Few things in life bring me more joy than visiting France. It is something I cannot really explain, for despite my French origins, I have never actually lived in France. Nevertheless, the mere thought of anything French brings out a certain nostalgia in me.
I spent a week last September in Nantes attending a (research) conference. Until then, I hadn’t had the pleasure of visiting this city, and what a wonderful surprise! The minute I set a foot in Nantes I fell in love. I just loved every single bit of it! For starters, the architecture is impressive, with its numerous gothic and (my favourite) neoclassical buildings. There is nothing I love more than pale stone majestic constructions and the nice glow that they give to cities. In fact, this is one thing that the cities I love have in common (take Salzburg, for instance), all of them colored in a beige palette. But the greatest thing about Nantes is not even the amount of historic landmarks, but the great planning efforts of the city towards the integration of the old and the new, the incorporation of modern architecture and urban green areas. To the impressive landscape, add hundreds of little cafés, dozens of exclusive shops (to die for!), and -of course- food and wine. Looots of food and wine! The streets are crumpled with people who seem to be simply enjoying life, speaking that beautiful elaborate language, and the creative spirit just floats in the air. I find that Nantes unites my perfect city qualities: art, entertainment and greenery. I never wanted to leave! In addition to sipping wine, having lots of (too many?) pastries, and taking pictures, I had time to go shopping for French books and yarn!
Here are a few pictures of my trip. I hope you like them!