Cannes is most famous for its yearly film festival, Festival de Cannes. Stars arrive on glorious yachts to walk the red carpet leading up to the Palais des Festivals et des Congres (a local convention center). Another event that is held annually throughout the summer is the Cannes Festival of Pyrotechnic Art. Countries around the world come to compete and show their sparks in the sky every weekend.
I personally love fireworks. It’s like glitter in the sky. And really, who doesn’t love some sparkle? I still stand by my original belief that this world would be a little happier if we left a little sparkle wherever we walk.
When we found out that we would be in the area during the festival, I scrambled to find a way we could watch the show. I mean, sure, we could just go and be a regular spectator, but that’s not how I roll (or like to roll); I wanted to see it from a boat on the water because I felt like it would probably offer the best view of the show….Plus, I fully admit, I like boats. Sunia was very encouraging in the matter as well, especially when I waned on whether or not we should attend since we were arriving the same day and would have to find a way to get from Nice to Cannes. She was awesome and figured out the train system so we could go, while I booked a car to bring us back after the show. After looking at many options (most of which were booked and full), we found a dinner cruise that would take us to watch the fireworks. The best part about being to watch the show that particular night? A team from France was showing off its pyrotechnic skills, so I knew the show would be dazzling since it was a home team.
After we flew into Nice, settled into the hotel, we got ready to make our way to Cannes.Sunia was quite patient with me as well. It was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel to the train station. Once we got there, I did find the whole train thing confusing at first (purchasing tickets and platforms), but luckily Sunia knew what she was doing. We purchased tickets and found the right train and platform. We got on and traveled to Cannes. I feel like I should share that I was getting over a sinus infection at the time as well. I felt miserable and low on energy, but those sparkles were calling my name, so I kept pushing. Once we arrived at the station in Cannes, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people! Definitely crowded, and I’m not sure if it’s like this all year round or just because it was the night of the fireworks. Either way, we walked a few blocks and saw the marina. There were more boats and yachts in the marina than people! It was literally a sea of boats. We walked for what seemed like forever and finally found where we needed to meet the boat we would spend the evening on.
The boat was a good size. Sunia and I found a couple of spots in the front on the bow (I admit, I don’t know the technical names of the boat areas…I’m guessing that’s what the front area was called) and settled in for the evening. We sailed along the coast as the sun began to set. Time for dinner, we took turns visiting the buffet, full of savory and sweet dishes. The sun set as we ate, painting the sky in hues of soft pinks and blues. Soon, our captain took us to the area in front of the Bay of Cannes where the fireworks are set off from. We bobbed in the water, watching the incoming yachts of all sizes. My hat goes off to the captains of all those boats! I can only imagine trying to navigate through the maze the boat population created.
Suddenly, the lights went off, a spark was sent into the air, and the first boom hit the sky. For a good solid 30 minutes, gold glitter lit up the sky! It was one of the best fireworks shows I’ve witnessed in person. I do admit that I could be saying this because I was in the French Riviera at the time so there’s every possibility I was swayed by the location. I am not often focused for moments longer than twenty minutes at a time, but I was mesmerized for the entire show, allowing myself to be transported into a world made of light and glitter.
The show ended too soon and the captain made his way back to our dock. Our driver came and we, exhausted, climbed in. Just as the boat captain had to navigate the small paths caused by the amount of boats, our driver had to navigate the small roadways full of cars and pedestrians. Eventually, we made it back to Hotel West End where we both fell in our beds, quickly falling asleep.
That night, I replayed the pyrotechnic show again and again as I fell into a deep sleep. The next day, I woke up with a sense of renewed energy, with not a sign of that stupid sinus infection. I have no proof, but I’m pretty sure my new home (well, temporary for the next week) and being surrounded by fireworks the night before cured that infection.