I took a carefree August-time stroll down the La Croisette promenade of Cannes. These are two kilometres of pure laid-back stupor. A dense assortment of casinos, beach-side restaurants, yachts, every kind of chair, with a sumptuous array of plants and flowers. Cannes feels impermanent, as if it were built in 1920, and my first surprise is that of it’s heritage. It is much older than I had imagined. But if there is a self-consciousness in this city, it is one that mirrors the validation of tourists. This was a city built for visitors, and has evolved to meet their needs.
I have made two quick visits to Chester. It is such a lovely city. Chester Rows, the Roman Walls, the Amphitheatre, Grosvenor Park, and the Canal Basins (and apparently there is even a Zoo!). But there was one thing that I could not find…… the Port! For hundreds of years before the prominence of Liverpool, Chester was the primary port on the north-west coast of England. And yet when I asked several local people for directions, they all said something like this: “I have lived all my life here, I should know the answer to that, but I’m not sure.” It was only after I returned home and did some research did I learn that this was more complex question than I had imagined.