Nice Nancy

OK, that heading will confuse people. Nice is in the south, Nancy is in the north. I’m using the English adjective.

My couchsurfing host here was Suum, a law student who’s lived in and around Nancy all her life. Even though she’d just moved into her new flat, she was happy to host me and in the first instance was going to give me the whole flat while she stayed with a friend! I talked her into letting me use my bedrolls from camping, and then accepted a fold down bed she went out and bought instead. Talk about hospitality! I did build the bed myself (with a little help from one of her friends) which is cool. Anyone else who couchsurfs there will be on my handiwork.

So, Nancy. What’s it got? Well, a fantastic central square in the old town for one. Place Stanislas is magnificent in all senses of the word. Grand, showy, impressive, clean and bustling. Apparently the council gave it a really good going over a couple of years ago and it shows. It’s now completely pedestrianised and all the walls, paving, statues and fountains are as gleaming as stone can possibly be. The gold paintwork gleams in a more traditional way. Stanislas was actually Polish, and one of the last great dukes in the region. He was a huge patron of the arts and the Place was a way of thanking and remembering him. It’s a wonderful memorial.

I arrived at a nice time as well. I believe a world record was being set for the longest pastry, stretching from the statue in the centre of the square to one of the arches at the edge – 200m long. Either way, I arrived in time to get some photos and a couple of slices!

Suum walked me around a lot of the rest of town, and we saw some nice buildings. A few are original examples of Art Nouveau, so you can blame Nancy for starting that movement off. At least the style doesn’t look as awful as it does elsewhere. The original is still the best.

In the evening, we ended up at one of Suum’s friend’s flats and I got fed, watered, beered, wined and cidered quite well. I felt a little bad as I was expecting to eat out so hadn’t bought anything. So a public “thank you” is required to all those who made me feel welcome!

As ever recently, I’m sure I’ve missed some things out. Sadly, my internet time at the moment is more restricted than it used to be so… *shrugs* I have uploaded a video on YouTube, though.

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