Beauté Cachée – Visiting Nancy, France

The reality of being an Erasmus student was more harsh than I ever imagined! In the space of just two weeks in November 2016, I had SIX presentations to do and an essay to write! Not fun, huh? At least, I didn’t have to have them all done at once (thank Christ!)! On a lighter subject, in this post I’m going to write about my trip at the time – in this case, the city of Nancy, France.

Elina Luukkanen, Georgina Pearce and Eidhne Gallagher posing by the fountain of Nancy. (Credit: Emily Whiffen)

This day-trip took place, just a week after my trip to Amsterdam. At least with this trip, it wasn’t that long a bus journey – we left at half past eight and arrived by eleven. We were dropped in the Place Stanislas where the traditional tour was going to take place. But before it did, we had a good look-around at our surroundings.

I have to say this; Nancy may be an old enough city, but it’s still beautiful. It wasn’t raining that Saturday thankfully, though very cold. As we waited for the tour to start, I snapped many pictures of the golden fountains that hundreds of years ago, had wine instead of water (wish it still did!), the statue of the Duke of Lorraine that made Nancy the city that it is. I’m a history addict, what can I say?

The tour finally began and we were taken through the streets. We saw the Notre Dame Cathedral that from the front, stood proud but from the side, it was easy to see that it was falling apart. Sadly, they ran out of money before the restorations could be completed. It’s kind of like what happened in Monaghan, my home town in Ireland many years ago. In the shopping centre car park, they has started to build new business association buildings, but then the recession happened and the money vanished. So the car park was left as a gaping hole covered by wooden walls for nearly six years until two or three years back when the original car park was restored. So the Monaghan council wasted €1 million turning the shopping centre car park, into another car park. Very, very stupid.

Georgina Pearce, Elina Luukkanen and Emily Whiffen, laughing in the park. Credit: Eidhne Gallagher

Once the tour finished and we had a spot of lunch, myself and my friends decided to go on our own tour around the place. We visited a local park and took several hundred pictures of ourselves, messing around the trees and kicking through the leaves. One thing that we didn’t expect to see though, was a peacock! Apparently, there was a wildlife centre nearby and it must have escaped. It didn’t open its wings for us, but oh well!

There was an amusement park set up as well and we decided to have a walk through there as well! No, we didn’t go on any rides, we were a bit too big for what was on offer! But we did enjoy some mulled wine and candyfloss! I had a sticky face and very sticky fingers afterwards, but you only live once!

One of my friends, Gina had arranged to meet a French girl that afternoon, so we went back to the statue of the Duke of Lorraine to meet her. There was a wedding group there, the photographer fussing around, telling the bride and groom to pose like this, like that. I don’t know how the poor bride managed to stay so composed in such freezing cold weather, but kudos to her!

Elina Luukkanen, Eidhne Gallagher and Emily Whiffen enjoying mulled wine and candyfloss in a Nancy amusement park. Credit: Georgina Pearce

Gina’s French friend, Emmeline arrived and she greeted us in the traditional French fashion- a hug and a kiss on each cheek! She brought us through the streets to a shopping centre where my friend, Emily could indulge in one of her favourite hobbies… smelling and testing perfumes! While she did, I visited a Kiko store; you can’t go wrong with a bit of Kiko makeup!

Afterwards, Emmeline led us to a waffle store where everyone could buy…you guessed it… waffles! Unlucky for me, due to my annoying allergies (and the fact that I’d already had a huge candyfloss) I ruled out getting any more food. So I spent a bit of time, browsing the market stalls, you never know what you can find in them! 

At half five, we had to go back to the Place Stanislas so we could get the bus back to Trier. We said farewell to Emmeline and made our way back. Unlike Amsterdam, Nancy didn’t have their Christmas lights on yet, but even so, still beautiful! It was just after six by the time we were on the bus, going home. Another great trip, I have to say! I wasn’t sure where I would be going next, but that will be covered in another post…

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