Rain, rain, stop ruining our 2 hr walking tour

Trip Start Sep 04, 2006
Trip End Dec 24, 2006

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Flag of France  ,
Monday, September 18, 2006

Friday, after finishing the last of our language review classes (finally!), IES had scheduled a walking tour of the old city, which was to begin at the cathedral and last two hours. In classic Nantes style, it was raining. A lot. We had the tour anyway. It was nice when we were in the cathedral, but quickly went downhill. The sights were great, but I would appreciated them a whole lot more in the sun, or even the partly cloudly. As symbol of the confidence IES has in our French abilities, the entire tour was in French, and I actually got the vast majority of what was said before I got too cold, wet, and tired to pay much attention and went into "tune out French" mode (a mode that I've found has become increasingly more difficult to go into in the past two weeks - I have to be really tired to be able to really tune out).

The Cathedral Saint Pierre Saint Paul is really beautiful. Although you can't tell from my pictures, it's actually made of white stone unlike a lot of other Gothic cathedrals/churches, so it looks really light and airy inside. All of the original stained-glass windows from the Middle Ages were destroyed when the Allies were bombing Nantes to try to liberate it from the Germans, except for 3 way up high, and replaced with a lot of colorless or plainer glass, sadly, but it's still really beautiful. The famous Duc de Bretagne (Duke of Brittany) Francois II is buried there, along with Duchesse Anne de Bretagne, and the tomb is very interesting.

We also saw the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne, which is being renovated so we couldn't actually go in, along with lots of old streets, old houses, and other old stuff (you can see where I stopped listening to the guide...). He showed us the square where Nantes had its own guillotine during the Revolution (although apparently the guillotine wasn't efficient enough because the Nantais apparently resorted to mass drownings in the Loire River), which now host to the marketplace (French people don't buy produce, fish, cheese, etc. at the supermarket - they pride themselves on going personally to the marketplace and picking out the best of the produce/cheese/meat/etc. or to the boulangerie and getting fresh baguettes each day).

Nantes is beautiful, but the weather here is definitely
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bondgirl78 on

Don't forget to look for the Querouailles in Finistere :)

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