After a lovely time in the French countryside, Albine and I headed to her second home of Nantes. Her apartment is above a café in a cute neighborhood on a hill. From there we were easily able to walk to the city center.
We spent our days meandering the French streets, with me stopping often for photos, and Albine finding this very amusing. She started taking pictures of me taking pictures, and I would love to see this collection.
Albine was an excellent guide, always thinking of where to go next and what to see. I just let her lead me as we talked the day away. We walked around the grounds of the Château des ducs de Bretagne, a castle in the middle of the city. Albine told me the story of Anne of Brittany who was Duchess of Brittany in the late 1400s. She is celebrated even today as a guardian of Brittany, who defended it's sovereignty from France even, or perhaps because of, being the queen consort of France. Albine said it depends on who you ask and where that person is from if they think Nantes is part of Brittany. It is on the cusp, and apparently is a popular topic to dispute.
We saw the Nantes Cathedral and walked around the Île de Nantes. Everything was lovely and I enjoyed just being in the city with my friend.
Knowing me well, Albine took us to the coolest place to eat in the city, a brasserie called Le Cigale originally established in 1895. It is an ornately decorated building, with an interior so opulent it was like being in a painting. I had hot chocolate and a decadent chocolate caramel tart. The whole experience felt luxurious and indulgent, it was such a treat.
On my last day we made sure to go to a crêpe restaurant. I had both savory and sweet with a drink of cider, which I learned was the traditional accompaniment for crêpes. My savory crêpe was ham and cheese with a mushroom cream sauce, and the sweet was the simple and classic butter and sugar. They were delicious.
The whole trip flew by, but it was such a delight to spend time with such a wonderful friend in her beautiful home country.
kaitlin k walsh
Adventurer armed with a camera.