Nancy is a fairly quiet town, which has provided the first opportunity for a bit of down time in the otherwise hectic world of travelling, but besides a couple of notable attractions, there isn’t really much here.
After spending the day catching trains from Ypres to Nancy – including a fairly underwhelming couple of hours perusing the streets of Luxembourg City – it was time to relax, unwind, and take in the sights of this Eastern French town.
The best place to do such a thing is at its main attraction, Place Stanislas. Despite the grandiose buildings around each of its sides, the square has a very calming atmosphere, attributed mainly by the lack of vehicles, and the soft hum of French diners enjoying a plate of escargots as the sun sets over the Western corner. It’s a welcome contrast to the tourist-laden Bruges and Ypres, and if you’re willing to dine just slightly off the square (but still have a view of it), it’s not quite so hideously overpriced either.
Merely a stone’s throw away from the Place Stanislas is the Parc de la Pepiniere (written without its necessary accents as I still haven’t fully got to grips with my new fancy Chromebook), where joggers, cyclists, and people who just want to sit on a bench and watch pigeons undertake questionable acts converge and get lost in its serenity. It’s not the biggest, most beautiful or most colourful park in the world, but it’s the perfect place to unwind for an hour or two as you watch the (mainly French) tourists take selfies next to statues whilst the welcoming chimes of the Basilique Saint-Epvre ring in the background.
However, besides the park and the square, there isn’t a whole lot to admire about Nancy. It’s not an especially photogenic town, and there isn’t an awful lot of things to do here, and I can’t help but think that the only reason I’ve enjoyed my three days here is because it has provided a natural calmness to my travelling experience.
I therefore wouldn’t recommend choosing this as a sole holiday destination, unless ambling about in a quiet French town for a week is your thing, but as a quick stop on a tour of Europe, it’s well worth popping in for a day or two.
Look! Mum! More flowers!