Cannes is somewhat similar to Nice, because of the deep blue oceans. It is situated also on the French Riveria. The difference between both beaches is the sandy beach instead of pebbles that encapsulates the sea.


The waters are SO BLUE, there are actually different shades of blue in the waters. I have never seen a CLEARER, BLUER sea. They have the perfect white foamy waves that I could just stop and stare at those waves. I like to catch the moments before a tide falls when the true colour of the water is reflected by the sun. I stood there like that, entranced. The winds were also SO STRONG, they literally destabilize any human being.

Despite it being the end of the wintry period, there were topless old men running on the beach walks, topless women with sagging breasts hidden at the corner of the bank, sun tanning on the beach. At the start of March, weathers are above 10 degrees, often hovering around 17 in midday.


As I was strolling down the sidewalk towards the city centre, my thoughts drifted. I imagined being approached by a stranger. I imagined how I’d react when a stranger held my hand without a warning.

Just then, I was approached by a stranger. He asked if he could walk with me, and enjoy the sights and the breeze together. Not exactly the stranger I imagined. Why not, I thought. It was such a fine and clear blue day. It wouldn’t hurt to have company. He talked a lot. At some point in time he asked if he could hold my hand, because walking down the beach is (supposed to be) romantic. Is this for real?! This can’t be any more absurd. I can’t believe my wild imaginations are actually coming to life. I didn’t want to be put in an uncomfortable position. I refused.

Cannes, France

We ended up stopping by a bar for a drink, at 11am. He commented how people here are laidback enough that they don’t wear watches, because they don’t need any sense of time. They don’t have to be rushing from place to place. They could stop by any cafe and order a drink and just soak in the sun.

While it was true that I had to loosen up a little when it comes to meeting new people, I simply was not comfortable with further intimate gestures from this stranger. I could not fathom if it was the Southern hospitality or simply French people playing games with me.

Apart from this encounter that left me feeling ambivalent about the people here, I came across good souls who’d pass me by and shout out “bon apetit” or “bonjour mademoiselle”. It lit a smile on my face while walking down the streets of Cannes.


Spotted an old lady from down where I was sitting, feeding the pigeons that visited on her windowsill. She saw me looking and smiled at me. Her small little gesture made me feel warm inside.

The town is really small. Much smaller than Nice or Lyon. I spent the remaining of my day just sitting by the beach to kill time and enjoying the sun’s rays (while I could) while waiting for Guillaume to meet me.

He made me a Nice specialty, called Salad Nicois, which means Salad from Nice. So delicious.

He also made me this dish called Petit Farci. It’s actually bell peppers stuffed with meat and baked.


It was my first time couch surfing with a guy and already he made me feel uncomfortable the entire night. Thanks to Min En and WL to keep me company so that I felt less alone and.. vulnerable. At least there would be 2 persons who’d know if something untoward happened to me… I appreciate the simple conversations we had very much.

I left the next day as soon as I could. I settled at a salad stall and chanced upon this old woman across the street cooing to a pigeon. She has a look of kindness on her face.

To soothe my emotional turmoil, I poured out my suppressed feelings to my journal, which I keep loyal to me wherever I go.


Spent the rest of the day (almost 6 hours) by the beach just reading, and finally boarding my overnight train back to Rouen.

This concludes my 6.5 days of solo rendezvous to the South of France (Lyon, Nice, Cannes). In this trip, I have built up several first experiences:

  • travelled alone
  • sat in an overnight train
  • witnessed a sunrise on the train
  • sat in first class in the train from Nice to Cannes
  • did nothing (I have never done nothing in my entire travel experience. Even walking counts as something.)
  • got kissed by 3 different people whom I barely knew…

I couldn’t help but notice that in train stations throughout France, there’d be a public piano, which people actually stop to play! And those who do, played their pieces well! I can’t help but wonder where and when at some point in their life, did they learn to play.

Nice-Cannes: SGD 4.86 by train
Accom: courtesy of Guillaume


2 March 2015, Mon – 3 March 2015, Tue


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Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on


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