Two more stops on our trip before we get back to Barcelona, one in France and one in Spain (albeit on an island off the coast). First is Cannes, France which is French for “Rich place by the sea.” Second is the island of Majorca which is Spanish for “Rich place by the sea.” Weird, right? We have no plans other than to see both places and pretty low expectations overall. Which is why we are surprised when Jan picks Cannes as “her place to retire.”
Someone had better get to work. And it isn’t Jimmy.
As if by magic, our ship has appeared at a new destination. We wake up, look out our door and BAM we are in a new port (Cannes in this case) and we can hear Mandy, the cruise director, whispering “the first two tenders are now heading to shore from Deck 6 aft; please make your way there now.” Mandy natters on like this for many hours this morning. It is pretty annoying because it is REALLY early, but it doesn’t stop us from flopping over back to sleep for a bit more shut eye; we aren’t going early to shore.
We eventually get up, hit the gym for the second time of the trip, get a big breakfast which totally negates the whole ‘gym’ thing, then head down to the tender for our trip to town. Our cruise line has spared no expense on the ship, making it a luxurious hotel at sea. But the tenders are strictly functional. If the seas were rolling, these would be some vomit inducing machines, but today the med continues to be flat and we are rocked gently by the wake of the mega-yachts heading into shore.
We arrive in Cannes and look up because the city is built on a hill. We give AJ the map point to a church on the hill and he gets his first lesson in navigation. We criss cross the city looking at a church, the water, the mega-yachts and eventually find ourselves in a fantastic market. Jan is entranced by Cannes and pronounces it our new retirement location. Which means two things:
1. Jan has to learn French.
2. Jan has to pick up her earnings so we can afford to live in Cannes
We make our way back to the boat where AJ once again disappears not to be seen until tomorrow morning and Jan and I are forced to fend for ourselves. We fortify ourselves with wine and muddle through the night.
The next day is Majorca, an island off the Spanish coast. We don’t arrive until 1pm, which gives us plenty of time to wake up early, hit the gym for two hours, eat breakfast, do homework, write a major novel, and go to the chapel for some spiritual fortification. Very few of which we actually do; we sleep in, walk to the gym and pronounce it ‘too much,’ walk to the buffet for multiple passes of breakfast which morphs into lunch which, by this point, is OK. We do manage to make it to the shore excursion desk to buy a bus pass from the boat to the city center (for $15/person) which we are assured is absolutely necessary.
So at 1pm, to the dulcet tones of Mandy, we depart the ship, get on our bus and head to downtown. It is indeed worth the while…the walk to the port was long and the line for cabs was even longer. Upon disembarkation of the bus, we head down the sidewalk in the blazing heat until we come to a beach, where upon we stop, lay out our towels and frolic in the surf. Which is quite large today–our first day of big waves, but that doesn’t slow down the sailboats–there are a ton of racing boats on the water. We swim for an hour, call that ‘good enough’ and head to the shuttle.
Back on the boat and AJ does his amazing disappearing act and we have one night left on our floating hotel. Tomorrow is Barcelona and the the home stretch of our trip.