This story is part of a four-part series in which ScooterFile contributor Karryll Nason recounts her scooter trip through the French Riviera with touring company Edelweiss.
Day 5: Cannes and Antibes
Our last day promised to be a long one, but we decided not to try for Saint Tropez and the lavender fields which were now past flowering in late August. We then planned on curtailing our ride at Cannes and spending more time in Antibes on the way back. We left the hotel in a light rain, which fortunately didn’t last long. We stopped for coffee in Vallauris, a town of about 30,000 known primarily as a center for pottery and ceramics. Some of these wares can be seen in public art throughout the village. Vallauris is also famous because Pablo Picasso lived here between 1948 and 1955.
Riding on to Cannes, we managed to find parking on the waterfront. We visited the grand hall where the famed film festival is headquartered, had our photo taken on the red-carpeted stairway and browsed the foot and handprints on the surrounding sidewalk. For me, Cannes was a bit disappointing. It seemed very commercial and crowded. After an excellent lunch at an Italian restaurant, we reclaimed our scooters and rolled along the coast to Antibes, where we rode along the ancient stone city wall.
Antibes is mostly known as an exclusive resort for the seriously wealthy. Yet Antibes is also home to the Picasso Museum, which is housed in the restored and rennovated Chateau Grimaldi, where he stayed for some months in 1946. The village is small and charming, with a covered market next to the harbor, many art galleries and cafes. Just as we were leaving, a newly married couple emerged from the Hôtel de Ville to cheering from bystanders and scooter honks. Charming.
That evening at dinner, our guide presented us with Edelweiss T-shirts printed with a map of the tour’s prominent stops. I, for one, felt as though I’d earned that T-shirt. The next morning, before going our separate ways, we posed for a photo wearing our shirts, perched on our scooters, which were parked on the hotel terrace awaiting the next tour.
Am I glad I did it? Absolutely! Would I want to ride those mountainous roads again? I don’t think so. I’m glad I saw the amazing sights and wonderful places we visited, and I’m enjoying my photos and the memories even now. Yet, the challenging nature of the trip yielded an unexpected dividend. Ever since I returned, I have been braver and more confident while riding, whether on the freeway or the twisties up the Highway One —the coastal road not far from where I live.
For information on this Edelweiss scooter tour can be found at www.edelweissbike.com.