Every city in the world has sights worth marveling at. A few are blessed with natural assets, like Rio de Janeiro and its beaches or Antigua and its volcanoes, while many have man-made attractions, like Shanghai’s skyline or Sydney’s Harbour. No matter where you go in this big world, there is always a focal point, that place where tourists and locals alike enjoy gathering or must visit over and over again.
In Ottawa, for me, it’s Parliament Hill. The location is convenient because it’s right downtown and I like both the buildings and the setting, by the Ottawa River.
In Nantes, we always end up somewhere along the Loire River, either on Quai de la Fosse, walking by the old crooked historical buildings, either on the Isle of Nantes, the former industrial heart of the city.
The Île of Nantes feels a bit like Disneyland now with the elephant and the new attractions. The area has been gentrified as fuck and I’d rather walk on the other side of it, where all the former factories are slowly being demolished. It’s less picturesque in a way, but it’s more raw and real. And then there is Beaulieu, a somewhat soulless close suburb which I find interesting too because of the modern skyline and the large park at the tip.
I grew up by the water—the Loire River and the Atlantic Ocean. This is my happy place.