What a rough life it is, coming from Dubai and then landing in the French Riviera and getting study credit for this. I was visiting Cannes for the annual MIDEM (Marché International du Disque et de l’Edition Musicale) conference.

Cannes itself is a dirty French city like many others, but is well known for it’s film festival namesake. Fortunately for me, I was able to attend many of the exclusive events occurring at the Palais de Festivals, and on the beach in front of the Majestic Hotel.

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A majestic stage, on a majestic beach, in front of the majestic hotel.

The first thing you will notice about Cannes is that there’s references to this film festival everywhere you go, and I mean everywhere. Staying up the road in La Bocca (let’s just say Madonna wouldn’t stay there), my hotel routinely played famous film scores in the reception to further tease this reality. Cannes is a relatively tourist friendly city, attracting many international, and intra-Schengen visitors yearly to the various creative conferences. MIDEM being one of few.

Cannes is alive, not least because of the couture shops and palaces of La Croisette; but also due to many of it’s zany inhabitants. From dining at New York New York, and experiencing Franco-Italian waiters serve with American gusto, to the fine patisseries located off the beaten track. I do apologise to the locals, I am but English – we brutally butcher any language we try and speak. As I kept saying: ‘Je m’excuse pour mon français, mais j’aimerais un café et une baguette merci.’

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles. Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels. – Tim Cahill

I have to admit I had no idea who Cahill was until I Google’d him whilst writing this post. But what I do have to give him is this immensely powerful quotation, and Cannes was one of the many times where I genuinely put this quote to great execution.

Being students at a professional event is always an experience of great imposter syndrome, and so meeting fellow students from a UK institution is always nice. That’s not to say that the UK and Australia have unfinished business, but we’re culturally so similar that we get along very closely. No less, compared to meeting with people from other cultures you will find that Australians and Brits will always insult each other. A boggling concept, especially for painfully optimistic Americans, this has always been a part of our psyche. No idea why. Love you Milly, Ellie, James, and James for the many drunken nights out.

Marketed as a trident of visitation, you can also catch a quick SNCF TER train down to Monaco, adding yet another motor-head heavy city to my passport.

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Monaco, a city state famed for it’s famous Grand Prix. Yeah, I can’t afford to eat here.

Monaco is a playground for the super rich, and this time I really mean it. This city-state has everything you can expect. As much as I would have loved to explore it more, there’s no way I could afford to spend anymore than a day here. My recommendation is to stay on the train a little longer and find yourself in the small Italian town: Ventimiglia.