19 Aug 2008

Amalfi and Sorrento

What a beautiful day we had. The morning was spent walking around Amalfi. Like the other towns on the Amalfi coast, it is quaint, charming, lovely and full of friendly people. Although the coast is named for this town, it is quite small, quite Italian and not packed with tourists. That adds to its charm. Most people who disembarked for the day did it just to grab a trip to Pompeii which is definitely worthwhile.

Then the ship repositioned to Sorrento. Although I really cannot stand shopping, Sorrento is one of the few cities of the world where I can spend hours walking the streets and actually visiting a store or two. I consider it sightseeing more than shopping. Although the view to the water is unsurpassed, I feel that it is actually surpassed by the view along the narrow, windy streets.

Travel tip – There are four ways to get from the port up the hill. Walking works, but be advised that there are over 200 stairs. Taxis are generally plentiful at about 10 Euros. Free shuttle buses make the run, but not often and are CRAMMED. There is an easy 1 Euro bus that goes more often and is fun. I recommend the vehicle route because the trip itself is an experience. The drivers yell at each other in the classic Italian manner. The road is NARROW yet has two way traffic and it is a hoot.

Restaurant tip – Il Buco,  is outstanding gourmet Italian right in the heart of town. If you eat outside every table is at a different level walking down a hill and extremely private.

Restaurant tip 2 – Don Alfonso, is considered the best restaurant in Southern Italy. It is just nine kilometers out of town. Unfortunately it is closed Mondays which precluded us from eating there.


17 Aug 2008

Transit day

Today was a transit day. Our Cannes stay came to an end and we embarked upon a one week cruise on the Wind Star. Our journey leaves from Rome, travels down the Italian coast and back to Spain. I’ll have lots of details this week. Now we are headed towards the Amalfi coast which some feel is the most beautiful in the world.

Regarding private jet travel, if you can swing it, go for it. It saves so much time and hassle. When I return home, I will discuss in depth the various ways and costs. Given that we were five people the cost was certainly more than commercial, but probably not of the magnitude you might guess.

Our total elapsed time from hotel to ship was 3.5 hours and that included a 1.5 hour transport from the Rome airport to the ship. Had we flown commercial it would have been at least double and that assumes a nonstop at exactly the right time. That is a highly unlikely assumption. This doesn’t even factor in that we don’t touch the bags at either end, there was no security line, and no chance of missing luggage as we see it all the way. The travel ease and stress free day was at least equally important as the time savings.

It is definitely the JETSETWAY. I use NetJets and as I said more details will come at a later date.

15 Aug 2008

The Festival for Pyrotechnical Arts










For ten years Cannes has been the home to the Festival for pyrotechnical arts. It is an International musical fireworks competition. There are six performances annually and tonight was one of them. I have never seen anything quite like it.

We viewed it along with 200,000 other people shore side. We were fortunate enough to have the very best seat in the house. As a thank you from management for our room issues earlier in the stay, they comped us the deluxe dinner for four in the very first row of their pier.





14 Aug 2008

St. Paul de-Vance

A nice place to walk narrow streets, see little stores and have a nice lunch, St. Paul de-Vence is a former walled city near Antibes that sits high on a hill with peaceful pastoral views.

However it is really all about contemporary art galleries. There are many and they are interesting. It's definitely worth a couple hours.

Restaurant tip – Do NOT eat at La Colobe d’Or in Saint-Paul. It is a rip and not nearly as charming as the smaller restaurants that dot the town.

Restaurant tip 2 – Do eat at Vessuvio in Cannes. I have been there probably 30 times and never had a bad meal. It is not the fanciest, just the best. It’s Italian. Get there before 8:00 pm for dinner or you will wait in line, or bring some extra Euros for the meeter and greeter. It’s good for lunch too.

13 Aug 2008

Typical Cannes day

Today was another lazy Cannes day. The routine gets repetitious, but seems to work just fine for us. It goes something like this:

We tried to break up the day today by running an errand. My battery charger wasn’t working and Allyn’s seem to have disappeared. We asked the concierge for a camera store to buy one and really just give us something to do. He took all the fun out by telling us that is not what they do at The Majestic Hotel; they do the errands for us. Oh well. They did get us a nifty universal charger.

Restaurant tip – For fresh shellfish everybody in Cannes goes to Chez Astoux. Get there before 9 pm. They don’t take reservations. 43 rue Felix Faure