Wednesday, January 17, 2018

French Island Paradise

There are four small islands- the Iles de Lérins- that are just off the coast of Cannes. Two are tiny and uninhabited. The others are accessible by a short 15 minute ferry ride from the port of Cannes.

Ile Sainte-Marguerite has a fortress where the Man in the Iron Mask was held captive for a time. That sounded interesting, but we chose to visit the Ile Saint-Honorat instead for the medieval monastery and castle.



We are moving away from Cannes in 2 weeks, so this was a fitting way to start saying goodbye. I've been wanting to do this all year, so I'm very happy I was finally able to! We even got lucky with a sunny, 60 degree day. According to the app on my phone, that means it was 60 degrees warmer than Wisconsin.  :)


Cruising towards the island.
 


Ile Sainte-Marguerite and the Man in the Iron Mask prison.

The island was very peaceful. Most of the time we didn't even come into contact with anyone else. After walking along a trail lined with trees, we came across the monk's vineyards. We cut through the vineyards in the direction of the abbey.



I loved the combination of beautiful architecture framed by palm trees.





I hope the monks weren't offended that I decided this was a runway.


Our next stop was heading to the coast and castle. 




To our surprise, the castle was open and could be explored. Even better, we were the only ones inside! There were four floors up a narrow and steep spiral staircase (with no railing, might I add). On each floor, the views got better. The view from the roof was the best part!





The water was so clear you could see to the bottom!
 



That was a nice moment, being alone together on a castle roof on a Mediterranean island. No big deal.

After the castle, we continued along the coast to walk the circumference of the island. We paused for a moment to play on the rocks. The water looked inviting, but when David touched it and felt how chilly it was, we were reminded it was January.




It was about 2.5 miles to completely walk around Saint-Honorat. We saw everything there was to see in about two hours. If we ever come back to visit, we plan on bringing a picnic lunch and hanging out in the park all day.

This time, after our boat ride back, we had some Steak n' Shake on the Croisette instead. I am going to miss colorful Cannes.



To finish a great and relaxing day, this dog (who looks like my nephew Ollie) joined us while we ate. I 100% love that dogs are welcome in public places in France. It was hard not to share our fries with him, but I'm not sure his owner would have approved.



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