A subset of our camera club (Photographic Society of Orange County) went to Cagnes-sur-Mer by train on our first full day in France. Next to the farmer’s market at Nice, this was my favorite place on the Cote d’Azur.
Stymied in our attempt to see the Renoir Museum, we walked back down the long hill and had lunch at a small cafe. I had Croque Monsieur, a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. This one had Bechamel sauce on top and was delicious. Wine was cheaper than water, so I had wine.
After lunch, we caught a bus to Haut de Cagnes, a medieval castle and village atop a hill in Cagnes-sur-Mer. Instead of getting physically lost on unfamiliar streets, I got wonderfully lost in the beauty of the old doors, windows, and stonework. Imagine, a medieval village dating back to the 1300s with people still living there. Small apartments were selling for half a million Euros, if you’re interested.
Maybe I shouldn’t have had that second glass of wine. I ended up dancing hiphop with a group of young men who were listeing to loud American West Coast rap on the very crowded bus. (Keep in mind that I work with Hispanic gang members at the Orange County Conservation Corps. Despite the fact that I’m 67, I’m familiar with rap and hiphop, plus the dance steps.)
I borrowed a ball cap from one of boys who was wearing it backwards. Very old school. I showed him how to put it on bill forward, then rotate it back about 20 degrees. Yeah, I was down with it! I was movin’! One of the boys told me in English that I “must shake your ass more.”
My group was so (embarrassed, mystified, enthralled, entertained–take your pick) that we missed our stop and ended up dashing across the busy street to catch the bus back to the train station. What a day.
I slept like a stone. I was in love with France.
Stay tuned for photo essays on Nice and Monaco/Monte Carlo.