Azamara Journey

1. Azamara chapter one, 
Early morning did not find me ready in Nice .. Ha ha. Halloween night last night, and sleepless for some strange reason. So leisurely up and hosted breakfast in our room for the four of us Canadian women before we were picked up with pre arranged transfer and off to the cruise pier in Monte Carlo.  
Upon arrival, smooth transition, hot sunny day … Great lunch upstairs and outside meal on the Windows Cafe. A few frozen Margaritas (tradition!) and lovely meal. Our room was ready, so we dropped off bags and put on bathing suits. Up to deck nine for a few hours of rest, pool time and some rays.  
I love this country. November already and it must have been between 22-25 today. Phew!  
Bags unpacked, muster drill, and now a guest lecture at six pm. Eric de Gray is the cruise director! Wow … My favourite and Canadian! He is excellent and I enjoyed a cruise with him a few years ago with my mom …. And the DJ is also the same guy. Some staff look familiar too …. So fun to be back on Azamara Journey!
6 pm , Guest speaker on PROVENCE, history and culture. Karl Misulis. Enrichment and destination lecturer. And then a talk about Cannes. Some of the guests are doing back to back cruises. Welcoming comments and suggestions. Bronze Age 2500 bc…. More than million years bce. Wow .. Old stone. 2 and half million years ago. Tools found. Water used to higher than now… Some fluctuations over the years affected where findings are. Asians, then Greeks came. Northern Italians came. Arles ruins, aqueduct nearby. Places I have seen for last four weeks. Papal palace in Avignon. Then the plague .. Half population gone. Italian and Greek influence for long period of time.  
PROVENCE region includes Marseille. 17% of pop come from Greeks. Speaker’s wife teaches and recommends dietary medicine and cuisine from Mediterranean. Great food and wines! Romans brought better grapes than Greeks had before them. Since 1950s wines much better.
Toulon, where we land. Huge port. Old town within walking distance. Early morning market closes by noon. See produce and how locals live. He suggests people also go to Marseille. Notre dame cathedral. Amazing views from outside. Fisherman in harbour. Largest city in PROVENCE.  
Great small town 20 km is Cassis. Fishing town. Did trade with Africa. Cliffs, small boats and rocky bays. Very quiet town.
Cannes. Opulent .. Similar to Monaco. Famous for film festival. 69 ad history … Roman town history. Swampy area and some islands. Aristocracy enjoyed area. Beaches developed. Old town is dramatic. Charming. Narrow streets. Pick pockets. 
Iles de lerins. Man of iron mask. St marguerite, Fort royal. Covered market in Cannes. Marche forville. Nice public restrooms. 
Albert II has his royal yacht docked just outside our ship. 1 million usd per foot cost!  
It’s nice to be back on this lovely boutique ship. It is so familiar, like the Oceania small ships of course. Fantastic, personal, intimate. I stop to enjoy a glass of rose after the talk, complimentary of course. Red and white wines alternate each day … Rose is always the same. No sparkling wines on the complimentary list. Martini, yes, margarita yes, Caesar extra spicy with olives, yes! Schnapps and Brandy, creme de menthe, kirsch and more. The waiter brings me champagne … It is for newcomers he says … Ha ha. Well, today I am a newcomer. We sail away at 1130 pm.  
Time for dinner and then a show tonight and a good sleep! Later, all!  
Next morning: dinner was very good last evening with new friends, both couples from UK. Dining room was full and noisy of people chatting to be heard. We missed the sunset I guess.  
Later the show, with Eric de Gray and team, followed by some dancing in the Looking Glass …. And we went out on deck to watch the sail away from Monte Carlo. Lights were stunning … Windy and rocky seas for sure …. But not too cool. Then off to sleep with rocking night. I woke up with a fabulous bright orange and red sunrise. The seas are calm and sun is shining bright this morning as we anchor for tender to Cannes, France.  
I was just here a few days ago on the train … Today I believe I will walk around, look for markets, beaches and enjoy the south of France some more:). 
Ciao for now, later
Pamela (still) of France!  
Ps. The cruise director just mentioned it will be twenty degrees today in Cannes, and we are sheltered here … Some gusts of wind expected so tender rides could be rocky too. We shall see. No excursions booked, just hanging out in or around Cannes and maybe afternoon on the ship.  
Room service expected. Gluten free toast. I apparently marked the wrong spot so they just called us … Ooooooops. And we enjoyed a wonderful private relaxed breakfast on the balcony as ordered. Still waves out there and breezy with fabulous bright sunshine in the blue blue sky.  
I fly out at six am on 10 November so need a cab at 300 am I think. I will need to make these arrangements. Friend Janie has offered to pick me up so I will send her the information and also I will be prepared to take a shuttle to James Bay when I get back.  

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