National Geographic : 1967 Jun
While Cannes basks in an aura of wealth, neighboring Juan les Pins bubbles with gai ety. In its glare of neons and blare of music, it is a resort for the young. Within a few minutes I noted license plates from a dozen European countries, mostly small cars filled with stu dents on vacation calling to each other in many languages. Cycling Violinist Harries Traffic At the town's main intersection I chose a sidewalk table in front of the Cafe Pam-Pam. It was late, but small shops were still open, selling everything from bikinis to stuffed alli gators made into lamps. Suddenly a bicyclist disrupted traffic. Playing a violin without missing a note, he rode among the cars, shav ing bumpers and fenders with paper-thin pre cision, now sitting on the handlebars pedaling 822 backward, now standing on the saddle. At each near-collision he beeped a tiny horn at the startled motorist, doffed his cap, and rode away, still playing his violin. "We speak of him only as le cycliste," said the waiter in answer to my question. "Nobody knows his name. In the tourist season he drives up in a little car, unloads his bicycle and violin, gives a show, passes his hat, and goes off to some other place like a seagull." Less than five miles from the holiday bustle of Juan les Pins I found utter solitude. One afternoon Pied-a -Terre crept through a nar row entrance into the tiny port of St. Honorat, one of the islands off Cannes. Half a dozen small cruising boats would have filled the har bor. Trees reflected in the water, and as I put lines ashore, bells pealed. In A.D. 410 a pious man named Honorat, seeking to escape the world, settled here on the outer of the two main Iles de Lerins.