

Supermarkets and prices

I checked supermarket prices in the centre of town at Casino (just behind the railway station), Monoprix and Carrefour.

Pastries

The Carrefour at 6 Rue Meynadier has really improved over the years. It was good in 2017 and is even better now. What used to be a sad, down-at-heel supermarket has been redone and has every item you’d expect to find. Carrefour had the best prices overall and excellent quality, especially in the fresh bakery aisle, where we bought two satisfying Trianon slices for under €4. Their two coffee religieuses for €3.50 are not only a bargain but of a very high quality indeed.

Chocolate

Chocolate prices are much more expensive than in the UK this year.

Normally, I buy several tablets of baking chocolate to bring back. Not so this year.

Supermarket own-brand chocolate from the Ivory Coast is a little over £1 in the UK and more than triple that in France.

Coffee

Coffee prices in France are on a par with those in the UK.

My favourite is Suprêmo d’Arabica, available here in Britain for £4.50 (250g).

Although our labels say Rombouts, the coffee is actually produced by one of their subsidiaries, Malongo, which is in Carros, not far from Cannes.

Malongo has a great range of coffees, including espresso.

There are Malongo cafés now in the south of France. I meant to go to the one at Nice Airport before returning to London — it’s right where we used to board the bus to Cannes —  but we didn’t have time.

Jean-Luc Pelé

For a treat, I returned to local chocolatier, pâtissier and boulanger Jean-Luc Pelé’s shop at 36 Rue Meynadier to buy a box of nine assorted dark chocolates for €10. The lady behind the counter asks what you would like, which is a nice touch.

N.B.: Do not put his chocolates in the refrigerator! They should be kept at room temperature.

Pelé trained at the renowned Lenôtre in Paris where he learned how to make macarons. His shop has macarons in all sorts of flavour combinations. He also has a bakery there.

Pelé also has a café at 3 Rue 24 Août, specialising in sandwiches and desserts.

Pelé’s main shop is in Le Cannet at 104 Boulevard Carnot. The airport bus goes right past it. He and his team were contestants in M6’s La Meilleure Boulangerie de France several years ago. I think they were just a bit too fancy to win that week’s regional finals, which was a shame.

Conclusion

I will go into our restaurant experiences this week and next.

Cannes is a marvellous city, full of wonderful experiences.

If you have a bad time in Cannes, then you’re with the wrong people.

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